Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Writers strike

Let us for the sake of argument stupulate that the studios are telling the truth when they claim that they make next to no money from Internet content.

Let us further stipulate that the studios are correct in their assertion that the amount that the writers stand to gain is trivial compared to the amount that they stand to gain.

I don't know what the writers earn but I am willing to bet that it is a whole lot less than the amount made by the studios from the shows that have gone off the air this week. So if it is 'stupid' for the writers to go out on strike over a trivial amount of money as Eisner claims, what does that say of the studios?

One possibility is that the strike is really about setting a precedent for future division of royalties but it seems much more likely to me that the money at stake here is very real.

The screenwriters are in a much stronger position than most strikers. Some writers are going to be missing a paycheck at the end of the week but most writers don't see a regular paycheck anyway, apart from their residuals checks that are going to come in anyway. And even though its officially 'pencils down', that only really means that the writers are not going to be delivering material to the studios. The writers can still work on non-script projects such as books, catching up on reading, administrative work, networking and such.

None of this really seems to make it through to reports of the strike in the establishment media.

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