Understanding The Writers Strike

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Unless you live under a rock, you already know that the Writers Guild of America is on strike -- a move aimed at crippling the Motion Picture and Television industries. Since many major news outlets are controlled by the same organizations the writers are striking against, it is not surprising that people are not hearing the pittance for which the writers are asking. What follows is a selection of videos to explain the issue.

First, a simple explanation of the issues:

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Now, some humor from the writers of The Daily Show and The Colbert Report to drive the point home:

The Daily Show Writers:


YouTube Link

The Colbert Report Writers:

YouTube Link

To summarize, here are the issues discussed in the videos:

Back when home video was just starting out, the WGA agreed to a 4 cent (not percent) royalty per VHS tape of a movie or TV show. That same 4 cents has been applied to the now booming DVD market. Home video is anything but fledgling at this point. The writers would like the 4 cents bumped to an astounding 8 cents.

On Internet downloads, like those through iTunes and Amazon Unboxed, the writers receive no royalties at all. Nothing. Nada. Zip. Zilch. With the real prospect coming of many people watching TV exclusively on the Internet, the writers want to be cut in for their fair share. The studios assert that there's no money to be made from the Internet, but as The Daily Show's writers point out. Viacom is suing Google for $1 Billion for copyright infringement via YouTube. Viacom also claims that their online content, like TheDailyShow.com will generate $500 Million in revenue this year.

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