Thursday, January 17, 2008

AMPTP deals with the DGA

In a surprising case of good news, the Directors Guild of America and the AMPTP have come to a quick resolution to their contract negotiations. A quick yet nonetheless groundbreaking resolution.

It was feared that in the currently hostile Hollywood environment that tensions from the WGA-AMPTP strike would spill over into the DGA negotiations, as is expected with the SAG-AFTRA talks to come this summer; however it thankfully did not. And its made all the more noteworthy in that many of the concessions the AMPTP seem to have made for the DGA are similar if not identical to what the WGA are asking for.

Read all about it here. According to the announcement the most significant points include:

- Increases to both wages and residual bases for each year of the contract.

- Establishment of DGA jurisdiction over programs produced for distribution on the Internet.

- Establishment of a new residuals formula for paid Internet downloads (electronic sell-through) that essentially doubles the rate currently paid by employers.

- Establishment of residual rates for ad-supported streaming and use of clips on the Internet.

Great news. So does this hurt? help? hinder? the WGA cause? I mean, while I want to take this as really good news, does it mean that the AMPTP can now say 'look writers, the DGA agreed to this, you better take this deal too'. even though just because its right for the Directors Guild doesn't mean it necessarily is for the writers? Frankly I could see this weakening the writers case. BUT... and it really is a big but, the simple admittance by the AMPTP that these things: proprietary internet content, value of those online goods, and online ad revenues, not only exist but are legitimately worth something speaks volumes. If the were even thinking of continuing to play the 'there's no value to online content' card, they've just destroyed their argument.

And hot on the heels of today's DGA news, the AMPTP has announced that it will be going back to the discussion table with the WGA. I would presume they will try to offer the WGA something similar to what they've given the directors. And hopefully, it will be enough. The writers themselves seem cautiously optimistic.

I stand by the writers regardless. If they don't think that the AMPTP is making them offers in good faith, or to the level that they want I would definitely want them to wait it out... will the rest of the public?

Lets hope it doesn't come down to that, and just be happy that this writers strike might finally be starting to come to an end.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...