Viewers finding new media alternatives, producers hoping to come to terms with writers before they lose the store

Funny as the producers are trying to end the strike as quickly as possible now that their viewer base is turning to the alternative media that this strike is all about.
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(1)It is an agreement that protects a future in which the Internet becomes the primary means of both content creation and delivery. It creates formulas for revenue-based residuals in new media, provides access to deals and financial data to help us evaluate and enforce those formulas, and establishes the principle that, "When they get paid, we get paid." - wrote Michael Winship, President of Writers Guild of America - East Coast and Patric M. Verrone, President of Writers Guild of America - West Coast in a joint letter to WGA members.
Not going to give many details, only that it's about time that the Producers made an effort to add new media to the contract, it's a bit confusing to me, as I'm sure it is for the Writers who are voting on it today. Hopefully the clips provided can explain the terms better. New media is in the language.
(2)Rafat Ali of Paid Content has gotten a hold of the terms, and, well, to say that the formulas are complex is a bit of an understatement. But we’ll try to boil it down some for you.

One of the main thrusts of the strike was the lack of residual payments for the use of written content via online sources, referred to as “new media”. Though most of the videos are streamed for free, the companies were collecting advertising revenue, with none of it going to the writers.

The proposed deal from the AMPTP is for the writers to receive initial payments for the first two minutes of a program; then a smaller fee for each additional minute past that, with the minimum payment being equal to the amount for the first two minutes. For dramas, it is $618 for the first two minutes, and $309 for each additional minute. For comedy-variety and daytime serials (soap operas), the payments will be $309 for the first two minutes, and $155 for each additional minute. There is also some question about how long the rights will be in effect. For free streams it is 13 weeks. For paid downloads it is 26 weeks.

Writer’s Guild of America

Now, if the content is original, and has a budget of over $25,000, there is an entirely separate set of rules that apply. For original content, it switches to percentages of the producer’s gross receipts for the product. Downloaded rentals of 1.2%; while sales are figured at .36% for the first 100,000 sales, and .7% for each additional sale on television programs, and .65% for feature films.

The numbers keep pouring in from there, all percentage based for up to two years of online usage of the products.

As we mentioned earlier today, television is losing ratings due to the strike, and online viewing seems to be picking up those missing viewers, so “new media” is truly an important point of contention for both sides. When the last strike happened in 1988, it lasted for 22 weeks. There was no alternative place for viewers to turn. But now with online content, producers are probably seeing that they could lose viewers permanently if they don’t hurry and settle the strike.

eFluxMedia (2) Mashable social network news
Related Links at UnionReview: WGA Articles

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