What Is the Writers Guild Strike About?
by Deborah HrbekNovember 2007 © 2007 Hrbek Law LLC. All Rights Reserved. In the early hours of November 5, 2007, the 12,000+ members of the writers’ union, the Writers Guild of America (WGA), on both the east and west coasts, went on strike after the film and TV writers’ Minimum Basic Agreement (MBA) expired. The strike is over three major issues: 1. Writers’ residuals from DVD and home video sales. 2. Writers’ residuals from “new media” revenue. 3. Jurisdiction over made-for-new-media content. These are interesting times in the entertainment industry, as the owners of the old media – network TV and Hollywood film studios — grapple with the challenges of innovative media platforms, such as the Internet and mobile phones. Can the old formulas for revenue-sharing fairly be applied in the digital age? DVD/HOME VIDEO REVENUES: First, let’s put the debate into context. Residuals are a critical component of a writer’s income stream. The writers get paid a fee when they produce the written w