Movie Industry: Live By Royalties, Die By Royalties

from the funny-how-that-works-out dept

One of the things that has always been part of the problem with the entertainment industry's business model is the idea that any time any of its content is used for anything, the industry needs to get paid. Most of the rest of the world works in a work-for-hire world. You get paid to do a job and then you're done. The factory worker gets his salary and doesn't make extra royalties every time one of the widgets he builds is sold or resold. Otherwise, you get weird situations with people whining that they need to keep getting paid for work they did 50 years ago. Of course, if you're from the entertainment industry (and I can already hear you readying your replies), you insist that this is how it must be done -- despite plenty of evidence that it need not be done this way (and that doing it that way can limit the potential market for the content). Apparently, however, the movie studios disagree with you. Well, partly. They agree that's how it must be done when they're getting paid money. So every time a movie is being shown or sold, you better believe the studios want their cut. However, the studios feels quite differently when they have to pay money out. That's why they're trying to negotiate residuals out of the new writers' contract. That's right. Suddenly, the movie industry that insists it must get paid for every possible use of a movie, doesn't think it makes sense to pay the writer after the initial set fee for writing the movie. It actually makes much more economic sense for the writers to be paid a straight fee with no residuals -- but it's a bit hypocritical for the Hollywood studios to claim it makes sense when it benefits them and doesn't when it costs them.


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  1.  
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    PaulT, Aug 7th, 2007 @ 3:28am

    It's a strange situation

    The treatment of writers in Hollywood always mystifies me. Without a script, there is no movie. Without a *good* script, it's almost impossible to make a good movie. However, writers always get a raw deal despite their key contribution. Funny how it's the opposite situation to the music industry, where the songwriters often get more royalties than performers.

     

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    Kevin, Aug 7th, 2007 @ 4:08am

    Not just writers, but actors too

    I'm usually anti-RIAA, MPAA, big entertainment business, yadda yadda. But I've seen some interesting writings about this topic from Wil Wheaton back when he held an office in SAG. A lot of the justification for residuals and such is based on the fact that not just the studios get paid, but the actors, writers, etc also get a piece of it. The rationale being that if most actors only got paid once for the work they did, they wouldn't make enough money to make being an actor worthwhile. That argument doesn't hold much water for the Tom Cruise or Julia Roberts types who make millions of dollars off of every picture, but big Hollywood stars are the exception to the rule. The vast majority of actors are bit players who you've never heard of who get paid scale for a couple of days work (or a couple weeks if they're lucky), and then have to go back to auditions for the next month. In that case, residuals actually help ensure that there are people there for those little jobs.

    Not that I think that Hollywood needs to get paid every time something of theirs is used. It makes sense that for a number of years they should get paid for replaying their movies/shows, assuming that part of the money trickles down to the bit players. But I'm still all for fair use and a limit to copyright as well.

     

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    Srg, Aug 7th, 2007 @ 4:09am

    Logic is flawed ...

    I agree with your "ideals" but I think that your logic is flawed. The factory worker is in "operations," a manager is in "management," ... Script-writers, composers, research scientists, artists are "creators." Every one has their own role within any industry. Their remuneration should reflect (and motivate) their different functions ...

     

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    Nasty Old Geezer, Aug 7th, 2007 @ 4:22am

    ROTFLMAO

    You said "hypocritical" and "Hollywood" as if they weren't synonyms. Next you'll say "ethics" or "morals" -- as if they exist on the Left Coast.

    Stop, you're killing me.......

     

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    micfo.com, Aug 7th, 2007 @ 5:03am

    Residual income for writer

    I think the studio should pay some extra amount or fix some residual income to the writer once the movie get good success ! -)
    -Bob

     

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    Cixelsid, Aug 7th, 2007 @ 5:18am

    Re: Residual income for writer

    Thanks for stating your rather insignificant opinion, Bob.

     

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    Chris, Aug 7th, 2007 @ 5:39am

    Writing for movies in hollywood is complex

    I think one of the reasons writers are not getting paid royalties on scripts is that most scripts are not written by one person. In a blockbuster script its possible to find lines written by over 15 people. Multiple drafts and rewrites (executed by an entirely new writer) are expected for movies especially when the studio gets involved. The idea or initial script is generally sold to the studio by an initial writer and then the studio hires other writers to tweak the piece as they see fit. Now it does all depend on the movie, and some writers are known for going from start to finish with their work, but there are many others who are known only for their ability to improve a script that is lacking.

    just my two cents

     

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    Joe Morrison, Aug 7th, 2007 @ 6:11am

    Re: Logic is flawed ...

    Engineers are research rarely (if ever) get royalties or residuals. Pretty much the only industry where you keep getting paid each time your creation is used is the entertainment industry.

     

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    Samuel, Aug 7th, 2007 @ 6:23am

    Software Developers

    Srg: I'm a software developer and an engineer. Like most artists, of every type, the majority of my work is nothing special though occasionally some of it is new and unique enough to recieve accolades and awards. Regardless, I DO create every day. Why should artists continue to earn money for every use of their creations when I do not? There are many software developers and engineers whose weekly "creations" dwarf my yearly accomplishments and quite a few that create things which surpass my lifetime's accomplishments. Many of their creations, and a few of my own, have made it into products which have demonstrably provided far greater benefit to mankind than ANY artistic work ever could. Why should artists continue to earn money when these people do not?

    I'm sure the answer many artists would give is that one is art the other isn't. I know that's true because I'm an artist too and I hear it all the time. It's a rediculous argument despite the clamour about the value of art in society. Until recent history artists were were considered tradesmen and craftsman. They had valuable talents yes, but they were paid by the gig only - as it should be. A few elitist con-men manipulated the rich and then the other classes to raise artists and their works' percieved value to society in order to cash in. Unfortunately the perception stuck.

     

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    Peter, Aug 7th, 2007 @ 6:27am

    Writers

    Writers? I thought the actors made up the words they were saying?

     

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    TravisO, Aug 7th, 2007 @ 6:36am

    Re: Re: Logic is flawed ...

    >> Engineers are research rarely (if ever) get royalties or residuals

    *cough* patent licenses *rough*

     

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    WhatTECH?, Aug 7th, 2007 @ 6:54am

    This has nothing to do with tech. Get off your anti-entertainment rants and report some news actual legal issues dealing with tech.

     

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    TheDock22, Aug 7th, 2007 @ 7:00am

    How would they live?

    How would actors be able to make a living if there were no royalties? They work a few hours a week (maybe more if it's a bigger movie) doing what they do best, living in fantasy land. They provide us with a couple hours of entertainment per movie, don't you think that is worth millions?

    *sarcasm out*

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 7th, 2007 @ 7:02am

    Re:

    IP in all its forms is very relevant to tech. May I suggest that if you don't find these particular posts interesting, go ahead and skip them. Personally, I appreciate the coverage.

     

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    TheDock22, Aug 7th, 2007 @ 7:03am

    Re:

    Idiot. The entertainment industry is starting to become more involved in the technological world. Beside, legal issues dealing with technology are not the only newsworthy stories in the technology field.

     

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    Kevin, Aug 7th, 2007 @ 7:17am

    I'm not sure that you can necessarily compare it t

    In the cases of engineers, programmers, factory workers, managers, etc, the assumption is that they are all employed by a company that pays them a regular paycheck for that work. If you happen to be a creative type in the technical field who is independent, i.e., not regularly employed, then you are certainly welcome to license or charge for your creations at whatever price and under whatever terms the market will bear. And as pointed out by someone else, there are patents and licenses to make sure that people in that position can continue to get paid for their creations.

    But independent actors (or screenwriters) are almost universally independent. If they can't get some sort of income for the commercial re-use of their creations, then what motivates their functions? If only the very top few people can afford to make a living at acting/writing then we'll have a lot fewer actors/writers.

    My line of thinking is this:

    1. Copyright is a good thing, because it ensures that people who create can earn from their creation. This assumes that there are reasonable limits on the duration and scope of copyrights.

    2. Copyright allows the studios to continue to make money from a movie/tv show after it's initial release.

    3. While studios pony up the money for most productions, they are rarely the creators. The writers/directors/actors are. Incidentally, these are also the people least likely to be regular employees of a studio/production company and therefore the ones least likely to get a regular paycheck.

    4. The studios should be forced to share the residuals with the creators of the work (actors/writers/directors/etc). Otherwise it is the studios who profit from the creative efforts of others.

    I don't think that there's anything wrong with the above, as long as there are reasonable limits to the copyright. It gives an incentive to create new works, distribute new works, etc, and makes sure that everyone involved in creation and distribution gets a slice of the pie.

    I know some people are morally opposed to letting people profit multiple times from a single creation, but I honestly don't think that there's a problem with it as long as it's done reasonably. In a lot of cases, it's the ability to continue to profit from works over a period of time that makes them financially viable to begin with.

     

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    WhatTECH?, Aug 7th, 2007 @ 7:29am

    Re: Re:

    Really? Because last time I checked this website was called Techdirt. Everything is getting more involved in the technology field.

     

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    artguy, Aug 7th, 2007 @ 7:41am

    Assuming risk

    What people seem to leave out of the royalty discussion is the assumption of risk. If you create something out of nothing you are taking a chance that there will be little or no compensation. Royalties compensate creators based on the profitability of a creation over time.
    Sure, you can take a lump sum payment or a salary from someone who can afford the risk. But thats not always the best way to extract value from a project if you can afford the risk of failure.
    It's not about being art or elite, although people on both sides of the discussion would like to make it so.

     

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    Srg, Aug 7th, 2007 @ 7:53am

    Logic is flawed ... and not the "Ideals"

    Samuel, Joe: What I wished to express in my comment was that you can't stick the remuneration of "factory workers" to a "Script Writer" ("Manager," "Researcher" etc). whilst expressing no stance on whether the current remuneration system is good or bad. -- I just thought that the fixed monthly payment that the factory worker gets just wouldn't work for script writers (and the rest). -- Indeed, as for Samuel's argument I would agree with you ...

     

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    Monarch, Aug 7th, 2007 @ 7:57am

    I worked in the entertainment industry in Hollywood. I can tell you that not everyone who works on a movie or TV show gets residuals. In fact the majority of the people who work behind the camera do NOT get any residuals, and they also have to continue to look for work once the production is over.
    Actors used to get regular paychecks from studios, John Wayne did, and that's why he has so many movies under his belt.

    Actors rebelled and wanted freedom, it wasn't until the late 60's and early 70's that actors started receiving residuals from the productions they were in. Basically, all the unions, as unions do everywhere, destroyed the structure of the entertainment industry, and not just the actors guilds.
    There is a plethora of talented actors in Hollywood, however the majority of them can't get a break. Get rid of residuals, and some of them might get that break they need or want. Let the greedy studios get their money, as they always will in the end anyway.

    Maybe they will start backing down on trying to gouge the average paying citizen if they aren't being gouged by their own employees. Highly unlikely, but maybe.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 7th, 2007 @ 7:58am

    So not only are they...

    trying to buy (from politicians) an eternal welfare system for the entertainment industry but now they are even turning on the very people that make their hit movies possible. And isn't funny that all these royalties are getting paid to the excutives themselves?


    But if it weren't for the fact that a lot of writers would get screwed out of money I'd say let them have their way with those new contracts...and then see how long it takes for writers to simply stop signing those new contracts. Yeah they can rig those contracts to say whatever they want but they make the writers sign them.

    And I'd like to see the day that other industries start coming after the enteraintment industry for similar royalties:

    General Electric wanting to get paid for each time a recording studio uses their already paid for lights.

    Car (or any product) companies wanting to get paid every time a movie is played with their cars (or products) in it. I'd like to hear Pontiac, Ford, Hummer, and Chevy have this conversation with the recording studio behind Transofrmers.

    Or my favorite. Does this mean that movie studios should be paying media player manufacturers? Because without all those Magnavox, Pioneer, Toshiba....ect. players out there there would be no way to watch all those movies right?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 7th, 2007 @ 8:06am

    Re: Not just writers, but actors too

    i believe that ur argument is flawed:

    ur saying that for the big actors the residual income isnt so important cause they get million dollar contract but for the smaller actors it makes a difference.

    to my knowledge only the big actors get a residual income the smaller actors just get there salary for said scene or movie if they have a major part.

     

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    William, Aug 7th, 2007 @ 8:09am

    Makes sense

    Some script writers have more in common with factory workers than a real (starving artist) writer. In the case of works created for hire the company that commissioned them owns the copyright. They really should roll the length of copyright back to the original 14 years set out in the constitution.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 7th, 2007 @ 8:16am

    > Actors used to get regular paychecks from studios, John
    > Wayne did ... Actors rebelled and wanted freedom,
    > it wasn't until the late 60's and early 70's that actors
    > started receiving residuals...

    The decline of the contract actor/studio system was certainly part of the demand for residuals, but an even bigger reason was technological.

    In the heyday of movies, say the 1930's to mid-50's, once a movie had been through first- and second-run theaters, it was so much celluloid in a can. Residuals were basically irrelevant, because there essentially was no income after the movie had had its day on the screen, for the vast majority of films. Most of John Wayne's movies from his prolific contract days were shown and forgotten during his lifetime.

    It wasn't until the advent of TV that the studios realized that they were sitting on a gold mine of old movies which hadn't been shown in decades. That's when residuals started to become an issue - the studios were making money renting movies for TV viewing, and the actors and writers wanted a cut. Even then, though, the number of times a movie would be shown was limited.

    The second wave came when home video became possible with VCRs, videodisk, DVD, etc. For the first time, a movie could be sold over and over again, not just for one Monday Night Movie a year but every day in every town in America. All of a sudden people all down the chain began to view movies as ongoing day-in/day-out cash generators.

     

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    Anonymous Sloth, Aug 7th, 2007 @ 8:39am

    Re: Re: Not just writers, but actors too

    1. He is right, and you are wrong.
    2. Learn to spell.

     

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    Chris, Aug 7th, 2007 @ 8:40am

    Re: Re: Re: Logic is flawed ...

    Aren't the patent licenses usually held by the companies ho employ the engineers? It's been my impression that those residual earnings don't tend to get passed on to the workers as much as to the CEOs...

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 7th, 2007 @ 8:41am

    Re: Re: Residual income for writer

    Aww, he must be new here.

     

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    Samuel, Aug 7th, 2007 @ 8:46am

    Re:Travis O

    >>*cough* patent licenses *rough*

    Sorry Travis, but 99.9999% of all code written isn't patentable and most the rest, as we all know, shouldn't be. Second, patents don't give you a lifetime (and then a considerable some) guarantee of earnings with every USE (in many cases). Thirdly, for the vast majority of engineers and programmers anything they "create" becomes the property of their employer and any residual income from patents and licenses goes into the employers pockets.

     

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    Chris, Aug 7th, 2007 @ 8:57am

    Re: Software Developers

    As a creator of visual fine art, I'm a bit offended by this assertion that one is "an artist" immediately followed by a diatribe on how art isn't worthwhile. Are you saying all creative effort is junk, or just mine? I suppose I'm a dreamer for thinking culture, communication and beauty important...

    Regardless, I don't think a developer should be getting paid forever after for every use of their code, sorry. It doesn't make sense for them or for me any more than it does for the studios, and it seems to me that folks like us arguing we should get royalties because they do obscures the fact that it doesn't make economic or cultural sense for anyone to control the flow of ideas and information the way current copyright and patent laws enable certain industries to do.

     

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    Chris, Aug 7th, 2007 @ 10:11am

    RE: I'm not sure that you can compare it

    }} 3. While studios pony up the money for most productions, they are rarely the creators. The writers/directors/actors are. Incidentally, these are also the people least likely to be regular employees of a studio/production company and therefore the ones least likely to get a regular paycheck.

    Oh, you mean like a IT contractor or consultant, or perhaps contracted programmers? Someone who works based on the need of his potential clients? If I work as a contracted programmer I am being creating something, but I generally just get paid per hour, or task.

    }} 4. The studios should be forced to share the residuals with the creators of the work (actors/writers/directors/etc). Otherwise it is the studios who profit from the creative efforts of others.

    I strongly diagree. The studios shouldn't be forced to do anything. They should have the freedom to contract or employee people with any conditions that people will accept. I do think what they are trying to do is hypocritical, but I don't see anything wrong with it. If you don't think you are getting a good pay for the work you are doing, you can choose to do something else or work with group of people so you have a better negotiating position.

    In IT, and almost every other field there are 'creators' that don't get paid for every time their creation is used. A Microsoft programmer doesn't get a cut of the money every time Word is sold or used, the investors get a cut.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 7th, 2007 @ 10:46am

    Actors/engineers and constant paychecks.

    yes production workers earn a constant salary. however so do actors. they work on a movie... get paid and have to look for another job.

    it's like an engineer that has to reapply with his company after he does a project. or when a factory worker gets moved from procution to packaging or w/e.

    but once they leave, they aren't entitled to any compensation for items they created/designed or w/e.

     

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    vargas, Aug 7th, 2007 @ 10:55am

    I strongly agree with most of the other posters here. The only industry where people expect to continue to get paid for their work every time somebody wants to play, see, hear or perform said work even years later is in the entertainment industry. I

    t wasn't always that way. A very long time ago actors, musicians, artists and other creators were paid by the job! Like everybody else. Elitist arguments like "well art is different from other kinds of work" are nonsensical and don't hold water.

    I think they should go back to working for hire. Nobody else expects to get paid by royalties. I'm a writer and once I've created an article or story, I get paid for it once and move on to the next job. People can feel free to use my works as long as they give credit where credit is due. They don't have pay me over and over again to read, refer to or use my work in their own projects.

     

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    Charles Griswold, Aug 7th, 2007 @ 10:58am

    Re: ROTFLMAO

    Next you'll say "ethics" or "morals" -- as if they exist on the Left Coast.
    Much as it may shock you, the West Coast does not exist entirely of greedy Hollywood execs and Christine Gregoire, just like not all conservatives are Michael Savage. I should know. I'm a moral, ethical, West-Coast-dwelling conservative.

    So stop making us conservatives look like a bunch of knee-jerk, close-minded bigots, okay?

     

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    Kevin, Aug 7th, 2007 @ 11:33am

    Re: RE: I'm not sure that you can compare it

    to my knowledge only the big actors get a residual income the smaller actors just get there salary for said scene or movie if they have a major part.

    You're confusing residuals with points. Big name actors can often negotiate for a cut of the box office take, video sales, etc. Those are points. Residuals are payments made for re-showings and sales that are distributed to all of the actors (at least the ones in SAG). Oh, you mean like a IT contractor or consultant, or perhaps contracted programmers? Someone who works based on the need of his potential clients? If I work as a contracted programmer I am being creating something, but I generally just get paid per hour, or task.

    If you're not happy with your contracts then you can always negotiate for better ones. Unfortunately for you, most companies looking for contract/consultant work are looking for a person, any person, who can do some specific task. Whereas in Hollywood they're looking a person with a specific look and sound and body type and voice and acting ability and so on who can play a specific role the way a single person envisioned it. That makes contract programmers less scarce and more interchangeable than most actors.

    Think about what happens if you eliminate residuals in the future. The income that actors receive from residuals goes away, and instead that money goes in the pockets of the studios. That's what the studios want, because it's a short-term game. But if the actors' incomes from residuals goes down, then their rates for work will probably most likely go up to compensate for it. Either that, or each actor will have to negotiate individually with studios for contracts for higher pay or a cut of residuals. It would almost be easier if there were some sort of standard for this...oh wait, there is.

     

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    Nasty Old Geezer, Aug 7th, 2007 @ 11:57am

    Re: Re: ROTFLMAO

    My apologies for offending you. I have relatives on the West Coast who are also good people.

    By "LEFT Coast" I mean exclusively the pseudo-liberal entertainment types -- greed masked as virtue, committments made on tissue paper, lies as a way of life.

     

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    Zach, Aug 7th, 2007 @ 1:24pm

    Re: Not just writers, but actors too

    The "bit players" don't get residuals. Anybody working scale is cut out of all the money that the studios get later. Scale is by definition a flat amount for each day worked.

     

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    yardape6, Aug 7th, 2007 @ 4:26pm

    Re: WhatTECH?

    Why don't you just stop clicking on the stories? I for one really enjoy these articles. Just because you have the ability to comment, doesn't mean you should.

     

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    Dalane, Aug 7th, 2007 @ 5:31pm

    Why is entertainment so important

    I am saddened by the lengthy discussions about why a millionaire deserves or doesn't deserve more money. I am disturbed by the argument that if we do not give enough money to “artists” that they will not be able to craft their art. Hear me out I am an admirer of the arts and I can appreciate the time and talent it takes to create in any form of art. Why do we feel the need to support it? When was the last time a box office hit could be considered “beautiful” or better yet original? Really if we stop spending millions of dollars on mindless entertainment we win the argument. If you are unwilling to stop spending all that money on entertainment then shut-up!!!! You have no right to complain about what they do with the money you gave them.
    P.S. No one ever said they had to be actors.

     

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    Calix, Aug 8th, 2007 @ 9:39am

    We're not like you ordinary folk, really ...

    As someone who has a dog in this particular fight (I'm a burgeoning screenwriter and producer, so I'm playing both sides of the fence on this one) I'm fine with letting the market decide what my services are worth. I'm still confused as to why Intellectual Property should be treated any different than Real Property; if I buy a lot and build an apartment building on it, should I only be allowed to collect rents for 14 years per the Constitution, then anyone who wants to can use my building however they want? If I create something, then I own it, and I should be able to legally negotiate control of if and how it's used - I can sell it complete and outright, I can create it paid hourly as a work-for-hire, I can sell first publishing rights to a magazine for an article but retain all other rights - it's my creation, I should be able to exploit it however I want, with the given that the marketplace of buyers can also decide how it wants to compensate me (short of outright theft.) A free market works with buyers and sellers agreeing on what something is worth, be it the WGAw and AMPTP hammering out residual agreements, the studios selling their content to the marketplace, or the engineer selling his skills by the hour to the corporation. You engineers want residuals? Negotiate them! This discussion particularly belongs in Techdirt, because the underlying reality of this whole negotiation is that AMPTP doesn't want to give up any of that juicy revenue stream that waits around the corner if/when someone figures out how to effectively monetize digital distribution of filmed content on the Internet ... but the bottom line is that the WGAw will get royally screwed as usual (no condom, no KY Jelly) because they're a eunuch who always caves in; and the fate of the AMPTP isn't far behind because they're still entrenched in the old way of thinking of revenue generation which is increasingly irrelevant in the digital age. Now the really important question is this: can someone explain to me how to afford a house in Bel Air as a screenwriter in the new millennium?

     

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    Adam, Aug 8th, 2007 @ 2:39pm

    Re: anti-union lunacy

    So you think that if unions were to dissolve that more actors would get breaks?
    I'll let you in on a secret that everyone knows about organized labor. If there were no unions then all these actors you think would be "get that break" would be paid even less than they are now. Companies, whether they are studios or coal mining companies, will pay as little as possible so that they take home the most money. This is done on the backs of working people.
    I realize that the exorbitant amount of money that writers/actors/directors (not to mention athletes) make is skewing this view. My point is, regardless of how much the artist is making, the studio head is making the lions share in spite of the fact that these movie wouldn't exist without these artists.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  41.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 21st, 2007 @ 9:11am

    Re: Re: Residual income for writer

    It was better than what you added to the discussion, internet troll

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  42.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 12th, 2007 @ 3:51pm

    Re: Re: Not just writers, but actors too

    This is simply not true.

    I am an actor who works for scale quite a bit. And then I get residuduals when a TV show is re-run.

    If you are an extra, you get no residuals.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  43.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 12th, 2007 @ 3:56pm

    Re: So not only are they...

    Car companies and other companies actually pay studios/producers/productions to put their cars or soap or cereal into films. It's called product placement, and it's use is broadening from all levels of film (from indie to studio) to television as well.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  44.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 12th, 2007 @ 4:23pm

    Re: Re: RE: I'm not sure that you can compare it

    In support of your second point, I refer to Friends. Since it was a 10-year ratings topper, you surely know it's a sitcom written by very clever, funny, excellent writers. If you change the writers, you change the tenor of the show. The show revolved around 6 characters, played by 6 now-well-known actors. If you change out one of the actors, you change the chemistry of the relationships and therefore the entire show. Without those specific writers and those specific actors, that show probably wouldn't have been such a hit.

    The fact of Friends being such a hit is the combination of the writing and the acting, and the studio that produced it made a TON of money. So the actors joined together and negotiated their first contract renewal to a phenomenal $1M per episode (which, let me tell you, is WAAAAAY above scale) for each of the 6 of them. This is not because they are greedy bastards who always want moremoremore. It is because they recognized the market value of their work. If the studio was going to rake in dollars, they should get a piece of it, because without them, the studio wouldn't get those dollars; therefore, *they* make the difference.

    By the way, as an actor who usually works for scale, I'd just like to state for the record that most actors don't make bazillions of dollars. The few who do make it look like all actors get paid that much, but we don't. It can be difficult, grueling work, and it's really much harder to do than most people think it is. The good actors make it look easy, but it's not.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  45.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 12th, 2007 @ 4:29pm

    Re:

    "I think they should go back to working for hire. Nobody else expects to get paid by royalties. I'm a writer and once I've created an article or story, I get paid for it once and move on to the next job. People can feel free to use my works as long as they give credit where credit is due. They don't have pay me over and over again to read, refer to or use my work in their own projects."

    If you work live, you do get paid for the gig and that's it. Actors who originate roles on Broadway don't get residuals when someone else plays the role -- it's done. It's only when you add technology (life filming or recording) that residuals are involved, because then a producer/studio is using my "one-time" performance again and again.

    If someone wanted to reprint your article in a book, would you expect to get paid?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  46.  
    identicon
    Kyle, Jul 16th, 2008 @ 12:54pm

    Why Royalties Exist

    Royalties exist because the law insists that recreations/reproductions/imitations of creative works be paid for as a licensing fee. It makes perfect sense for Hollywood studios to demand money for the usage of their movies, because they OWN the rights to the creative work. If someone else owned the rights, then they should receive royalties as well.

    As someone above also mentioned, portions of these royalties get paid to others involved in the creative process, from directors and producers for a job well done, to writers for their creative products, to actors for the usage of their likeness. However, the lighting guy doesn't get paid for his job, because its not a form of intellectual property nor is he contractually entitled to royalties. He's a day laborer and is paid as such.

    Similarly, your factory worker building the widget is simply a laborer with no contract guaranteeing him any rights to future payments. HOWEVER, the inventor/engineer who designed the widget and patented it does receive future payments, because its his intellectual property. Now it was messed up that the studios tried to withhold some of the royalties from New Media from the writers, but in the end justice prevailed. So let's all embrace an economic situation that allows us to get rich for something we haven't worked on in years. :-)

    -K

    p.s. Check this out for more info on how Hollywood royalties and residuals work.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  47.  
    identicon
    rendom, Jan 6th, 2009 @ 4:08am

    megaupoad downloading

    One of the best file centers is Megaupload! For a proper search and downloading use http://megaupload.name/

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  48.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 24th, 2010 @ 3:29pm

    Re: Logic is flawed ...

    The analogy works with factory workers. The situation is much like an inventor who certainly should get royalties. You never know how useful an invention will be, so if the inventor of say pennicillin sells it for mere pennies and it makes it big, how is that fair? Likewise, the situation could easily arise whereby the inventor KNOWS the large value of the invention, but cannot convince anyone to pay its true value and/or nobody can afford to pay it. That would all but stop the most useful of inventions / creations / movies / music / etc from being produced.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  49.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 24th, 2010 @ 3:35pm

    Re: Re: Logic is flawed ...

    Royalties allow creations of unknown value to be produced without a huge upfront investment / risk. If this weren't possible, that Clint Eastwood film would NEVER have gone to the big screen :P

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  50.  
    identicon
    Conison, Jul 5th, 2011 @ 6:01pm

    Re: RE: I'm not sure that you can compare it

    need 12 movies to be moved up to dialogue from storylines

    then they will be turned into storyboards

    then cameras will be arranged for direction notes

    actor notes
    director notes

    dialogue is only what is needed
    modern movie business

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  51.  
    identicon
    neonleon, Apr 3rd, 2012 @ 9:03pm

    Re: I'm not sure that you can necessarily compare it t

    Im working on a huge movie and I am the creator, so your words about copyrighting has given me joy unspeakable. Thanks, I'll let God bring the right people to my doorstep so I can complete the movie but everyone is getting an NDA or they will never see the script.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  52.  
    icon
    EcoMike (profile), Oct 27th, 2012 @ 5:08am

    Re:

    WTF are you blabbering about?

    You DO know that RONALD REAGAN was the big honcho of the SAG right?

    So how are unions bad policy in Saint Ronald was there?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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