"Wait, I thought your industry supported over 2 million people? Methinks The Dodd will be visiting you soon."
I forgot who first came up with the meme that "2.2 million people are supported by the film industry", but I actually think I agree with it if you change the wording a little bit.
350,000 has been given as the number of people employed by the U.S. film industry. You could think of this as the number of workers who receive most or all of their year's income from their work in the industry. Now think of the nursery that annually makes a quarter of their gross sales to the film greens department, the lumberyard that ships more truckloads out to the film construction department than anything else, the restaurant across from the backlot that fills up with film workers every lunchtime, all the people who derive a significant amount of their yearly income from the movie, but if the film business went away, they wouldn't necessarily be busted, but would see a significant economic downturn.
You could say "2.2 million people derive a significant amount of their income from the film and TV industries".
""I'd like to keep working as a union grip, making $22.00"
Ha ha you are getting ripped off. 22/hr, in Phila area its more like 36. And do it on a Sunday that's a holiday and its double time and a half. Rigging over 35' brings in 350 for the in/out, 700 for the day.
You dont do concerts? Time to contact your local IATSE rep and diversify. Contact your local lighting/sound company as well. Contact the Teamsters and load/un-load trucks."
It sounds like you are a member of a mixed stagehand local that also covers movie work. In my city they are 2 separate locals, and I'm in both. I haven't taken stagehand calls in a while though as I've been lucky enough to get movie/TV work. Working as a stagehand is kind of plan B for me.
$350.00 uprigging for an in!!!??? That's like $87.00 an hour! I haven't checked in a while but in my city upriggers get like $26.00 an hour with a four hour minimum and we usually get the in done in 4-6 hours and the out in under 4. Looking at $250-350 for the day. Yeah, rates have always been higher in the big cities, especially the old Northeastern ones. Kudos to you, but not everyone enjoys those kind of contracts.
Note to others reading this: we are discussing theatrical/arena work here, i.e. concerts and live shows. This does not relate to movie/TV work.
"1) Option 1: be indispensable at your job.
2) Option 2: Learn and get better in your field (promotion: cha-ching)
3) Option 3: learn a new profession. (This is what I have done four times)"
It's hard to be indispensable in such competitive business, but that's what I strive to do, constantly! (As an aside: I draw the line at using information as power, as that is just another form of intellectual monopoly)
Constantly learning, constantly striving to get better. Promotions, a little. It's pretty closed in. With so many highly qualified people it's tough.
Yes we all may have to learn a new profession at times. Would rather not. Would prefer to advance in the one I'm in, but our economic system does not always give us the best choices does it.
I am the o.c. of the above referenced thread. To those who wish to "track my crap", I wasn't signed in with my un because I was unaware I could log in while on my iphone.
I feel like we are making some progress here, at least we all may get some other perspectives on the issues.
Mike, I am gratified that you personally responded to my comments, but you still haven't addressed my question: Do you recognize the difference economically between a $30mil feature film employing hundreds of people at family wages for months as compared to a $30,000 straight to internet production where most of the crew worked for free, for low wages or "on spec" and in the end perhaps a handful of people derived significant income to support themselves? Do you think "crowdfunding" is going to scale so much as to support 350,000 workers year after year? I agree that these are exciting new paradigms and I fully support them, but I don't see them replacing the mainstream production community any time soon.
I also want to reiterate my call for a lot of you to start differentiating big media corporations ("legacy gatekeepers"), from the rank and file, blue collar workers, many of us unionized, who actually toil and make a living making movies and TV. WE ARE NOT THE ENEMY! We are victims of a predatory capitalistic economy just like many of you. I paid dues for years, worked on low/no budget indies for crap wages, constantly honed my craft, networked and hustled, and now I can support my family decently and not much better. Most of the the 350,000 film workers we're talking about are similar to me. I don't have any respect for the MPAA. I protested loudly against SOPA, PIPA, and now ACTA and TPP. The executives of Warner Bros or NBC/Universal have no more in common with me than the executives of Microsoft or Adobe do with a lowly tech support guy or software engineer. Please stop lumping us in with those guys.
So some of you are telling me my job is doomed and I'm going to have to re-train and find another line of work, well that's fair, it's one possible future, but it bothers me that some of you seem happy about it. You know, I feel sorry for the autoworkers. I have genuine sympathy for the family farmers. I have compassion for the millions of Americans who have lost their jobs to sweatshop factory workers overseas. I recognize reality, and I have not had it easy in life (at least by American standards), but I'm not celebrating the plunging of the entire world into substandard wages and working conditions.
re: How often do holds/filibusters/cloture really happen
"Voting for cloture because your party or leadership asks, but still opposing the measure happens all of the time. It just happened on the jobs bill."
I'm very interesting in more info about this. Specifically: how often do holds occur? How many bills are on hold right now (and their are two kinds, regular, as Sen. Wyden's is, and secret, as Sen. Wyden has opposed).
It was difficult to find this information on the web, is any site tracking this?
Congresspersons are not, on average, more intelligent than the kid who mows your lawn. They are elected because they are good looking (or were at one time), charismatic, and good at talking. It's been pointed out numerous times how un-tech savvy the majority of our lawmakers are -I am appalled that some of them would brag about their ignorance while debating such an important issue!
On Capitol Hill, only one thing matters more than constituent's opinions: campaign contributions. And the entertainment lobby is making a lot of them.
"So how many people signed the petition? How many members do those unions have? How many people who signed petition are actually members of those unions?"
Yeah, the tidal wave of opposition is overwhelming...
It would be difficult to design a petition that validated each signature as a bona-fide union member, but if you look in the comments with many of the signatures you will see people giving the number of their local. Also note that there is no facebook or twitter share links on the petition (a convenience I have come to consider a norm, and the reason I haven't shared it yet). If this petition was being emailed to every union member's inbox you can bet there would be a lot of signatures!
"Teamsters don't care about copyright.
They move furniture and drive."
But they like their entertainment as much as anyone else. I'll bet the majority of teamsters have listened to some kind of copyright infringing work on the job in the last year, whether it's a CD a friend burned them or some mp3's on someone's player. Like I say, they are not known for being tech-savvy or politically sophisticated though.
"Actors are more concerned about residuals than copyright."
Basically the same thing for purposes of this discussion.
"There are plenty of people who earn their living working in the content creation industry who support SOPA."
This is true, and one of the things I've been wondering is do they constitute a minority or a majority? I'm pretty sure it's a minority but I have no way of validating that. I'll confine my comments to blue-collar workers in the movie and TV industry since that's where I work: I would like to see a referendum vote taken, of the rank and file union members as to whether they support SOPA, BUT ONLY AFTER the opposition of SOPA has a year to freely distribute literature, talk openly, educate people as to the drawbacks, hold public debates, spread propaganda etc., JUST LIKE THE PROPONENTS HAVE done through union channels. People like me are afraid to even speak about the issue on the job because we're afraid of getting fired (I work for a major studio who is very much a SOPA supporter), but the proponents can express their views openly with the blessing of the employer! How could anyone propose to take a fair referendum vote under these circumstances? (Not that anyone is moving to do that, just hypothetically).
Actually I think it's very telling that so many union members are staying silent on the issue given the amount of pro-SOPA/PIPA propaganda that has been directed at them.
"Actually, the part of SOPA that will make an impact is holding the payment processors and ad services accountable....Get rid of the easy money and the legitimate access points will not have to compete with free"
I somewhat agree. The OPEN proposal also aims to choke off the payments and does it with (arguably) a much better regard for due process. I (tentatively) support OPEN. I disagree that torrents will not be an ongoing issue, though, because once the video streaming and file-locker sites have been tamped back a bit we will see torrenting make a comeback, aided by easy to use clients that make the interface as simple as the sources they replace. Torrents are the biggest economic problem in fighting piracy; since it is so cheap to facilitate them people do it as a hobby, a few banner ads can support the bandwidth for an index site. I don't think there's any way to stop torrents cold either (and why would we want to...they have many good uses including making "Internet 2.0" faster...). I think there will be a lot of collateral damage trying to stop torrents though, I can't see any next step in this DNS blocking madness other than outlawing encryption, and by extension privacy in general.
I'll be interested to see if the numbers on this petition improve any over the weekend.
If a website is blocked under SOPA, will acessing it through a non us isp or using direct ip by modifying the hosts file be illegal?
Well it seems common sense that if you are outside the U.S. using a local ISP you would be outside the jurisdiction of U.S. law. I'm not sure there are many practical ways to use a non U.S. ISP if you are inside the U.S., dial-up I guess but how would you get a broadband connection?
Modifying the hosts file would seem to be illegal since that would qualify as a "circumvention tool" which is specifically made illegal. It has made me wonder how they propose to enforce that since it's so ridiculously easy to do. Perhaps they think to pressure OS/browser makers to make the hosts file uneditable in some way?
I have been working in the motion picture and TV industry for 14 years and have been a union member for 12. First of all let me say I am glad to see this petition. Very much against SOPA/PIPA and will be signing it right away and also publicizing it at my next union meeting. I do want to take issue with some points made in this thread:
"i do not for one second believe that these union members etc didn't know that the unions themselves had signed up in support of SOPA and PIPA. so, why has it taken so long for union members to 'come out of the closet', speak their minds and ask that the unions stop their support?"
I think you overestimate how "tuned in" to current events most union members are. Remember most of us work full time jobs in a blue collar environment (I work 60-70 hours a week), we are not sitting in front of a computer all day, and PIPA/SOPA have not been that well reported in the mainstream press. My experience is that union members tend to be honest, hard working salt-of-the-earth types but not necessarily tech savvy or politically sophisticated. I myself didn't become aware of PIPA until the middle of last year, and that was only after about the 4th wave of propaganda from IATSE intl. landed in my in box and I decided to check out what the heck they were talking about. I was appalled and begin agitating within my union against the bill. Even now when I talk to other members about it, the majority have little or no clue what these bills really entail. And if they have read anything at all it's likely come from IATSE, which basically regurgitates propaganda from MPAA and USCOC. The rank and file of the unions are just now becoming aware of the issues.
"When you're petitioning your union to stop siding with your employers, isn't it time to start questioning who your union is really working for?"
It is very dismaying. While I think it is a bad mistake for IATSE's leaders to support SOPA/PIPA, I do think it is an honest mistake. We are entering an era when corporations will try to bust the unions. I see this as an attempt to curry favor with the corporations, form alliances that can stave that off. IATSE and the Teamsters will be entering a fight with employers this year over health benefits. Some of IATSE's health insurance funding comes from residuals on TV reruns and DVD sales (although I have been unable to figure out just how significant a percentage this is -if someone knows, please say). Like so many other people, we will be fighting for our economic lives in the future and our leaders are almost frantic to do anything they can to save us.
"This is precisely why I AM against Unions. They served a purpose at some point in the past, but now they're just cruft at best."
I couldn't disagree more. I think the unions are just as relevant as ever. I think it's inadequate protection against corporate greed and avarice, but it's all we've got. It's true there have been mistakes made (and this is one of them), but that doesn't obviate the whole purpose of the unions. I will agree that the structure and functioning of the unions is often stodgy, conservative and seems always to be about 20 years behind the times. I am hoping that as younger and more progressive people filter into leadership positions, the culture of the unions will change. We really need to enter the 21st century.