Actors Now Fighting For Royalties That Will Make It Harder For Big Studios To Compete

from the short-sighted dept

After the TV writers' strike from earlier this year, we noted that the final settlement actually was not in the best interest of the writers, even though they got much of what they wanted in demanding royalties from online usage of their content. The actors unions are now gearing up for that same battle, as well, as they, too, are demanding rights over online usage, including royalties and the right to demand permission before any of the works they appear in can be used online. It's difficult to feel sorry for Hollywood producers here -- as they very much brought this on themselves, convincing lots of people that they should get paid every single time any of their content was used. Thus, it's no surprise that the writers and the actors are now demanding the same rights.

However, just as it was wrong for the producers to be demanding a fee for every usage, so is it wrong for the writers and the actors to be demanding such a fee. All it will do is make it much more difficult, time consuming and expensive for any of that content to go online. And that will open up much wider opportunities for other content to go online instead, decreasing the overall value of the content made under these agreements. It's hard to fault the actors (like the writers) for looking out for their short-term interests and demanding the same sorts of things that the producers have demanded of everyone else -- but it's setting up a bad situation over the long-term, where the studios under these agreements won't be able to adapt to the changing media landscape.

Filed Under: actors, entertainment industry, hollywood, online, producers, royalties, streaming, strike

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  1. identicon
    ehrichweiss, 12 May 2008 @ 10:11am


    Instant Karma's gonna get you....

    I can't wait. Maybe this will signal the beginning of the collapse of the big studio movie industry altogether because, as you said, the independent studios are gonna get their content online much faster.

    I could also see a situation where the actors simply let their agent, or other semi-trusted entity, approve/deny permission for online use making the approve/deny process equally as redundant. I see the whole "permission" thing as laughable anyway because it means any one actor can have veto power if they don't like the final cut, or where it is being used. I don't see this situation ever occurring since if I can see it then surely someone at the studios can...but I have been wrong about that before.

    Either way, I'm pretty sure this is where the movie industry should realize that with the Pro-IP bill passing Congress...they could have their assets seized if they accidentally included something to which they didn't have permission from one of the actors. Imagine there suddenly is no MGM or WB because of one slip up. It wouldn't take long afterward for the pendulum to start swinging the other direction as a result.

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