Some of you may know this, some may not, but I’m not the biggest fan of the RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America) and MPAA (Motion Picture Association of America). Both organizations are still living in the stone age, refusing to figure out the new business model of entertainment distribution that incorporates such avenues as the Internet and other ways of self-promotion. Instead of trying to figure out how to survive in a changing world, the RIAA would rather use brutal legal actions and sue the pants off anyone that has illegally downloaded music from the net. Then you’ve got the MPAA who claimed college students accounted for 44% of the motion picture industry’s domestic losses only to later admit (after getting everyone up in a tizzy) that it was only 15%. The fact of the matter is, instead of looking to the Internet as a new way of doing business (as most other companies and organizations in the world have), they would rather stick to the old business model where they are able to control most aspects of creation and distribution, leaving the artists with nearly nothing while they reap the benefits.
This post isn’t about the RIAA or MPAA though. It’s about the Writer’s Guild strike that is going on. I’m sure you’ve all been aware of it in one fashion or another. I honestly don’t watch that much TV so I haven’t noticed a difference in quality among shows but I am aware of the strike. A friend of mine from high school (who happens to be a co-captain of the WGA in Georgia) made me aware of an interview that he had and that is posted on the web at the “What Is Goin’ On?” site. The interview is almost half and hour long so set aside some time. It is however quite enlightening and I suggest you listen to it.
One thing I did not know is that the Screen Actor’s Guild and the Director’s Guild both have contracts that are almost up. Soon they too will be negotiating with the greedy multi-billion dollar corporations that don’t want to share any of the wealth or adjust their business models to react to the use of the Internet as a distribution model.
To be honest, when I first heard of the strike I didn’t really know exactly what the strike was about and had a little trepidation in getting too up-in-arms because I figured it was another union trying to muscle a company or organization around. However, when I dug deeper into what was going on and realized the giant corporations didn’t want to share the revenue from shows that the writers wrote that were still bringing in revenue (just from a different source…the Internet), I got a wee bit upset. I now get to put another group into my “I loathe your attitude and reluctance to change with the times while trying to screw as many people as you can so you can keep as much money as you can even though your roles aren’t as relevant as they were before” club.
If you’ve got the time, listen to the podcast. Then find a way to help the writers…