Thursday, November 08, 2007

Writers Guild of America Strike

So the WGA is on strike. What does this mean for us? Production on a good chunk of the television programs we watch each week has been shut down. You'll see the new episodes that were shot prior to the strike, and that will be it. Until things are resolved.

So, what is the issue? Basically, that common one for all those in the performing arts now that the Internet is around. The big studios are now offering their programming streamed for free on their websites (but only in America, we Canadians can't view them). The studios make money from this, because they run adds throughout the streaming. However, where they need to pay the writers when an episode is broadcast on television, they've found a handy loophole that allows them to not pay the writers when the show is aired on the Internet. They've also stopped showing reruns on the television for many programs, meaning that writers are facing pay cuts like you wouldn't believe. Take a look at this really good explanatory video:

The strike captains have also started an interesting blog:

So, why am I interested? Well, I like my TV. But more than that, it is yet another situation of giant corporations taking advantage of new technology to further take advantage of their workers. And that is always of interest.

And finally, because you know I love The Office, a fun video of the writers from the show, explaining the situation in their own special way:

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