November 26, 2007

WGA Resume Talks Today

As the Writer's Guild of America strike enters it's fourth week, both parties involved in the negotiations are set to resume contract talks today. The WGA went on strike Nov. 5 over payment for TV shows and films being sold on Internet sites such as Apple Inc.'s iTunes.

Striking TV and movie writers kept up the pressure on studios by picketing and intensifying an Internet campaign that uses the very medium at issue in the contentious negotiations. On the other hand, studios, networks and producers, represented by the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers, say it is too early to know which business model will succeed on the Web. They want flexibility to experiment without having to be locked into payment formulas.

For the past three weeks, writers use social networking sites, including MySpace, Facebook and YouTube, to communicate among themselves, post short videos, create blogs etc

One of the most popular efforts has been the video "The Office is Closed," which was shot on the picket lines by Peter Rader. The video features the show's writer-producer Greg Daniels and cast members belittling a TV network claim that reuse of episodes on the Web is merely "promotional". That video as shown below was posted on YouTube and has been viewed more than 520,000 times.

Update: The next United Hollywood Live broadcast will be today, November 26th, from 12-1:30 p.m. Covering all aspects of the WGA strike, the interactive show will include interviews, live reports from the various picket lines and video clips. Visit United Hollywood for more details.

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