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post #10951 of 97109 Old 11-01-2007, 08:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DoubleDAZ View Post

Guess I didn't understand all the in's and out's before I took a side. Either way, I agree with bicker1 on grand-fathering current contracts, but you've shed new light on the subject. If the FCC runling stands, it seems that no one will wire a complex anymore and the residents will really be stuck then. Who is going to spend that kind of money without some expectation of a profit? I always thought the complex did the wiring, just like my home builder did on my house, and then contracted with a cableco/satco.

If these contracts were disallowed, the complex would do the wiring. The only reason they didn't is because the cablecos offered in return for a contract.

I think the contracts suck, and I don't have a problem striking any down that prevent tenants from having a choice of provider...however, in the case that the cableco invested in the infrastructure, I'd say tough luck, the deal was done and the cableco deserves the right to continue the contract. Regardless, any cable-paid wiring should remain exclusively for use by the cableco. If another competitor wants to come in, they can run separate wiring.
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post #10952 of 97109 Old 11-01-2007, 08:27 PM
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The 2007-2008 Season
Writers Strike Announcement On Friday; Actors Agree To Join WGA Picket Lines; AMPTP Says 'No Progress Can Be Made'
By Nikki Finke of LA Weekly in her deadlinehollywood.com blog - Nov. 1, 2007

LIVE-BLOGGING: I just heard from a source attending tonight's Writers Guild Of America general membership meeting that the timing of the writers strike will be decided tomorrow morning, then announced in the afternoon. Insider says the Screen Actors Guild will be joining the WGA picket lines, and that SAG has been in the backroom with the writers guild in all the negotiations. The WGA leadership said they waited until the writers contract expired at midnight on October 31st to see if the Alliance of Motion Picture & Television Producers prez Nick Counter came up with a last-minute (and expected low-ball) offer -- but he didn't. Tomorrow, the WGA West & East negotiations board decides when is the opportune moment for the walkout. They are explaining their strategy now.

Earlier Tonight: Not even Writers Guild Of America bigwigs are sure exactly when the writers walkout will begin. But all will be explained at tonight's general meeting at 7 pm inside the Los Angeles Convention Center. (Could they have chosen a more lousy location?) One top WGA source speculates to me that picketing will start as soon as a strike is called, and that could be as early as tomorrow. (But wouldn't they want to wait until Monday when writers can turn out en masse for the TV cameras?) Stay tuned.

Just now, the Alliance of Motion Picture & Television Producers President Nick Counter issued this very negative end-of-day statement (continuing to refer to DVD residuals when what he really means is electronic sell-through residuals): "Due to overriding business reasons, no further progress can be made because of the WGA’s continuing efforts to substantially increase the DVD formula. We are ready to meet at any time and remain committed to reaching a fair and reasonable deal that keeps the industry working, but the DVD issue is a roadblock to these negotiations."

Tonight, the WGA's new Communications Committee blog clarifies where the guild stands on the issues:

''What's the biggest issue? Internet and New Media

What are we asking for in Internet and New Media? Two things: 1. Residuals for reuse of content (like replaying tv shows) on the internet. We're asking for residuals of 2.5% of revenue -- that means for every dollar they get paid, we'd get 2 and a half cents. It's a flat percentage, so if they're right and they're never ever going to make a penny, well then, we won't either. No harm, no foul. Since 2.5% is our starting point, in any normal negotiation we'd end up somewhere between what they want to pay (.3%) and what we're asking for (2.5%). I'd guess 1 to 1.5 %. 2. Coverage and protections for original content (new stuff we create for the internet.) We're asking for basic protections so that when we write original stuff for the internet, we have rights -- health and pension, minimum amounts, credits and separated rights (so if we make some amazing character or show, we get the right to share in its success.) We're just asking for the same protections we already have for writing in TV or film. Nothing new or weird. Just the basics.

What are the other issues? DVDs: Currently we get .3% per dvd, we're asking for .6%. Translation: now we get 4 cents per dvd. We are asking for 8 cents per dvd. Since most DVD's cost at least 10 bucks, that doesn't exactly seem like a bank-breaker. Whatever. Enforcement of Coverage: There are lots of shows, like game shows, documentaries and talk shows, where writing is supposed to be covered under our contract. The companies sometimes just ignore the contract -- which means folks don't get health and pension, and if they ask for it, they get fired. We want them to stop that, and honor the contract they signed. Expansion of Coverage: We want to cover stuff where writers are working without coverage, which means without health and pension and other protections. The two big areas are animation and reality. We think those writers should be covered.

You don't actually think you'll get all that, do you? Personally? I think in a perfect world, negotiation involves, well, negotiating. That's give-and-take, where we get some of what we want and they get some of what they want. So far, they just keep showing up at the table with more and more things they're saying they're going to take away -- rollbacks on health and pension, gutting of separated rights, that kind of thing.

But they gave back those resid-whatever-thingums, right? Sort of. They took that one rollback off the table -- but since they're not moving on "digital delivery", and since pretty much all content is going to be digitally delivered in the coming years, well... we'll lose those residuals as soon as that happens. So without internet coverage, it doesn't mean much.''


http://www.deadlinehollywooddaily.com/


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post #10953 of 97109 Old 11-01-2007, 08:36 PM - Thread Starter
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The 2007-2008 Season
It's settled: WGA will go on strike
By Maria Elena Fernandez in the Los Angeles Times Show tracker blog

Finally, this (WGA meeting) gets underway with a standing ovation for the WGA committee that has been leading the way during these labor negotiations. It's a full house, and everyone is at rapt attention as leaders discuss where negotiations stand.

A few minutes into the gathering, there is no more uncertainty: There will be a strike, leaders tell the thousands of WGA members in attendence. Leaders will send out a press release tomorrow afternoon, telling members precisely when the strike will begin. The Screen Actors Guild president says the actors guild is in full support of the strike and will stand by the writers for as long as it takes.

http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/show...ews/index.html


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post #10954 of 97109 Old 11-01-2007, 08:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CPanther95 View Post

If these contracts were disallowed, the complex would do the wiring. The only reason they didn't is because the cablecos offered in return for a contract.

I think the contracts suck, and I don't have a problem striking any down that prevent tenants from having a choice of provider...however, in the case that the cableco invested in the infrastructure, I'd say tough luck, the deal was done and the cableco deserves the right to continue the contract. Regardless, any cable-paid wiring should remain exclusively for use by the cableco. If another competitor wants to come in, they can run separate wiring.

I guess it makes sense that both conditions exist, so I find I agree with your approach. The last time I rented an appartment was 1990 and that was only for a month, it was wired for cable.

Cheers, Dave
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post #10955 of 97109 Old 11-01-2007, 08:40 PM - Thread Starter
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TV Notes
Williams on desk at 'SNL'
By Paul J. Gough The Hollywood Reporter Nov 2, 2007

NEW YORK -- "Saturday Night Live" with Brian Williams will go on, writers strike or not.

All of the skits scheduled for Saturday night's show are in and the rewrites were scheduled to be completed Thursday night. Williams will guest host the long-running late-night comedy show Saturday night.

There were about 40 sketches read through Wednesday, and 12-15 were selected to continue. The camera blocking of the sketches occurred Thursday and will continue today. There will be a full run-through Saturday, a dress rehearsal in the evening before a live audience and then the live show for the broadcast.

Williams is no doubt the first guest host who in the course of a week will anchor the network's nightly newscasts, co-moderate a presidential debate and guest-host "SNL."

In a break between "NBC Nightly News" and moderating the Democratic presidential debate at Drexel University, Williams said that he had worked that day on the debate preparation until 2:30 p.m. and then shifted gears for the daily news meeting and worked on the newscast until a little after 7 p.m.


Then he rushed to the debate hall and finished preparations and did the debate until 11 p.m. Then he hopped into a car and rode back to New York and worked with the "SNL" writing staff until 6 a.m. Wednesday.

He's been doing his newscasts and working on the show afterward. Williams is known not only for his journalistic skills but also his personal wit, which has been shown in various places including a "Weekend Update" skit on a previous "SNL."

http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/hr/...680350a88af18d


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post #10956 of 97109 Old 11-01-2007, 08:41 PM
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So how will the SAG joining the WGA affect the strike? Does it significantly increase the chances of getting a contract done soon?
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post #10957 of 97109 Old 11-01-2007, 08:44 PM - Thread Starter
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It remains to be seen how much SAG members can support the WGA without running into contractual difficulties.


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post #10958 of 97109 Old 11-01-2007, 08:49 PM
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Depends on how many actors (and their stature/star power) decide to join their writing co-workers in the picket lines. If scripts are completed but there are no expandable actors on location/stages to read them then production of that program is effectively shut down. Maybe if an ensemble show's cast goes on strike the producers could get away with shooting a few scenes with a smaller cast, but there wouldn't be a writer on the set for re-writes to explain the absence of the other characters/actors (unless the actors/producers "wing it"). If big stars join the picket line (like Keifer Sutherland or the lead guy from "NCIS") cameras will follow them, run pieces on CNN or entertainment magazines and the WGA's strike position will be presented in a more favorable light. Where's Martin Sheen when you really need him?


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post #10959 of 97109 Old 11-01-2007, 08:59 PM
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I don't see the problem with Williams hosting SNL. One thing that he's openly tried to do is make the man behind the desk seem more like a person and less like the Voice of God. News anchors are as much celebrities as journalists. No one is going to confuse SNL with actual news reporting.

On the other hand, I certainly agree with the notion that Dateline is, at best, pseudo-journal-tainment, and puts a serious dent in the credibility of NBC News with its entertainment pieces and To Catch A...-type series.


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post #10960 of 97109 Old 11-01-2007, 09:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CPanther95 View Post

If these contracts were disallowed, the complex would do the wiring. The only reason they didn't is because the cablecos offered in return for a contract.

I think the contracts suck, and I don't have a problem striking any down that prevent tenants from having a choice of provider...however, in the case that the cableco invested in the infrastructure, I'd say tough luck, the deal was done and the cableco deserves the right to continue the contract. Regardless, any cable-paid wiring should remain exclusively for use by the cableco. If another competitor wants to come in, they can run separate wiring.

In my market, condos and apartment complexes had wired the buildings themselves and cable just took over providing the services and future maintenance and improvements of the wiring. Most wiring needs to be done at the time of construction and would be the property of the building owner. Also, in commercial buildings, any attached fixture becomes the property of the building owner. I installed a TV antenna on the roof and ran wiring to my shop. (I run a TV repair business) The antenna and wiring stay, even if I go.

I think the FCC had a problem with the fact that some of the contracts were perpetual, meaning the consumer would never have a choice of providers and there were never be any competition possible. (for services or cost) Voiding all the contracts may have been the only way to write an enforceable rule.

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post #10961 of 97109 Old 11-01-2007, 09:37 PM
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When I read the headline "It's Settled" I really did get my hopes up, then I read the rest of it.

ej

Former USSB uplink operator.
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post #10962 of 97109 Old 11-01-2007, 09:50 PM - Thread Starter
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The 2007-2008 Season
Blogging the WGA Meeting: A Line In The Sand
By Maria Elena Fernandez in the Los Angeles Times Show tracker blog

The WGA's chief negotiator, David Young, told those in attendance tonight there was little choice but to draw a line in the sand and strike.

"This is a watershed negotiation for the Writers Guild," he said. "This is not the average negotiation. This has the potential to determine writers' income from the Internet and new media for the next generation and beyond."

Committee chairman John Bowman said members were being backed into a corner by the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers. He said the alliance never offered its own proposal and has never responded to any of the WGA's proposals. So, Bowman said, essentially "we've been negotiating with ourselves."

"Their entire strategy has been to separate the leadership from the membership," Bowman added. He also fired up the crowd by insisting that "the Internet has to be one of our most important issues. That's our future."

The entire writing staffs of "Dirty Sexy Money" and "'Til Death" are among those in attendance.

http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/show...ews/index.html


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post #10963 of 97109 Old 11-01-2007, 09:57 PM - Thread Starter
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The 2007-2008 Season
The WGA Strike: Crunch time for the new shows
By Maria Elena Fernandez in the Los Angeles Times Show tracker blog

Veteran TV writer and "Moonlight" show runner Chip Johannessen packed up his personal items at the end of his workday today and planned on spending time during the seemingly inevitable strike with his 12-year-old daughter. "We’re trying to rush out a version of Episode 11 that is producible." (So they would have 11 of 12 ready.)

“It’s a funny thing because making a TV show is very difficult and by this time in the season, everybody’s getting on each other’s nerves a little bit. I suppose if you’re working on the fourth season of 'Without a Trace,' it’s a bit of a machine, but new shows are just in a bad crunch right now. It’s just getting to crunch time. So you’re like, oh my God, this thing I worked so hard on, I just wish it could keep going. I want to get to the back nine. It’s had this weird effect of making us appreciate what’s there."

He said he stands firmly behind the guild.

"Anybody who has been around in this for a while has experienced first-hand the business of a company making tons of money on a DVD and getting residuals for $18. Or on a revenue stream of $1 million, getting a check for $3,000. And that’s not a fair formula. The people on the negotiating committee are TV writers who have experienced great success and know what this amounts to. . . . It makes a huge difference in your life as a writer. First of all, you get to take time off and write something you care about. It also helps you in the lean times. The most important thing to me, anyway, was that I never had to take jobs because I needed money. So for writers it becomes a really important part of their lives and for the companies. It’s like their R&D budget."

http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/show...ews/index.html


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post #10964 of 97109 Old 11-01-2007, 10:22 PM - Thread Starter
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The 2007-2008 Season
WGA Strike: Teamster pledges loyalty and demands it, too
By Maria Elena Fernandez in the Los Angeles Times Show tracker blog

Teamsters union members planned to stand by the WGA, too, by refusing to cross picket lines.

One Teamster told the crowd that if he planned to sacrifice, he expected all the WGA members to do so as well. "If I'm going to give up my home for you, I hope that I'm going to see everyone up there on the strike line. I want to see every one of you there personally. You're not going to hire somebody to stand there for you, you know what I'm saying? If you want to be strong, make sure you're on that line. Make sure you're there or else we're going through the line. You're asking 4,000 of us to give up our homes for this and we're willing to do that as long as you do this right."


WGA Strike: Rallying the masses

There were lots of ovations, and the mood in the room was supportive as Writers Guild leaders threw the meeting open to questions -- and lots of stirring comments meant to rally the masses.

A film writer asked what the strike would actually look like -- what tactics would be employed? David Young, the chief union negotiator, kept mum except to say: "There is a plan, but I'm not going to talk about that here. In years past our picketing schedule has gone 'Picket on Mondays for two hours and then meet at a bar until the following Monday.' That's not how we're going to do it this time."

The leaders hammered home the inequities they saw as spurring the strike. On shows such as "Lost" and "24," writers are shortchanged, they said: The networks rerun those episodes on the Internet, but writers don't see any residuals. Such payments for Web reruns, as well as compensation for original Web content, basic cable, reality TV and animation compensation, are at the heart of the negotiations.

Young said the writers were in the power position. "They're not in the position to go without writers. They just want to give us the cheap deal as always and we're putting our foot down.... The only thing we want less than a strike is a bad deal."

Patric Verrone, president of the Writers Guild of America, West, urged members not to talk to the traditional mainstream media about the strike situation because those news outlets are owned by conglomerates. He wouldn't comment on precisely when the strike would begin, but implied that it would be Monday.

http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/show...ews/index.html


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post #10965 of 97109 Old 11-01-2007, 10:32 PM - Thread Starter
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The 2007-2008 Season
WGA Strike Meeting: Some leave early, raising hackles
By Maria Elena Fernandez in the Los Angeles Times Show tracker blog

Despite the seriousness of the issues at hand, the crowd of more than 2,000 began dwindling not long after the meeting was thrown open for a Q&A session. This did not sit well with at least one audience member, who stood up and demanded to know "why nobody stood up and said 'Don't leave, we're not done.' You're supposed to be rallying the troops for the long haul," the man chided.

Patric Verrone, president of the Writers Guild of America, West, seemed chastened. "I wish I had done it," he replied. "But I am guessing those people have more important things to do."

http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/show...ews/index.html


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post #10966 of 97109 Old 11-01-2007, 10:36 PM - Thread Starter
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(Thanks to RussTC3 for bringing this item to my attention.)
TV Notes
The WGA Strike: NBC Shuts down production on “Heroes”
(Posted by the always reliable Travis Yanan in Marc Berman’s Programming Insider blog)

I've heard that NBC has shut down production on Heroes. They were in the middle of shooting Episodes 13 and 14. They were asked to reshoot the ending to Episode 11 (which ends the "Generations" volume) to be a season-ender.

http://pifeedback.com/eve/forums/a/t...10238#20010238


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post #10967 of 97109 Old 11-01-2007, 10:57 PM
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How does the strike affect sports shows that are mostly talk (Pardon the Interruption, Around the Horn, Rome is Burning, The Best Damn Sports Show Period, etc)? Are they also covered under the WGA?
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post #10968 of 97109 Old 11-02-2007, 03:58 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Amnesia View Post

Oh, I get it. You want to characterize my position (by calling it "consumerism") and then prevent me from characterizing yours.

You already had, that was the point.

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If you artificially limit customers' choices, that is most definitely anti-competition.

You're erroneously equating customer choice with competition. Competition is about different businesses having an equal footing with each other in the marketplace. The benefits to consumers, if any, are consequences of competition, not qualifications of competition.
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post #10969 of 97109 Old 11-02-2007, 04:01 AM
 
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Originally Posted by zaphod7501 View Post

Most wiring needs to be done at the time of construction and would be the property of the building owner.

And that was the problem. The cable companies did a lot of wiring gratis for building owners as consideration for those contracts. The FCC basically screwed them over. Totally irresponsible.
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post #10970 of 97109 Old 11-02-2007, 04:17 AM
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Originally Posted by bicker1 View Post

And that was the problem. The cable companies did a lot of wiring gratis for building owners as consideration for those contracts. The FCC basically screwed them over. Totally irresponsible.

And, that leaves a law suit dangling that will almost assuradley overturn the ruling. So, we lose any chance of getting the right decision done because they implemented it the worst way possible.

If I believed in conspiracy, I would say this was done in collusion with the providers, knowing it would go to court after and ruin any future change in the original ruling.
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post #10971 of 97109 Old 11-02-2007, 06:37 AM
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Originally Posted by bicker1 View Post

And that was the problem. The cable companies did a lot of wiring gratis for building owners as consideration for those contracts. The FCC basically screwed them over. Totally irresponsible.

This may be a regional "thing". In my market (metro area of about 250,000) the building infrastructure has never been installed by a cable company. Older buildings had been retrofitted by building owners (pre-CATV - and I personally did some of that work) and new construction by private contractors (both contractors and commercial estimators have asked my advice on prewiring). Perhaps in some areas, cablecos installed the wiring in consideration of future contracts, but not everywhere. If they did, then they did it without reading the "all improvements belong to the building owner" clause.

Even currently, if Cable is run to an unwired commercial building, full installation costs are collected up-front. Most of the long term contracts here had nothing to do with installation costs but contained a "kick-back" to owners for access to new customers. Considering the FCC rule, I suspect my market is not the exception but a common situation, or possibly even the norm.

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post #10972 of 97109 Old 11-02-2007, 06:59 AM
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(Thanks to RussTC3 for bringing this item to my attention.)
TV Notes
The WGA Strike: NBC Shuts down production on Heroes
(Posted by the always reliable Travis Yanan in Marc Berman's Programming Insider blog)

I've heard that NBC has shut down production on Heroes. They were in the middle of shooting Episodes 13 and 14. They were asked to reshoot the ending to Episode 11 (which ends the "Generations" volume) to be a season-ender.

http://pifeedback.com/eve/forums/a/t...10238#20010238

This sucks, if true. So when shows like this have to shut down because of the writer's strike, the rest of the crew is out of work, too, huh? If we were a cameraman or grip on a show like this and I'm not pulling in a paycheck because of this strike, I don't think I'd appreciate it very much. The writers will probably get part of what they want in the end, but others who are forced out of work by this strike end up with nothing, except hardship for being out of work for who knows how long.
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post #10973 of 97109 Old 11-02-2007, 07:03 AM
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Originally Posted by fredfa View Post

The 2007-2008 Season
The WGA Strike:

Man, I am really on the fence when it comes to these kinds of strikes. Many of us working stiffs don't know from residuals. We get paid for our services and that's that. I wonder if programmers at Microsoft get residuals for every set of Windows sold?

I guess this falls more along the lines of authors who get paid for every book sold, though they aren't really "employed" by someone to do a job. I realize residuals are a way to give everyone a part of the pie when things are a hit and they just live with their salary when things are a flop, but still, the writer's of Start Trek:TOS are still getting paid 40+ years later?

Oh well, I guess that's the system and the way contracts are structured, so I guess they, the WAG, have every right to get their piece of the pie. At first I thought this was just about $.04/DVD, but now I see it's much larger than that with the internet and who knows what the future methods will be. Just shows how even laywers can be caught short when contracts just mention DVD sales and not a more all-encompassing term.

Cheers, Dave
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post #10974 of 97109 Old 11-02-2007, 07:03 AM
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We all know what really needs to be reported in regards to the fallout from this strike:

Have they finished production of season 2 of Dexter already?! Please?!

-John
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post #10975 of 97109 Old 11-02-2007, 07:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drummerguy View Post

This sucks, if true. So when shows like this have to shut down because of the writer's strike, the rest of the crew is out of work, too, huh? If we were a cameraman or grip on a show like this and I'm not pulling in a paycheck because of this strike, I don't think I'd appreciate it very much. The writers will probably get part of what they want in the end, but others who are forced out of work by this strike end up with nothing, except hardship for being out of work for who knows how long.

Bingo! Plus, if you are a grip or a cameraman, I don't beleive you are getting any residuals in the first place, you just get a salary like any other working stiff in this country. I never agree with strikes for this very reason. Someone else always gets hurt and we're talking people with families to feed, etc., who aren't making the big bucks to begin with. It's not unlike the baseball stikes. Folks making millions striking to make more millions while the little people running the concessions, etc., are out of luck.

Cheers, Dave
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post #10976 of 97109 Old 11-02-2007, 07:34 AM
 
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This may be a regional "thing". In my market (metro area of about 250,000) the building infrastructure has never been installed by a cable company.

Around here, it even became chic a few years ago for builders of new single-family homes to get EITHER Comcast OR Verizon to pre-wire their homes for television, telephone and HSI (i.e., no Comcast service to the Verizon developments and no Verizon service to the Comcast developments).

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Perhaps in some areas, cablecos installed the wiring in consideration of future contracts

And in such cases, they are entitled to compensation from the government since their intangible assets have been co-opted by eminent domain.
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post #10977 of 97109 Old 11-02-2007, 08:20 AM
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The law can be an inconvenience to politician's pandering.
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post #10978 of 97109 Old 11-02-2007, 08:43 AM
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You're erroneously equating customer choice with competition. Competition is about different businesses having an equal footing with each other in the marketplace.

Customers can't have choices if there aren't different businesses competing in a market. Customer choice exists if and only if there is competition. That means that we can use the existence or non-existence of customer choice to show whether or not competition exists.

But your general confusion aside, I hope you would agree that in this case we are talking about how the exclusive contracts were in fact preventing businesses from "having an equal footing with each other". In this case, only one business was allowed to serve a particular market. The other companies were not allowed to serve that market. No equal footing. No customer choice. No competition.
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post #10979 of 97109 Old 11-02-2007, 08:53 AM
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Originally Posted by pwrmetal View Post

Have they finished production of season 2 of Dexter already?! Please?!

Yes, all 12 episodes of "Dexter" (except for maybe some post-production tinkering on the last three or so; nothing involving re-shoots or the need for a writer) are in the can. They started shooting in May precisely to avoid a crunch come WGA strike time (and to accomodate the show's production moving to Los Angeles for Season 2). "The Tudors" is in the middle of shooting the last few eps. of its second season though (in Canada), so that show might have to be pushed a little into 2008. And I don't mind saying that the quality of the writing in "Dexter" is one of the key reasons why I'm behind the writers pushing the WGA strike. I can't think of a better example where great writing (combined with excellent acting and good production values) lifts the premise of something like "Dexter" out of the realm of crime procedural and into something special. Good writers like those behind "Dexter" (Melissa Rosenberg, James Manos, Jr., etc.) are severely underpaid as far as I'm concerned.


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post #10980 of 97109 Old 11-02-2007, 09:08 AM
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Are the Nielsen ratings delayed again? It's past noon and no info yet on the clash of the Thursday titans is making dad a dull boy.


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