American Artists Media Unions

The Writers’ Strike – YouTube Explains It All – Part 2

This video is so good…. it may actually get you out on the picket lines in solidarity.

" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen> name="wmode" value="transparent">


  • […] Check it out! While looking through the blogosphere we stumbled on an interesting post today.Here’s a quick excerptThe Writers’ Strike – YouTube Explains It All – Part 2 [IMG ] November 14th, 2007 by [IMG ] Celeste Fremon This video is so good…. it may actually get you out on the picket lines in solidarity. Bookmark to: [IMG Add ‘The Writers’ Strike – YouTube Explains It All – Part 2′ to][IMG Add ‘The Writers’ Strike – YouTube Explains It All – Part 2′ to digg][IMG Add ‘The Writers’ Strike – YouTube Explains It All – Part 2′ to Google Bookmarks] Posted in media, unions, American art […]

  • That moves me about as much as a similarly one-sided Michael Moore film. I’m sympathetic to anyone feeling that he is not paid enough, but I’m not sure why the writers are entitled to residuals more than the shareholders or others on down to the janitors. They need to prove their worth rather than hold an industry hostage with a strike, which is an admission that they couldn’t prove their case. Hollywood needs to move to a right-to-work state. Let the writers stay in California and try to start a company and run it, if they think that the executives and shareholders make too much for their part. Celeste, you buy so easily into causes.

  • RE: inventors of the typewriter. Ever heard of Patents? What do you think royalties for same are?

  • If the writers own the royalties, then there should be no problem. But, they don’t. Similarly, inventions and drugs created in the labs of large companies are the property of the companies–not the individuals working for them. If someone thinks that he can do something on his own and sell it, then don’t work for those institutions and don’t sign a contract to be paid a salary rather than a royalty.

  • Celeste, I have twice tried to post a comment under your Pakistan Update thread, re: her niece Fatima’s damning Opinion piece in today’s LAT (was it that d= word that did it?) about Auntie Benazir, alleging she conspired in the murder of Fatima’s father — Benazir’s own younger bro — while PM, and that she and Musharaff are now just playing musical dictators with the real democratic opposition conveniently jailed.

    Bizarre, TWICE my comments were eaten up and disappeared.

  • Your wordpress ate up my comment here, too, trying to call attn to fact that TWICE my attempted posts under Pakistan Update thread were eaten. Each time I have less energy to rewrite the thing, but it was about her niece Fatima’s Opinion on today’s LAT: alleging Auntie Benazir while PM conspired to murder her critical younger bro (Fatima’s dad), and that she and Musharaff are now playing musical dictators (everyone’s noticed she gets special police protection while under house “arrest” while the real protesters and judges are in real jails), with the real opposition conveniently out of the way.
    — If this goes thru, you can delete some repeats…weird.

  • Sorry, people, pls ignore my duplicate comments, posted only because they were all disappearing into cyberspace == thanks, Celeste, for scolding your comments monitor to behave, or we’ll have to send it to Pakistan.

  • Maggie, I read the LA Times piece late last night before I did the final edit on this, so cut the things that duplicated what she wrote in there. But, from my research, what Fatima says looks pretty dead on. I don’t know that Benazir knew beforehand about the murder of Fatima’s dad. People who know her have suggested to me that she’s not THAT crazy. But someone high in her government knew. And the people who did it were never brought to answer. It was presented as a shootout, but all evidence seems to point to a straight hit.

  • Woody have you ever heard of ASCAP? Or maybe for you BMI is a better and more familiar set of initials. Read up on them and then we’ll talk.

  • It’s late, but as I worked for ASCAP for twenty years (and while I have issues with their senio management, I still believe their mission is honest and forthright), I’ll be happy to address harvey Reid’s comments tomorrow.

  • I have another solution. If you don’t want the greedy corporate heads to become Mr. Richy Rich then do this. Next time you want listen to your favorite song on your IPOD,(example-Me and Bobby McGee) just google “Me and Bobby McGee – rapidshare”.

  • To begin with, let’s make a small clarification: no one owns royalties until they receive them. Different sides can and do own rights and that is part of what the issue is here.

    As I mentioned that I worked for ASCAP for a number of years, although the two groups (WGA and ASCAP) don’t dovetail completely, there is some commonality here.

    Unlike what the site Woody linked to above mentioned, ASCAP was not formed in 1913 due to Stephen Foster’s situation, but because hotel owners in New York were using the music of songwriters and publishers without the songwriters and publishers permission.

    Eventually, lawsuits sprang up and when it worked its way to the US Supreme Court in the case of Victor Herbert v Shanley’s restaurant in 1917, Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, in ruling for the plaintiff (Herbert) made the following comment:

    “If the rights under the copyright are infringed only by a performance where money is taken in at the door, they are very imperfectly protected. … If music did not pay it would be given up. If it pays, it pays out of the public’s pocket. Whether it pays or not, the purpose of employing it is profit, and that is enough.”

    Which goes to the heart of the producers’ disingenuous position on the internet, especially when they make the claim (as they did today in a full page ad in today’s NY Times) that “no labor agreement in history has given writers, actors or directors a portion of advertising dollars.” In other words, the producers wouldn’t expend the money to put the programs on the site if it had no value.

    When one negotiates a contract with a group of writers, the writers have every right to negotiate terms that protect the value of their contribution.

    As for Harvey Reid’s comments, I feel compelled to point this out: ASCAP was sued by the DOJ for antitrust violations in the 1940’s. They settled with a consent decree which is administered by the DOJ and is periodically reviewed by them. It impacts all relations between ASCAP, its licensees, members, potential licensees and potential members.

    Potential licensees have ever right to have license rates determined by a judge in the US District Court for the Southern District of New York. Indeed, all such ASCAP licenses are determined to be reasonable and non-discriminatory by the USDCSDNY. In addition, members and potential members have the same rights of review and redress which makes the blatant ignorance of this statement hard to take anything Reid wrote very seriously:

    ASCAP’s policies and the rates charged to copyright users are determined by its 12-member board of directors (who are elected by the membership), and votes cast in their elections are weighted according to the amount of money paid that year.

    The licenses are negotiated with industry representatives, they are not determined by the board. No mention is made of the Amended Final Judgment 2 (the consent decree) which can be found on the about page on the ASCAP website.

    As for the insinuation that ASCAP is a “shadowy thief”, I can assure you that the organization is obsessed with keeping its expense ratio low. Right now it runs around 14%, meaning 86 cents out of every dollar goes back to the membership as royalties. Sadly, I’m proof of this obsession: numerous long term employees have been laid off, while salaries have been driven down for new hires, with the organization deciding that severance payments of up to one year, massive turnover of their younger staff and increasing the unemployment rolls is part of their business model.

Leave a Comment