Writers Reach Ground-Breaking Mobile Content Agreement On ABC’s TV Series Lost

The Writers Guild of America, west (WGAw) and the Writers Guild of

America, East (WGAE) have reached a landmark agreement with Touchstone

Television covering the writing of mobisodes for ABC's television

series Lost, creating a framework for future industry mobile-content and other new technology agreements.

The agreement was reached after WGA members working on Lost

insisted that proposed mobisodes be guild- covered. Their stance was

supported by members of the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) and the Directors

Guild of America (DGA), and the three talent guilds coordinated

negotiations with Touchstone. While the agreement covers mobisodes the

network had ordered to supplement the Lost series, the new deal

provides a flexible template for future negotiations, when the

Companies and content creators address issues related to emerging

technological platforms.

"This deal could not have been reached

without the courage of our members who stood together and insisted that

this work be guild-covered. As emerging technologies revolutionize the

entertainment landscape, our members have been proactive to help define

this bold new world," said WGAw President Patric M. Verrone. "As a

result of the solidarity of the WGA, SAG, and DGA, no guild was forced

to take a lesser deal." "New delivery systems need content like the

Lost mobisodes to survive. It's in all of our interests that these new

technologies succeed. This deal is a perfect example of what can be

achieved when the companies actually engage in dialogue regarding these

issues," said WGAE President Chris Albers.

"We applaud the

leadership and vision of the WGA, led by Patric Verrone and David

Young, and Touchstone Television, led by Mark Pedowitz, Barry Jossen,

and Marc Sandman, for working together to forge this landmark agreement

in the new technology area. I think all parties recognized that the key

to success always comes down to the quality of the product. By coming

to an agreement, the quality and integrity of the stories we tell in

this new medium will be consistent with that of the network show," said

WGA member Carlton Cuse, a writer and executive producer on ABC's Lost.

The

WGA agreement achieves the guilds' goals of coverage of this writing,

providing minimums, residuals, pension and health benefits, and writing

credit provisions. Use on cell phones after 13 weeks triggers a

residual similar to the pay television residual in the guild's MBA of

1.2% of the license fee for such use. If the mobisode is distributed

via the Internet the same residual of 1.2% of the distributor's share

is payable if the viewer pays to access the mobisode; a 2.0% residual

is payable if the Internet use is ad-supported.