Letter from the Presidents

 

 

 

To Our Fellow Members:

Yesterday, the WGAE and WGAW presented to the AMPTP a response to its

proposal on streaming television programs.

We accepted the framework in their proposal of last Thursday for a fixed

residual in the first year.

But rather than basing the residual for the entire first year on a small

percentage of the applicable minimum, we proposed that the fixed residual be

paid on a higher percentage of applicable minimum for each 100,000 streams per

quarter.

This is a readily ascertainable number. In fact, the companies are already

keeping records of streams for their advertisers. Both the advertisers and the

companies are already using these numbers as the basis for their business

model.

We believe these formulas will protect the writer even if all television

reuse migrates to new media. This is our real goal – we simply want to make sure

that writers keep up if reuse moves to the Internet. If new media reuse turns

out to be additive, both partners will benefit.

After the first year, following the companies’ proposal, reuse is paid on a

percentage formula. We held to our proposal that the appropriate rate for that

payment is 2.5% of distributor’s gross and the same rate should also apply to

streaming of theatrical motion pictures.

Finally, we modified our position to move closer to the companies on

determining fair market value and ensuring our ability to obtain documents to

enforce these revenue-based residual formulas.

Our fixed residual proposal is based on thorough analysis. To reach our

formula, we looked at the value to writers under existing fixed television

residuals and blended those residuals to the scale of new media. Our proposal

protects the interests of both parties. We look forward to the AMPTP’s response

as we continue to pursue a discussion of all the issues important to

writers.

We recommend you might want to read an article from today's Wall Street

Journal entitled, "Cracks in Producers' United Front” found here.

Thank you for your continuing involvement and resolve as this process moves

forward. We are all in this together.

Best,

Michael Winship

President

Writers Guild of America, East

Patric M. Verrone

President

Writer Guild of America, West