What Are Residuals?

Residuals are compensation paid for the reuse of a credited writer’s work. When you receive credit on produced Guild covered material, you are entitled to compensation if the material is reused. It is important to understand that the compensation is for reuse, and not the original use. For example, if you are hired to write an episode of a network prime time television series, the compensation you are paid for writing services includes the episode’s initial broadcast. However, when that episode reruns on a network, in syndication, or in any other market, the Company must pay you for that reuse.

Similarly, for theatrical motion pictures, the compensation you are paid for your script, either as a purchase or employment, covers the exhibition of the film theatrically, including all foreign theatrical releases. However, when your movie is released to other markets, such as dvd or pay television, you are due residuals.

The following guide is not a substitute for the Writers Guild of America Theatrical and Television Basic Agreement ("MBA") or Public TV Freelance Agreement. It is not intended to, and does not, alter the provisions of these MBAs in any way. If anything contained herein contradicts these MBAs, the MBA provisions prevail.

PLEASE NOTE that not every use or reuse of your material is covered in this guide. If you have a situation that is not covered in this guide, or if you require more information, please contact the WGAE Residuals Department at (212) 767-7800.