Friday, November 2, 2007

Three cents

That is what it appears to have come down to in the battle between Hollywood studios and their writers. Since it's become almost impossible to get royalties from those who share videos without attribution, the writers have offered to increase the amount studios get from legitimate DVD sales -- from five cents to eight per unit. The studios call it outrageous.

Oh really? Where are they going to work, Uzbekistan? It's not like Canada (or at least English Canada) has had a real TV industry for over a decade. And American "humour" is much more overstated than that in the UK and their job posts are pretty much full.

A certain recording artist in Canada has long criticized other Canadian stars for mostly plying their trade in the United States and thus suggests they should be ineligible for the Junos. Problem was that many of those singers were also songwriters and for years the royalty on records was one cent per unit while in the States it was 5.5 -- and it stayed that way for over two decades until the early nineties.

What, Canadians were going to plead poverty for the sake of "patriotism?" You go where the money is. For the same reason many European hockey players come to the NHL. Or why Canadian soccer players are signed up to clubs in Europe. That's why the Canadian studios finally ponied up, because even with CANCON they were on the verge of losing its soul. And it's not like every major city in Canada has a 15k + seat stadium.

Many writers are well off, but a lot of others aren't. Three cents on a DVD that costs about $25 sounds like a bargain -- provided they actually provide us with entertainment with merit, not gossip. Even direct to DVD movies should get similar consideration ... it's not like the adult entertainment business is going to die out but a lot of those films are now being made in Mexico because those studio bosses have become cheapshots too.

I'm not joining a union any time soon, but if I was an actor or a TV host, I'd abide by Rule One: Everyone has a contract or no one works. If the actors have to ad lib during the Oscars or Golden Globes, tough.

Vote for this post at Progressive Bloggers.

No comments: