Why are the writers striking?

by Robin Harris on Wednesday, 12 December, 2007

I gave up watching much TV about 20 years ago. Other than a general incomprehension of new popcult references from Seinfeld, Friends, Monday Night Football and such, I can’t say I’ve missed much.

If it is really good, like Band of Brothers, I buy it on DVD to support the data storage industry.

But I do watch – on DVR – The Daily Show and the Colbert Report for my evening news fix. Since the writer’s strike started, no new shows. I’m bummed, but I’ll live.

What is it writers do?
Being writers, they put together, using Apple’s Keynote, an explanation. It is well written (of course), and worth a view.

The StorageMojo take
Home entertainment is a growing driver of the storage industry. But it requires content worth watching. Good storytellers are rare and they should be encouraged.

I hope the studios stop reaming the writers so we can get back to getting entertained.’

Comments welcome, especially from striking writers.

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Steve Shockley December 14, 2007 at 12:51 pm
Tony Jones December 14, 2007 at 4:18 pm

I don’t have much sympathy for the writers. I really don’t get the royalty thing at all. It is only a tradition that they are paid royalties. Why shouldn’t they be hourly like anyone else? Why shouldn’t the plumber get a commission every time his pipe is used in a restaurant that makes the owners rich? The real problem is once again copyright. Nobody should be making any money at all off of these ancient TV shows. Especially such things as “I Love Lucy”. They should be in the public domain by now. I think writers should be paid and run their business the same way we pay consultants in the IT industry: Pay them by the hour and pay them more generously than you would an on-staff IT person. A consultant might charge $150/hr which is potentially around triple what an on-staff guy might get. Why do they get so much? To cover all of the overhead of having to run their own business and to get them through the dry spells while they do the leg-work to line up their next gig. Not only would this make more sense but it would prevent them from losing money and their jobs on costly strikes such as this one.

AgntDuke January 14, 2008 at 3:09 pm

Fortunately for us, writers are not plumbers. A plumber who creates a proprietary plumbing system from his creative mind might be worth his weight in lead (pun intended), but writers are something different. Everyone complains because the current content is below-average – ordinary. A plumber’s work gets the job done.

Think of a writer like a novelist. They are making a creative piece to entertain others. If their revenue venue dries up, they have no incentive to create. Likewise, if others in their industry make more profit than they do as a matter of standard, they may likely change venues. A novelist writer can negotiate with a publisher their work. Why not screenwriters?

Look at what is happening. The studios, who make the majority of the profit on the writers’ work are suffering under horrible ratings. Obviously they are worth their weight in gold and are making a very, very good point. I for one have had two of my favorite seasons all but cancelled due to this. There is simply nothing on worth watching; ie, studios’ ratings plummet.

I have great sympathy for them. Unless they take action the studios will continue to profit in a changing environment that has all but left them out unless they try to adapt along with the studios.

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