Jammer weighs in on the writer’s strike.
If Internet media is the future of television revenue â€” and it will be at least in small part â€” then the studios owe it to the writers to compensate them fairly.
And when thereâ€™s original content produced for networkâ€™s web sites â€” like with the Battlestar Galactica webisodes last year and again this year, then the creators definitely should be paid for the hours they worked.
I was stunned to learn that the creative staff of â€œBSGâ€ was originally not going to be paid for creating those webisodes. I guess I had simply assumed as a given the studio would want to pay their creative staff for original web content. One (although not me) could argue that a writer has been compensated for an episode that has already been broadcast on TV and doesnâ€™t need to be paid again for its posting online. But not paid at all for new work?
The writers are certainly making their case using their craft, and leveraging the new media that ironically has been the source of their complaints:
I’m glad to see that people who were originally skeptics/apathetic are beginning to come around; Shamus asks though what benefit to the writers such a shift in public opinion confers. I think that the answer is simple; by watching better television. I don’t have cable TV and I refuse to watch any “reality” show, even American Idol, on principle. Also, I do not engage in any online viewing of streamed content, because I know the writers don’t get a dime. This is why I won’t be patronizing Amazon.com’s “Unbox” service (even though I’d net a generous affiliate fee if I hawked it) and will also stay away from Hulu.com when it goes live. I also am holding out on DVD purchases of several box sets of shows I truly enjoy (including Galactica and Samurai Jack) until such time as the writers’ reasonable demand for increased royalties are met. These actions amount to barely anything at all in isolation, but if enough people become knowledgeable about the basic economics of the industry, I think that they will take similar steps. Reward good behavior.