The Hollywood Writers Guild strike that ended last week has been the longest strike in 20 years with the participation of 10,500 writers on the first day itself boosting the cause. The bone of contention for the writers has been copyrights and royalties from movies and TV programming distribution on the Internet, of which they were not a part of.
The agreement that lead to the end of the strike reportedly confers a flat fee of $US1,200 for content that is streamed online for the first two years. This will be followed by a two percent pay of the distributor’s gross in the third year including a fee for downloading web content.
The Internet is literally a cesspool of information. Individuals can access nearly anything and everything on the Internet if they but possess the means and methods to do so. The new wave of content sharing and distribution on the Internet depends a lot on the very words that pose a threat to the creative talents of these artists- free and unlicensed.
What happens when the freedom to veritably limitless and varied knowledge on the Internet is taken away and piracy curtailed? Why, people will look for other (possibly underhanded) means to access this content and might even switch to traditional print and its distribution. This strike is just the first bubble that has been popped with slight success.
Copyright claims by content writers, painters, photographers, screenplay writers, graphic artists, illustrators, musicians and the rest of the creative brigade are just beginning to gain momentum. It’s just a matter of time till the bubbles increase in number.