Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Gimme Some!

I haven't been paying much attention to the Writers Guild strike, partly because I can't imagine a world where poets would strike and Entertainment Weekly would write cover stories on it. Also, I just am a little wary when people who are paid well and have dream jobs ask for more. (Although producers feigning poverty is pretty laughable too.) I am simply dreading the moment when the episodes run out and I am forced to watch drivel or perhaps write more.

However, this opinion piece put the issue into perspective for me. The author of this NY Times article works in the internet content industry and asks some good questions. Most importantly, is it feasible to charge for content on the internet? Or is it soley going to be an advertisement driven medium?

I think its interesting that the WGA is striking on this issue, since they develop content for one medium (film/television) and it ends up on another (DVD and internet.) Does that change the nature of the value for the viewer? We already get it for "free" on TV, and by free we mean we have to watch ridiculous commercials and pay for cable if we want clear reception. But, we don't pay the writers of Lost directly for their work. Would it be natural to pay for it online? We already pay for it directly on DVD, thereby endangering future syndication revenue for writers. I also wonder what this means for user produced content like blogs, since those tend to be a low paying enterprise, unless you write about rehabbing celebrities.

It's an interesting issue and this article is the first time I've seen it articulated in a way that makes it understandable for unpaid writers like me.

1 Comment:

Dennis said...

Oh my god! Imagine a world where we had to entertain ourselves!! Is that even possible? LOL