I have loosely been following the writers guild strikes, mainly to learn the ultimate disposition of this season of LOST. While my gut feeling has been on the side of the writers, I really had no idea why or know any of the details. Mainly, I see (whether this is a correct or incorrect parallel) the television studios equivalent to the greedy record companies. Two articles came to my attention recently that shed a bit more light on the situation.
The first article is Mourning TV, written by Damin Lindelof, the LOST writer, for the New York Times. It’s fairly light, short, and talks about television shows in light of “the new media revolution” with the internet and Tivos and all that.
The second article is a bit more in depth, “Why Writers Get Residuals” and goes into the details of how writers (both TV show staff writers as well as independents) get paid, why gaffers and other people on the show do not get residuals, and why I don’t get residuals for the spreadsheet or software package I wrote several years ago. This one shed the most light (for me) on the how payment works and why residuals are so important.