Hollywood unions want slice of Apple’s video pie

“In a show of unity, five unions representing actors, writers and directors issued a joint call for talks to make sure their members get a cut of revenue generated by the sale of TV shows on Apple’s iTunes software,” The Associated Press reports. “The unions sent a clear message to TV producers. ‘We have not yet heard from the responsible employers of our members,’ their joint statement said. ‘But we look forward to a dialogue that ensures that our members are properly compensated for this exploitation of their work.'”

AP reports, “The unions have not yet called ABC or its parent, The Walt Disney Co., to discuss how much of the $1.99 that Apple is charging for a single episode should go to writers, actors and directors.”

Full article here.

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This’ll all work out. Disney isn’t stupid and this is very standard stuff. It’s between Disney and the unions, it has nothing to do with Apple. We imagine the unions will get some sort of a percentage for their members. How much of a percentage is the real issue.

41 Comments

  1. I’d say that means they see it as a viable business model. Hopefully going to see more content very soon.

    Vaguly related note: What would it take, size wise [MB/GB] and codec wise, to get it so that the downloaded material could be pristinely viewable on a large screen? Can H.264 handle it? Will it ever happen: 1 file for iPod, computer, AND big screen?

  2. moiety5,

    H.264 can definitely handle it (can do Full High Definition), but Hollywood nor broadband currently can’t handle it for different reasons. Hollywood would freak to have that quality out there and it would take too long to download for consumers today.

    H.264 delivers excellent quality across a wide operating range, from 3G to HD and everything in between.

    More information about H.264: http://www.apple.com/quicktime/technologies/h264/

  3. yeah that is definitely the biggest issue. I mean, when I view a tv show on my 23 cinema, I se A LOT of encoding. If it can’t be viewed on a 23, how are these files ever going to come close to 30″ tvs, not to mention these awesome plasma’s etc. That is a big problem, imho…

  4. Piss on the unions. They sit around, wait for innovation to bubble up, then stand in the chow line like the goddamned welfare queens that they really are and demand their handout, thier entitlement.

    Nothing changes.

  5. Thanks Fred.

    Assuming Hollywood in the near future is banging down SJ’s door begging for their content to be on the Store AND that the broadband infrastrucutre is more universal, then does it look likely? One file for iPod and big screen would be amazing.

    I suppose iPod’s hard drives would have to get substantially bigger very quickly. . .

  6. G Spank said:

    “Piss on the unions. They sit around, wait for innovation to bubble up, then stand in the chow line like the goddamned welfare queens that they really are and demand their handout, thier entitlement.”

    We are talking about the writers, actors and others who’s “work” was to make the product you wish to buy. Stick your jackass statements up where you have plenty of room.

  7. i seem to remember the cast of gilligan’s island didn’t get any money for syndication because it was such a new thing they didn’t realize its potential. i’m sure it happened to quite a few actors back then. this move just seems prudent considering their purpose and their history.

  8. What happened to taking a day’s pay for a day’s work. In Hollyweird, they expect money in perpetuity.

    “Come in here, dear boy,
    have a cigar.
    you’re gonna go far, fly high,
    You’re never gonna die,
    you’re gonna make it if you try;they’re gonna love you.

    Well I’ve always had a deep respect, and I mean that most sincerely.
    The band is just fantastic,
    that is really what I think. oh by the way,
    Which one’s pink?

    And did we tell you the name of the game, boy, we call it riding the
    Gravy train.”
    Pink Floyd

  9. In w’s world there are no workers only people who clearly labour for nothing other than the satisfaction that they are helping their employer make more money.

    Meanwhile in the real world most people work for one reason and one reason only…money. People sell their labour in exchange money. Employers “buy” the labours of workers and pay them in money. Unions are paid agents of workers and it is their job to get more money (and better conditions) for their members.

    At least that’s what I did when I worked for unions. And nowadays as an employer that’s what I expect the union to do when I negotiate a new employment contract. Yes it means less profit, but that’s business. What do you expect, people working for no compensation but are then compensated by the government. And the government get’s the money from business to compensate workers. That’s communism you dolt!

    MDN word “miss” as in w’s brain is missing.

  10. They have been selling VHS tapes and DVD’s of television shows for years. What’s the difference? You make a profit from external sales, a percentage of that profit goes to the people who produce it.

    People make simple things so complicated sometimes.
    The opposite of what Steve Jobs & Co. is famous for.

  11. “Piss on the unions. They sit around, wait for innovation to bubble up, then stand in the chow line like the goddamned welfare queens that they really are and demand their handout, thier entitlement.”

    So, in your world, artists work for free and studio executives make all of the money. Nice.

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