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.


  1. Yeah, last time I checked, most artists responsible for the content don’t receive pensions, christmas bonuses, salaries, health benefits, sick days, or stock options.

    SHeesh, if musicians should get a cut of music sales, isn’t the same true for other forms of entertainment as well? Why should a studio or record label get to sell the item for 100 years for all of the profit? They shouldn’t and it sometimes takes a union of artists to get some leverage.

  2. See the quote below? It’s already handled. So why this discussion? What you don’t understand is is they want more. They hear the name iTunes and think ‘Cash Cow’. No, this is going to become a problem for Apple and it’s users.

    “The groups already have agreements that cover the re-use of their work on the Internet or in “pay per view” models, such as video on demand. The unions also have newer agreements covering work produced for the Internet.”

    MDWord: Figure as in “They need to figure this out so I don’t miss my soaps” 😀

  3. Fucking bullshit. When is it enough? Fat pigs. And we the viewers get spread eagle. Anyone siding with these fucking twits are either morans 😀 or work in the business. If it’s the latter Shut the fu*k up!

    MDWord: Problems as in “This shit is already causing us problems.”

  4. i think that some of you are missing the point here. if the unions are being paid by the artists, directors, writers etc, to represent them and to negotiate on their behalf, then they are doing exactly that. i am not a member of a union (my employer prohibits them) but if i was paying someone to represent me and look after my best interests, then if they did NOT do so, i would stop paying them and look elsewhere for support.

    you have to remember that an individual artist does not (barring the tom cruises and julia roberts of the world) have the ‘firepower’ to take on a studio. i know that some readers will think me rather socialist, nay communist in this attitude. however, this concept of someone representing the views of a collection of others at the negotiating table is one on which most democratic countries run. no i am not talking about unions any more. we all elect a local representative to put our view to central government in some form or other. this is exactly the same idea.

    the unions are not lazy, they do exactly what either their members instruct them to do, or what they feel is best for their members, it is their raison d’etre.

    therefore, there is no surprise here. there is no subterfuge here. there is no gravy train here. this is just standard behaviour for the people in this line of business.

    mw: red – typical, i’m sure some smart-arse will apply this colour to me (in its political suggestion anyway)

  5. “I guess people need learn to read. He is saying UNIONS are the lazy ones… not the actors, writers, ect..”

    you’re a moron who forms opinions without any factual basis.

    maybe bargaining agent should be substituted for dense individuals who have an aversion to the concept of a union

    you’re the protype of a CEO’s ideal employee

  6. Unions are doing what they are supposed to be doing… making sure that their members get a fair percentage of the fruits of their labors. New revenue streams have to be negotiated with new contracts, and Disney is a good company and will surely bargain in good faith here.

    These mindless platitudes labelling union members or management are uninformed. A union is as good (or as bad) as its members. I see nothing greedy here. I’m in the IBEW, and I’d be irritated if my union didn’t represent me in cases like this.

  7. Screw the unions…. How much investment did the union, actors, directors and producers put up for creating the concept? I’m fed up with the Hollywood Idiots….. Let’s take movies to Animation and we can all have entertainment for LESS…..

  8. progeny wrote: “and Disney is a good company and will surely bargain in good faith here.” On what basus do you make this blanket statement? You must not have read so many of the horror stories of creative abuse and exploitation practiced by Disney.

    progeny also wrote: “Unions are doing what they are supposed to be doing… making sure that their members get a fair percentage of the fruits of their labors.” Seems to me that most have missed the implicit important point of this press release: The *unions* missed the boat on this one, and they are scrambling to catch up to the no-doubt-blistering criticisms they are receiving from their members for not maiing sure that this revenue stream was covered in their standard contracts.

    I have zero truck for parasitic unions or for poor corporate management. But this is completely about the unions playing catchup to something on which they dropped the ball. Once again, Steve Jobs leads, and the unimaginative follow.

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