On-Line, All the Time

We're told that the long strike of 1988 had two far-reaching consequences: the audience discovered cable and reality shows grew in popularity.

What will be the legacy of the 2007 strike?

Hard to say. The negotiations are still ongoing. But one fact is abundantly clear even at this point.

Writers love the internet.

Given that the AMPTP was trying to control the internet, there is something ironic about the way writers have taken to the web as the place to try out ideas or vent or be funny about issues that can seem simultaneously enraging and arcane, like the DVD formula with its string of percentages: 1.5% (or 1.8%) of 20% of the studio’s gross on DVD sales.

By various accounts, after only a few weeks, striking writers and their supporters have put between 750 and 1,000 videos on YouTube.

Blogging is going on day and night as witnessed by our own efforts on unitedhollywood where we've mirrored what hundreds are doing every day on their own.

No matter how the AMPTP tries to obscure the obvious, we all know that in the future, the internet will become an important source of revenue for Hollywood.

But we don't have to wait to see the social importance of the web. Not that we were the first to see it, but during the strike we've seen how quickly communities have been created to support our cause.

That's certainly a great lesson to have learned....and best of all, we didn't have to ask anyone's permission to go on-line.


Logan said...

The internet will never be regulated because technology is always crackable. However it is interesting how the strike details are communicated so easily to anyone who cares to listen because of the internet. I think this is the first big strike that the internet has had a significant effect on. Perhaps the '88 strike would have been much shorter if it had the resources we have today. People are able to get more perspectives of the situation instead of having it be biased or censored by the media. These are my other thoughts on the situation:

beck013 said...

Despite the nonregulated state of the internet the reliance on the internet to have "smarter" people research their own news stories makes it selective. Granted the writers do pick what they want to be creative about--the shows such as the Daily Show chose hig-profile mundane news pieces and use this fulcrum to lever the world of politics. Writers have to succeed and hence get off of strike in order that "routine" mass audiences might still benefit from their creative fervor (as found on the internet). The public awaits. And is the poorer for the loss of this talent. Hope the writers do get their best deal.