Writers Guild Members Overwhelmingly Ratify New Contract


February 26, 2008

Writers Guild Members Overwhelmingly Ratify New Contract

Los Angeles and New York – The members of the Writers Guild of America, West (WGAW) and Writers Guild of America, East (WGAE) today put their final stamp of approval on the deal that ended their 14-week strike, giving writers new rights and protections for work distributed on and created for the Internet and other new media platforms.

An overwhelming majority of the WGA membership voted in favor of ratifying the three-year contract by 93.6 percent of 4,060 votes cast in Los Angeles and New York. The term of the agreement is from February 13, 2008 through May 1, 2011.

“This contract is a new beginning for writers in the Digital Age,” said Patric M. Verrone, president of the WGAW. “It ensures that Guild members will be fairly compensated for the content they create for the Internet, and it also covers the reuse on new media platforms of the work they have done in film since 1971 and in TV since 1977. That’s a huge body of work that will continue to generate revenue for our members for many years to come as it is distributed electronically.”

“The 2008 Minimum Basic Agreement is groundbreaking on many levels,” said Michael Winship, president of the WGAE. “Not only does it establish Writers Guild jurisdiction in new media, it gives writers the same separated rights provisions in new media enjoyed by the creators of original TV and motion picture scripts, as well as residuals for the reuse of movies and television programs on the Internet and in new media. Those residuals will be based on ‘distributor’s gross’ – real money for our members – that we’ll be able to audit and monitor more effectively than ever before.”

The contract breaks new ground for writers by:

  • establishing WGA jurisdiction over writing for new media
  • giving writers “separated rights” in new media content (separated rights are the contractual rights traditionally enjoyed by writers of original television and motion picture scripts)
  • establishing residual payments for new media reuse of covered material, including Internet downloads and ad-supported streaming of feature films and television programs
  • establishing “distributor's gross” as the basis for calculating new media residual payments
  • creating meaningful access to information and auditing tools that will allow the WGA to monitor the development of new media markets

The balloting was conducted by mail ballots and walk-in voting at membership meetings in Los Angeles and New York City. Ratification follows the WGA’s lifting of a strike order on February 13, which ended a 100-day work stoppage.

The Writers Guild of America, West (WGAW) and the Writers Guild of America, East (WGAE) represent writers in the motion picture, broadcast, cable, and new media industries in both entertainment and news. For more information about the Writers Guild of America, West, please visit www.wga.org. For more information about the Writers Guild of America, East, please visit: www.wgaeast.org.


Unknown said...

So any hope of a decent contract is in SAG's hands now.

SpouseIsNonPro said...

Does anyone know the OFFICIAL numbers for: (a) total WGA membership (west and east) and (b) number of WGA members actually eligible to vote? That would help put the 4,000+ figure in context.

Jake Hollywood said...

I know I voted no, which means I was part of the 6.4% who voted against...but now I want to know something (since math isn't my strong suit, nor is statistics), but had do you figure somebody voted .16 for and .84against? How does that work exactly? (for those of you trying to understand what I mean, it's this: 4060 votes total count, 93.6% voted yes, which means 6.4% voted no. That equates to: 3800.16 fyes and 259.84 no...but how do you get point anything?

This must be that damn Hollywood accounting--I'm glad there's a bill being proposed to stop it, 'cause it's confusing.

Luzid said...

@ Dennis:

Here's hoping. Writers deserve better than a 90% residuals pay cut.

Kevin said...

Just a question to Jake:

How can you have voted, when you stated here on 11/26 under the article 'So This Strike Thing Is All Over, Right?',

"As a non-guild writer (and one with no reasonable expectation of joining the WGA in the foreseeable
future), I've been on the picket line everyday since day one."

If you're not in the WGA, this would seem to be an impossible situation. Can you explain it?


Jake Hollywood said...

Ahhhh...it's my old friend Kevin, who insists that I have a blog titled curmudgeon something or other...

Ummmmm...Kev? Wrong Jake. Again.

Now, Kev, please, puhleeeeeze if you're going to keep harassing me like this, at least get some of your facts correct, okay?

And get a new hobby. This one is boring.

Kevin said...

Jake, I am just asking you a simple question about statements you made on this website. The blog signature on that statement matches the current one you are using. Do you share your blog signature? I should say that it matched, past tense, since you removed your statement as soon as I challenged you here.

As for the curmudgeon blog, you pulled that down after I called you on it, so I agree that it no longer exists, along with several other blogs of yours.

And I understand that you find this boring, but I am trying to get you to address a serious matter here. You have presented yourself as a member of the WGA when your own statements contradict that status. Simply erasing your statements does not retroactively change them. (You should know that PDFs exist of the blog pages with your statements, so they've been preserved.)

You have yet to answer the serious question I have raised to you: How do you explain your presentation of yourself as a WGA member when you are not in the guild? And how do you explain your statements about votes you cannot have made and membership meetings you cannot have attended?

I hope you can provide a suitable explanation for the members of many guilds who frequent these pages.


Jake Hollywood said...

Kev? I have addressed your questions multiple times. YOUR problem is you have a fundamental issue with accepting answers you unacceptable.

I haven't removed squat. You've made a simple mistake and keep accusing me of something you've made up in your mind.

What do you want from me? Wanna see my WGA and DGA cards?

So far YOU haven't proved who YOU are...so c'mon let's see some ID Kev.

Otherwise shut the fuck up.

Kevin said...

Jake, it's fairly clear what is happening here. Since there is proof of your actions (and there is in this case - multiple pages of you making the statements you are now trying to deny), the proper response is to come clean and explain yourself or apologize for your actions.

You have admitted on multiple blogs at multiple times that you are not in the WGA. You have commented that you didn't expect to even become a WGA member. Those posts have the same blog signature that you're currently using, leading to your new blog "Leper of Larchmont". (I assume that's your successor to the "Curmudgeon in the Corner" blog) Trying to flatly deny this gets us no closer to the truth. Further, just saying "that wasn't me" doesn't really address or answer the questions I have been asking - especially when it is clear that the denial is incorrect.

I'm hoping you can explain to the WGA members who post here why you have done these things. Posing as a guild member when you are not in fact a member is a very serious matter. Insulting me and using profanity does not help us resolve it. Please do the right thing here.


Jake Hollywood said...


We've had this little talk before. YOU'RE the one making accusations (and let's not forget YOU have yet to prove who the hell you are--YOU just CLAIM to be in the DGA) and apparently YOU have some sort of sick, perverted obsession with me, which has lead you to STALKING me all over the internet. So, I'm now considering filing a complaint with not only with United Hollywood, but with the police as well.

Internet harassment is a crime, remember?

Not be a good little NUT JOB and leave me alone.

Kevin said...

Jake, your continued avoidance of the serious issue here simply proves the point I have been making.

It is not harassment or illegal to point out that you have stated in your posts that you are not a member of the WGA. When I asked you about this at Deadline Hollywood, you called me names. When I asked you about this here, you continued to call me names. Rather than address the issue, you tried to delete your posts and then deny that you wrote them.

I don't believe the police will have much to say about this situation, but you're welcome to contact them. They will point out to you that you cannot deny your statements when they have the same blog signature as your current posts.

I encourage the moderators here at United Hollywood to please contact me if there is any concern, and I'll be happy to provide the proof to them behind my statements, as well as to confirm my status as an active DGA Assistant Director, a position I have held for over 10 years in episodic television.

Jake, continuing to call me names or project other issues onto me, will not change the facts here. As a longtime guild member, I am concerned about anyone falsely pretending in public to be a member. I believe that the WGA members (and other guild and union members who read this site) have similar concerns.

Fightin' Mad Mary said...

"Jake Hollywood" has had several aliases including:

The man in the baseball cap
The curmudgeon in the corner
IM Anonymous
Studio City Slugwriter
The Hollywood Hack
and even "yes I am making fun of you"

How do I know this? He harassed me for months because we don't share the same view of gun control. I track my hits on my blog and he doesn't realize that his ISP follows him no matter what name he is blogging by.

I like to call him "Internet Troll"