Friday, November 16, 2007

Who gets ad dollars?

The Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers have struggled for many hours to produce an open letter that didn't sound like a cease and desist order without the benefit of writers, but they've finally succeeded.

Ad Age characterized the letter:
[Compared to pre-strike] Dispatches from a war room.

The lengthy ad copy in today's Los Angeles Times and New York Times reads as if composed in a Zen tea garden.
The AMPTP's unsigned letter said:
The AMPTP has offered to pay writers a percentage of the revenues the producer receives from licensing streamed content on the Internet. However, the Writers Guild is asking that writers get a percentage of what the Internet site owners receive in advertising revenues connected with the streaming content, even if producers are getting none of that money themselves.

Simply put, what the Writers Guild is asking for has no precedent. No labor agreement in history has given writers, actors or directors a portion of advertising dollars. There is no way that this change can be deemed reasonable.

We believe common ground can be found once reasonable people take the time to understand the issues. We hope this letter can help move us all closer to that goal.
The WGAw has a point-for-point response, but the AMPTP raises an interesting point: should there be an ad rev share?

Companies like Google, Yahoo, soon YouTube, About.com, MetaCafe and many others offer rev shares of ad dollars to content creators and make lots of money. (Don't let the writers at Silicon Alley Insider scare you off.) Should the AMPTP offer an ad rev share just to keep the geeks in Silicon Valley from eating their lunch, even if not to appease the union?

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