Alta Eggoth makes a living as a medical test subject, and moonlights as a lolcat dialog writer. Her favorite color is clear, because it goes with everything. She wants to be a veterinarian when she grows up because she loves children. In her spare time she writes squeaky-clean slash, and thinks it quite unfair that all the nasty smutty writers get all the feedback.View all articles by Alta Eggoth
So, anyway, we've been covering the WGA's side of the story an awful lot. The Writer's Guild of America, if you have somehow missed the fact that all your favorite TV shows are now in reruns, has gone on strike. And Hollywood's basically imploded and everyone's not working and making a big fuss. The writers are striking 'cuz they say they're not getting paid enough for their work. Entertainment media is making lots more money than it used to, and the writers want a share of this, since, dude, there wouldn't be any shows if they weren't writing them.
The writers want a percentage of the money made on internet downloads, though the big media companies claim there isn't any money being made on the internet. (They've told their stockholders different, but anyway.) And they want more money for DVDs. Because they're only getting 1/3rd of a penny on every dollar. They want 2/3rds of a penny of every dollar for work they create.
The bigshots in Big Media, meanwhile, want to make lots of moola for their stockholders. (Note they're all stockholders of their own companies). And they probably want bigger, fatter, salaries. I personally think they want enough money to swim in like Scrooge McDuck. And that sounds fun, so maybe I support that a little.
And I've suspected there's some merit in what Big Media is saying. Maybe the writers are being irrational and it's Big Media who's totally in the right, and being rational, and not being money-grubbing weenies at all. So we went to their site. It's at AMPTP.com. And you know what? After reading their site, maybe I agree with them.
First off, they're fannish. "Just For Fun" links to a furry site. A furry site with really, really adult content in spots. I'd never have imagined they were openly furry fans! (I have totally got to send them my Thundercats fanfic. OMG!) Though it would've been nice if they'd tagged that link "NSFW" ... but then, the AMPTP isn't even bright enough to register all the .tlds of their name so maybe they don't understand 'net acronyms.
(Really, if they don't know to register all the .tlds, maybe there is some merit in their claim they need three years to research the internet before they can make money on it. They'll need that long just to get up to speed on 'net smarts. Or maybe they're as broke as they're implying, and -- screw paying the writers a fair wage -- they couldn't even afford to register all the domains. Maybe all they could scrape up the funds for was one domain.)
And I learned that Nick Counter, current president of the AMPTP, was a member of the Back Street Boys. He's hawt. You have to trust a face like that. And he likes dolphins!
And I learned on AMPTP.com that the amount that the writers want, which is only a tiny fraction of what the studios make per year, would bankrupt them. That's right, there's so little profit in the entertainment industry that there just isn't money in the budget to pay the writers more. They're not making gazillions of dollars of profit. They're only making, maybe, a few billions. I dunno how much exactly they're making. But, I bet their moguls couldn't even afford lunch at a burrito cart more than once a week after they get done filling their swimming pools with the cash they want to swim in.
Also, the writers are being really unreasonable.
And the WGA wants animation writers and reality TV script writers to be part of the union. And, really, nobody thinks that the writers of movies like, oh, the "Lion King" or "Shrek" should get paid more money if their movies are huge hits. Because, dude, it's a cartoon. And cartoons don't matter, except to studio bottom lines. Cartoon writers are teh suk, they're the lowest of the low, and they just don't deserve a fair deal, and they shouldn't get any residuals. If you want to write cartoons, you really should just accept that your work has no real value and you should slave away for whatever the studios will give you out of the goodness of their hearts. After all, the media moguls are really nice, honorable people and they're allowing you to have lots of fun writing stupid shows for kids.
And I learned that the writers want an independent third party to oversee finances. This, I think, is a completely irrational demand and I agree with the studios (as outlined on AMPTP.com) that that they should be trusted to be fair in their accounting. After all, they're being honest and up front right now. The writers are being completely irrational to mistrust them. Really, all the writers ought to need is a handshake deal to be assured that the completely honorable Media Big Wigs will pay them what they're due even if no third party can audit their books.
Oh, and something else I discovered, after researching all this -- there's a spoof site for the AMPTP. It's at AMPTP.org and it's absolutely full of misleading statements and half truths. Twisting the facts and presenting only part of a story so you look better is a lie. Boo, hiss, at the creators of AMPTP.org. What honest, trustworthy people they are.
Heck, when I wrote this article, I spotted a lie right on their front page. AMPTP.org claims that the creators of AMPTP.com "hijacked" their domain. Hijacking a domain would imply that, oh, somebody hacked a server or did something nasty to the DNS, or maybe a fraudster convinced a registrar that AMPTP.org had lost their everloving minds and were selling AMPTP.com to somebody else. I know these are kinda big hard concepts and big words, but it looks like, according to domain records, that the AMPTP.org folks registered their domain in September 12th, 2002 and the AMPTP.com folks didn't buy their domain until June 18th, 2004. So I don't know why the dot-org site is claiming that the dot-com folks "hijacked" their domain from them. It's not true. The dot-com folks bought it fair and square.
Well, maybe the explanation is that all the dot-org site's writers have quit working for them because they're meanies. And the people left behind don't know how to look up the definition of "hijack" in a thing called a "dictionary." So I'll help them. The phrase they want to use is, AMPTP.com "bought" their domain, legally, after it sat unclaimed for close to two years. No "hijacking" involved. Really.
Really, if the folks behind AMPTP.org were the media moguls that the WGA was trying to negotiate with, I'd totally side with the WGA. Because, if the AMPTP can't even be accurate and honest on a simple thing like domain registration that can be verified in two seconds here, how can they be trusted to tell the truth and not try to mislead people about bigger stuff?
But, of course, AMPTP.org is a spoof and nobody could possibly believe it was a serious site. It's got to be a hoax. AMPTP.com is the real site!
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