The Screen Writer's Guild Strike, What in the Digital World Does this Mean?

As I sort through the details of the Screen Writers Guild strike, I wonder what does this all mean.  How will we ever figure out who owns what as the idea of authority gets rewritten in the digital world?

Unfortunately, through all the noise, hype, and spin coming from the news organizations it’s very difficult to get the heart of the matter of the Screen Writer’s Guild Strike.  At first I didn’t really care about it until I read this blog entry on CNET.  In this blog, the writer editorializes on comments made by Michael Eisner in an interview he did with Neil Cavuto.  Basically Eisner calls the strike “silly” because there is no money, now, to be redistributed and if the writers want to blame somebody for their unfair treatment, then they should blame Steve Jobs.  *lol*  *oh, my sides hurt and there are tears coming from my eyes*   I can’t say I’d ever think to talk to Michael Eisner about the fair treatment of workers and don’t get me started on Disney during the Eisner days or the soreness Eisner is feeling in the wake of Steve Jobs …

But then it hits me, yeah, where does the money go?  It’s the same problem that music writers face with online music.  I, however, am not too concerned with the established ways the studio system distributes money.  My understanding is that it’s a fun chain wherein each link of workers gets screwed as you go on down the chain.  My feeling is that writers have the opportunity to break the chain now that anybody can be a writer and anybody can make a TV show or movie and post it on the web.  My main concern is what happens when fans start to make their own episodes of their favorite show or when fans create spin-offs.  Are fans going to be pursued for infringement?  If fan writers are recognized, will they have to join the Screen Writer’s Guild?  Are web writers, in general, in order to have their content put on TV or in movie theaters going to have to join the Screen Writer’s Guild?  The same goes for awards.  Ever wonder why George Lucas doesn’t have an Oscar — it’s because he’s not a part of the Director’s Guild.  There is a promise between the various Hollywood Guilds and the production studios, but how does this system stay in place when everybody can be an author, actor, director, or crew?

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