Sunday, January 20, 2008

Directors Guild and Producers reach agreement to avoid a strike

Update : Writer's Strike & DGA/AMPTP News ~

Since the Writers Guild went on strike, many have been wondering if the Directors Guild would be next. The DGA's negotiations with the AMPTP have obviously fared better than the writer's because they have already come to an agreement after less than a week of formal talks. The directors contract covers some of the same territory that is so contentious between the WGA & AMPTP, such as new media. Due to that, sources say they hope this agreement will provide a blueprint for a new contract with the writers and an end to the strike. *fingers crossed*

According to the United Hollywood site ~

WGA Begins Back Channel Discussion With AMPTP

UH has learned that as of Friday, January 18th, 2008, the WGA began an informal dialogue with one of the conglom bosses. The conversations were cordial and respectful on both sides.

This is the way that the DGA talks began -- with informal consultations at a high level between leaders on both sides. It is not negotiation, it's the precursor to negotiation, but the good news is that what Patric Verrone, David Young and John Bowman said at the captain's meeting Friday appears to be very true: we are finally at a moment where the companies are ready to start seriously bargaining.

More info about the DGA agreement with the AMPTP, from United Hollywood ~

LOS ANGELES – The Directors Guild of America (DGA) announced Thursday, January 17th, 2008 that it has concluded a tentative agreement on the terms of a new 3-year collective bargaining agreement with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP).

Highlights of the new agreement include:

Increases both wages and residual bases for each year of the contract.

Establishes DGA jurisdiction over programs produced for distribution on the Internet.

Establishes new residuals formula for paid Internet downloads (electronic sell-through) that essentially doubles the rate currently paid by employers.

Establishes residual rates for ad-supported streaming and use of clips on the Internet.

"Two words describe this agreement - groundbreaking and substantial," said Gil Cates, chair of the DGA's Negotiations Committee, in announcing the terms of the new agreement. "The gains in this contract for directors and their teams are extraordinary – and there are no rollbacks of any kind.

"Formal negotiations between the DGA's 50-member Negotiations Committee and the AMPTP began Saturday, January 12, and were concluded Thursday, January 17th, 2008. Talks were led by Cates and DGA National Executive Director Jay D. Roth. They were preceded by months of informal discussions and nearly two years of preparation and research by Guild staff and consultants.

"This was a very difficult negotiation that required real give and take on both sides," said DGA president Michael Apted. "Nonetheless, we managed to produce an agreement that enshrines the two fundamental principles we regard as absolutely crucial to any employment and compensation agreement in this digital age: First, jurisdiction is essential. Without secure jurisdiction over new-media production—both derivative and original—compensation formulas are meaningless. Second, the Internet is not free. We must receive fair compensation for the use and reuse of our work on the Internet, whether it was originally created for other media platforms or expressly for online distribution."

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