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Movies Studios Screw Writers Over What they Striked On

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As the Screen Actors Guild and the movie studios, represented by AMPTP, meet for the first time in four months today, the Writers Guild of America announced that writers are not getting paid for new media residuals, which was the core issue they held a 100-day strike over. That can't help today's meeting, which will include a federal mediator, because new media is one of the big reasons that SAG and AMPTP have not come to a deal yet.

Basically, payments are not being made for the resuse of writers work on products sold as electronic downloads (known as Electronic Sell-Through or EST) such as shows downloaded to a personal computer that can be kept permanently.

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"Our agreement with the companies on material released to EST covers feature films produced after July 1, 1971, and television programs produced after 1977," said John F. Bowman, WGAW Board member and chair of the 2007 WGA Negotiating Committee, in a statement. "The companies have reneged on this agreement and are taking the position that only programs produced after February 13, 2008 are covered by the new provision. This may be their deal with the [Directors Guild of America], but that was never our agreement."

IATSE, a stagehand and technician union, made a basic agreement with AMPTP yesterday, leaving SAG as the only major union holding out on a new deal with producers, says the Hollywood Reporter. SAG's contract expired on July 1st.