Guilds Await First Download Residuals – And Anticipate A Fight


Disney has been making incremental income from iTunes downloads since mid-October, when CEO Bob Iger announced the deal without consulting the talent guilds — and set off a firestorm. Now, still sans any formal agreement, the members of the Writers Guild, Directors Guild and Screen Actors Guild are due for their first download residuals, probably at low-end home video rates. No great expectations, mind you, given the relatively small number of sales and low prices, but a reminder that the clock is ticking as Disney et al expand download options across platforms and devices. At the same time, as Variety notes, producers and networks are pushing talent to sign so-called contracts with so called test-option language granting rights to material produced for new media. This is only going to get messier and could affect upcoming guild negotiations if it isn’t resolved soon.

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