SAG Holding Firm on Clips


The Screen Actors Guild (SAG) isn’t budging in its negotiations with the Hollywood studios over the use of clips online. In a video posted on its web site, Doug Allen, SAG national executive director and chief negotiator reaffirmed the guild’s belief that an actor must give their permission before a clip from a movie of TV show of theirs can be used online for something other than promotional purposes.

Allen talks about how for fifty years actors have had the right to refuse a producer from using a clip to create new content. The problem with that historical argument is that for the past fifty years, the only people who could create and distribute clips were producers. Now anyone can do it (like SAG, which is using web video clips to make its case to its membership). Why hamper the ability of the producers and studios to put out legitimate ones? You’ll never eliminate piracy altogether, but why not mitigate it somewhat by flooding the market with the real deal?

While I’m not always one to side with huge conglomerations, requiring them to get permission for every actor for every clip seems like a logistical nightmare that just creates more work for lawyers. Speaking of lawyers, SAG and the studios are set to renew their negotiations on May 28; the other actors’ guild, AFTRA, is currently negotiating a separate deal and is under a media blackout.

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