Saturday, February 10, 2007

more on protecting the artists

i receive email notifications as an actra member, they're usually pretty dull but not right now. actra (association of canadian television and radio artists) is canada's sag. actra is on strike pending a contract settlement with the cftpa (production, the money guys). the production end of the business wants to roll back residual agreements, pay scales and all manner of stupidity. but this slays me. in the dawning days of the 21st century, they have the snarling gall to demand that we give away performance royalties in every, single existing new media. that's like telling composers that we can strike a deal where you still get royalties from player piano reels, as long as you sign away your rights to that new fangled radio machine. stunning.

so. here we are. i suppose it would be mean to note that many of the organizations, companies and bodies that comprise cftpa might also be among the "rights holders" playing check book footsie with bev oda. don't you just love those kindly media conglomerates that are helping the new government's new heritage minister to draft our new copyright laws? that would be the same cast of bean counters that call you a pirate for copying digital entertainments. these are the very same folks that will rend their armani suits and nearly pull a thread whining about how they're protecting the artists. here's how they protect us artists. they want to steal away our livelihoods.

the vast majority of actors work very infrequently. most of us have no clout. we get negotiated scale and we are damned happy when we get it. when the director tells you that your part is wrapped, you're unemployed. and there's no guarantee you'll be working again soon. residual performance royalties often don't amount to a great deal of cash but they can be the difference between indoor and outdoor living for an aging performer. not only do they want to screw the performers for their future efforts, they want a blank slate to ravage the vaults and exploit our past efforts. they want to have our cake and eat yours too. chances are, if you consume digital media on a mobile device, you pay for the privilege. then you get all the ads. why the only thing better than two streams of black, is to cut off a stream of red. you pay for the basic service, you pay for content, advertisers pay to interupt the flow of your content and the people that ARE the content get left out of the deal.

protect the artists my ass, here's an excerpt of a notice i got today:

"CFTPA's 1st offer: internet for free
ACTRA: no thanks

CFTPA's 2nd offer: internet for $5.65 a year
ACTRA: um, no thanks

The CFTPA has proposed that ACTRA agree to assign internet rights without any
revenue-sharing, for five years, in return for a 1% annual fee.
ACTRA's daily minimum fee is $565.
That's $5.65 a year, for five years.
What does CFTPA want for this?
Worldwide distribution of professional performers' work in "any new media now
known" including websites, wireless, IP television, handhelds, iPods, cell
phones, and so on.
No revenues would be shared with performers during those five years.
These terms would apply to every production ever produced in the past 64 years.
The CFTPA also proposed that performers accept a 0% pay increase in the first
year of the agreement, in order to pay for these fees.
Performers would fund the $5.65 fee out of the pay increase they would otherwise
receive. And then accept zero revenue sharing on internet distribution for five

ACTRA rejects this proposal.
This proposal, for all intents and purposes, is still "internet for free."

these rude bastards are just drunk on greed. what a fucking insult.


JimBobby said...

Whooee! Dang right, CynicalFeller. The selfsame sorta crappola is happenin' fer the fellers an' gals who write the stories an' take the pitchers an' draw the cartoons fer newspapers. The newsparer bosses don't wanna pay 'em any extra when they use that there content on the internets.

My good buddy, Johnny Fewings, is a freelancin' editorial cartoonist. The papers pay a piddly amount fer his work an' then 'bout a year ago, they all stated sendin' him release forms t' sign sayin' anything they bought fer the paper could go online an' he couldn't ask fer any more dough.

Yer right as rain. They're greedy bastards.


Lindsay Stewart said...

a comment from jimbobby! somehow i feel like i've arrived. i'm just not sure where. thanks for pointing out some more of the real pirates jimbobby.

Anonymous said...

Did you go to the strike meeting that took place around the 30th or so?

It was awesome. Except for that one dick who rambled for 15 minutes instead of 2.

Lindsay Stewart said...

eb i haven't made the meetings. but i do what i can online. i can't afford time off from my day job to travel to toronto. the general public has no clue what's going on. strangely enough the media hasn't had much to say about the strike. hmmm.