Writers strike

I happen to be in LA this week so I’m seeing lots of new about the looming writers strike.

Writers on strike?

Believe it or not those charming airheads on the tube don’t write the words that come out of their mouths. A back office of writers keeps the game going.

Now those writers are on the verge of walking off the job. Their complaint is that they’re not receiving compensation for DVD sales and other digital repackaging of their work.

Is this really a big deal?

Yes it is for two reasons, one micro and one macro…

On the micro level, a writers strike shuts a big part of the entertainment industry down.  In the LA area alone, that’s 200,000 people.  The last writers strike, which was quite prolonged, cost the California economy a few billion dollars.

The macro level is a little more interesting.

The last time there was a writers strike there was no such thing as Internet video and certainly no such thing as user-generated Internet video content.

If this strike takes place, many popular television programs will be forced to run archived shows. During the last writers strike, viewers grumbled at being served up “leftover” fare. This time around they have an option: the Internet.

The Internet has relentlessly been stealing eyeballs from TV – with TV offering its best stuff. What will happen when TV is offering crap?

This strike may prove to be historic for reasons the writers union and entertainment industry may not like.

A modest proposal for Thanksgiving
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2 Responses to Writers strike

  1. Ken McCarthy November 5, 2007 at 7:06 pm #

    Marc Andreessen has on target comments on this one too:
    http://blog.pmarca.com/2007/11/suicide-by-stri.html
    If you don’t know Marc’s blog, check it out. Hands down may favorite high tech business blog.

  2. Ken McCarthy November 12, 2007 at 2:15 pm #

    More sharp analysis from Marc Andreessen on the potential long term consequences current writers strike.
    http://blog.pmarca.com/2007/11/rebuilding-holl.html
    It’s great that Marc has the time (for now) to write for the public.
    Anyone who thought he was “lucky” with Netscape or a one-hit wonder is getting the chance to see this first-class intellect at work.

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