Nov 30, 2020
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Front Page, Industry News

$5.65 a year for the internet, and the agreement the CFTPA walked away from

TORONTO – So why did the mediation between ACTRA and the CFTPA breakdown on February 8? The answer is to be found in a number, and in an important missed opportunity.

INTERNET FOR FREE, IN RETURN FOR $5.65 A YEAR

First, the number. What the CFTPA proposed yesterday was 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. So, this offer amounts to $5.65 a year on a daily rate, for each of five years.

In return for this $5.65 annual fee, ACTRA was asked to agree to free worldwide distribution in “any new media now known” – including internet websites like Walmart, wireless, IP television, handhelds, iPods, cell phones, etc.

No revenues would be shared with performers during those five years.

Furthermore, as proposed, these terms would apply to every production ever produced in the past 64 years.

To further motivate ACTRA to agree to these terms, the CFTPA proposed that performers accept a 0% pay increase in the first year of the agreement, in order to pay for these fees. In other words, 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 years.

Disguised in a convoluted proposal, that is “internet for free.”

CFTPA RENEGES ON TENTATIVE AGREEMENT

Then there’s the missed opportunity.

People concerned about what these negotiations are doing to our industry have the right to know that in a series of talks leading up to this week’s mediation, ACTRA reached a very different tentative agreement with CFTPA negotiators on the internet.

The form of this agreement was finalized on a phone call between an ACTRA team led by Stephen Waddell and a CFTPA team led by John Barrack on February 5, 2007.

In these discussions, ACTRA accepted a model outlined in principle by the CFTPA earlier in negotiations, but never converted into a proposal until this week.

…/2

2

The idea proposed was, “we make a dollar on the internet, you make a dollar.”

ACTRA negotiators agreed to assign internet rights to producers. In return, producers would agree to share 3.6% of any revenues made specifically from the internet, from the first day a production was distributed there.

The only detail left to discuss with the mediator was whether or not there should be a small advance payment paid. An “advance payment” is exactly what it says – a sum paid in advance, deducted against future revenues.

ACTRA’s negotiating team went into this mediation optimistic that this dispute would now be settled. And we were therefore shocked when we received the producers’ first proposal – which proposed the outrageous $5.65 annual fee, funded by performers themselves from their pay, in return for assignment of free internet rights for five years.

We assumed this was the normal CFTPA lowball first proposal.

In ACTRA’s counter-proposal we submitted the terms that had been tentatively agreed only 48 hours before.

Our proposal was then angrily rejected by the CFTPA. They re-submitted their internet-for-free proposal, demanded it be accepted as drafted, and then walked out of the mediation at 4:00 p.m. on the second day (February 8, 2007).

WHY DID THE CFTPA WALK OUT?

The CFTPA owes the film and television industry an explanation.

Our theory is that it has something to do with the fact that there were only two working Canadian producers in their room – and eight Hollywood lawyers.

Eight Hollywood lawyers who appear to be using the CFTPA as a proxy and a puppet in their looming battle on this issue with the Writers Guild of America, the Directors Guild of America, and the Screen Actors Guild.

Judging from the proposal imposed on the CFTPA in a marathon eight-hour closed-door meeting on the first day, while we cooled our heels in our own room, they want the internet for free.

Getting off that idea, as CFTPA negotiators had agreed to do only a day earlier, is what it’s going to take to settle this dispute. We’ll have more to say about the outrageous performance we witnessed in this mediation in coming days.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Front Page, Industry News

$5.65 a year for the internet, and the agreement the CFTPA walked away from

TORONTO – So why did the mediation between ACTRA and the CFTPA breakdown on February 8? The answer is to be found in a number, and in an important missed opportunity.

INTERNET FOR FREE, IN RETURN FOR $5.65 A YEAR

First, the number. What the CFTPA proposed yesterday was 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. So, this offer amounts to $5.65 a year on a daily rate, for each of five years.

In return for this $5.65 annual fee, ACTRA was asked to agree to free worldwide distribution in “any new media now known” – including internet websites like Walmart, wireless, IP television, handhelds, iPods, cell phones, etc.

No revenues would be shared with performers during those five years.

Furthermore, as proposed, these terms would apply to every production ever produced in the past 64 years.

To further motivate ACTRA to agree to these terms, the CFTPA proposed that performers accept a 0% pay increase in the first year of the agreement, in order to pay for these fees. In other words, 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 years.

Disguised in a convoluted proposal, that is “internet for free.”

CFTPA RENEGES ON TENTATIVE AGREEMENT

Then there’s the missed opportunity.

People concerned about what these negotiations are doing to our industry have the right to know that in a series of talks leading up to this week’s mediation, ACTRA reached a very different tentative agreement with CFTPA negotiators on the internet.

The form of this agreement was finalized on a phone call between an ACTRA team led by Stephen Waddell and a CFTPA team led by John Barrack on February 5, 2007.

In these discussions, ACTRA accepted a model outlined in principle by the CFTPA earlier in negotiations, but never converted into a proposal until this week.

…/2

2

The idea proposed was, “we make a dollar on the internet, you make a dollar.”

ACTRA negotiators agreed to assign internet rights to producers. In return, producers would agree to share 3.6% of any revenues made specifically from the internet, from the first day a production was distributed there.

The only detail left to discuss with the mediator was whether or not there should be a small advance payment paid. An “advance payment” is exactly what it says – a sum paid in advance, deducted against future revenues.

ACTRA’s negotiating team went into this mediation optimistic that this dispute would now be settled. And we were therefore shocked when we received the producers’ first proposal – which proposed the outrageous $5.65 annual fee, funded by performers themselves from their pay, in return for assignment of free internet rights for five years.

We assumed this was the normal CFTPA lowball first proposal.

In ACTRA’s counter-proposal we submitted the terms that had been tentatively agreed only 48 hours before.

Our proposal was then angrily rejected by the CFTPA. They re-submitted their internet-for-free proposal, demanded it be accepted as drafted, and then walked out of the mediation at 4:00 p.m. on the second day (February 8, 2007).

WHY DID THE CFTPA WALK OUT?

The CFTPA owes the film and television industry an explanation.

Our theory is that it has something to do with the fact that there were only two working Canadian producers in their room – and eight Hollywood lawyers.

Eight Hollywood lawyers who appear to be using the CFTPA as a proxy and a puppet in their looming battle on this issue with the Writers Guild of America, the Directors Guild of America, and the Screen Actors Guild.

Judging from the proposal imposed on the CFTPA in a marathon eight-hour closed-door meeting on the first day, while we cooled our heels in our own room, they want the internet for free.

Getting off that idea, as CFTPA negotiators had agreed to do only a day earlier, is what it’s going to take to settle this dispute. We’ll have more to say about the outrageous performance we witnessed in this mediation in coming days.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Front Page, Industry News

$5.65 a year for the internet, and the agreement the CFTPA walked away from

TORONTO – So why did the mediation between ACTRA and the CFTPA breakdown on February 8? The answer is to be found in a number, and in an important missed opportunity.

INTERNET FOR FREE, IN RETURN FOR $5.65 A YEAR

First, the number. What the CFTPA proposed yesterday was 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. So, this offer amounts to $5.65 a year on a daily rate, for each of five years.

In return for this $5.65 annual fee, ACTRA was asked to agree to free worldwide distribution in “any new media now known” – including internet websites like Walmart, wireless, IP television, handhelds, iPods, cell phones, etc.

No revenues would be shared with performers during those five years.

Furthermore, as proposed, these terms would apply to every production ever produced in the past 64 years.

To further motivate ACTRA to agree to these terms, the CFTPA proposed that performers accept a 0% pay increase in the first year of the agreement, in order to pay for these fees. In other words, 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 years.

Disguised in a convoluted proposal, that is “internet for free.”

CFTPA RENEGES ON TENTATIVE AGREEMENT

Then there’s the missed opportunity.

People concerned about what these negotiations are doing to our industry have the right to know that in a series of talks leading up to this week’s mediation, ACTRA reached a very different tentative agreement with CFTPA negotiators on the internet.

The form of this agreement was finalized on a phone call between an ACTRA team led by Stephen Waddell and a CFTPA team led by John Barrack on February 5, 2007.

In these discussions, ACTRA accepted a model outlined in principle by the CFTPA earlier in negotiations, but never converted into a proposal until this week.

…/2

2

The idea proposed was, “we make a dollar on the internet, you make a dollar.”

ACTRA negotiators agreed to assign internet rights to producers. In return, producers would agree to share 3.6% of any revenues made specifically from the internet, from the first day a production was distributed there.

The only detail left to discuss with the mediator was whether or not there should be a small advance payment paid. An “advance payment” is exactly what it says – a sum paid in advance, deducted against future revenues.

ACTRA’s negotiating team went into this mediation optimistic that this dispute would now be settled. And we were therefore shocked when we received the producers’ first proposal – which proposed the outrageous $5.65 annual fee, funded by performers themselves from their pay, in return for assignment of free internet rights for five years.

We assumed this was the normal CFTPA lowball first proposal.

In ACTRA’s counter-proposal we submitted the terms that had been tentatively agreed only 48 hours before.

Our proposal was then angrily rejected by the CFTPA. They re-submitted their internet-for-free proposal, demanded it be accepted as drafted, and then walked out of the mediation at 4:00 p.m. on the second day (February 8, 2007).

WHY DID THE CFTPA WALK OUT?

The CFTPA owes the film and television industry an explanation.

Our theory is that it has something to do with the fact that there were only two working Canadian producers in their room – and eight Hollywood lawyers.

Eight Hollywood lawyers who appear to be using the CFTPA as a proxy and a puppet in their looming battle on this issue with the Writers Guild of America, the Directors Guild of America, and the Screen Actors Guild.

Judging from the proposal imposed on the CFTPA in a marathon eight-hour closed-door meeting on the first day, while we cooled our heels in our own room, they want the internet for free.

Getting off that idea, as CFTPA negotiators had agreed to do only a day earlier, is what it’s going to take to settle this dispute. We’ll have more to say about the outrageous performance we witnessed in this mediation in coming days.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

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