US: Writers' Guild strike

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MJ
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Nov 7 2007 13:27
US: Writers' Guild strike

So are we for this because they're withholding their immaterial labor and showing what is truly subversive about the proletariat experience, or are we against it because their argument bolsters the moral argument for intellectual property rights?

sphinx
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Nov 7 2007 13:48

I'm hesitantly for it. Compare the relative strengths of the movie industry and the pirates. Clearly the latter have the upper hand, the companies could not even keep the blu-ray/HDDVD keys off of the internet, no matter how hard they try. I'm not sure if the union actually has the illusions that the industry just doesn't have enough money to pay them higher wages (I hope not), but even if they did, the companies take out loans to meet the raises, try to recoup that through greater intellectual property control of internet media, fail, and the crisis asserts itself at a higher level: between labor and capital on the one hand and between general intellect and intellectual property on the other.

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redboots
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Nov 7 2007 19:22

I would assume that we were for it. I did not even know there was a writers union, but in many ways it is akin to doing anything else that does not involve physical labor. You are still selling your labor to the bosses for a wage. I'm not familiar enough with what intellectual property rights are to comment on that though.

Iron Column
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Nov 7 2007 22:50

Couldn't one claim that almost any non-revolutionary strike strengthens the moral argument for private property? Just not so blatantly as this particular one? I personally like this strike since it shows that Hollywood really is a "culture industry".

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Nov 7 2007 22:54

Wait, do people here support non-revolutionary strikes?

Iron Column
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Nov 7 2007 23:03

I do? I'm just saying that most strikes generally have that mentality where the capitalist unquestionably owns the factory and they are only asking for more money, so that this particular strike is the same as others, only in a bit more caricatured form. Hence even if they are supporting some form of private property, they should still get our support? This was what I meant.

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Nov 7 2007 23:08

Typical social-democrat leftist! You probably want workers to "control" the factories.

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Nov 8 2007 00:23

there are actually several writer unions. the Writers Guild is a union of script writers in the entertainment industry. there is also the Newspaper Guild (newspaper journalists' union that merged with CWA), and the National Writers Union (union of freelance journalists and book writers) (a national "local" of UAW).

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Nov 8 2007 03:39
syndicalistcat wrote:
there are actually several writer unions. the Writers Guild is a union of script writers in the entertainment industry. there is also the Newspaper Guild (newspaper journalists' union that merged with CWA), and the National Writers Union (union of freelance journalists and book writers) (a national "local" of UAW).

And this is the same issue that the NWU won for electronic reproduction in the Tassini vs NY Times case. I'm not sure why the producers even think they can win it with a similar supreme court decision on a nearly identical issue.

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Nov 8 2007 11:07
MJ wrote:
Typical social-democrat leftist! You probably want workers to "control" the factories.

MJ seriously, you're talking to an american anarchist who isn't a mad post-leftist, be happy smile

(and as you know, the 'ultra left dogmatic purists' among us have been doing what we can to support the very unrevolutionary uk public sector strikes amongst other things. critically of course wink )

sphinx
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Nov 8 2007 15:10

http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/danagoodyear/2007/11/strike-notes.html

Quote:
Strike Notes

I was sitting at lunch with a TV-writer friend on Sunday when his strike assignment arrived on his BlackBerry: four hours, the following day, over the hill in Burbank. He had spent the previous evening grimly reading Joan Didion’s account, in “After Henry,” of the twenty-two-week writers’ strike in 1988, which, according to the L.A. Times, cost the industry about five hundred million dollars. As Didion saw it, the strike “was about respect, and about whether the people who made the biggest money were or were not going to give a little to the people who made the less big money.”

Most people think that this strike will last six months, and that, as before, the writers will not win. People are wondering if, during those months, the loss of biodiversity will bring about the total, irreversible dominance of the nutrient-choking algae of reality TV.

I just spoke to my friend. He and about a hundred other writers were attempting to disrupt the shooting of “Desperate Housewives” by shouting “Shut it down!” and “We write the storia / For Eva Longoria!” Then Longoria had pizza delivered for the strikers.

Fucking at least they're getting pizza out of it eh.

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Nov 8 2007 15:47

So should we consider reality tv contestants scabs?

sphinx
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Nov 8 2007 15:51
Khawaga wrote:
So should we consider reality tv contestants scabs?

Now we arrive at the real meat of the debate.

Flint
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Nov 8 2007 16:17
Quote:
From a source close to "The Office" --

The Office has shut down for good. Around 2:00 pm Tuesday. The crew has been asked back Wednesday to strike the location, but there will be no more shooting. This is thanks to a complete staff picket from 4:15 am to 3:00 Monday (when they called the day) and 6:45 am Tuesday until they shut it down. It is also thanks to a number of WGAmebers/actors making principled stands and not reporting to work.

Additionally, I've been told that Steve Carell informed NBC he is unable to report to work because he is suffering from “enlarged balls.” Not just enlarged, I'd say, but brass ones. The source on this one adds, "We wish him a happy, slow recovery."

The Office: "Shut Down for Good"

Mike Harman
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Nov 8 2007 16:21

That's quite a beautiful thing that the first strike in "The Office" was by the writers, actors and production staff.

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Nov 8 2007 16:27
Quote:
sphinx wrote:
I just spoke to my friend. He and about a hundred other writers were attempting to disrupt the shooting of “Desperate Housewives” by shouting “Shut it down!” and “We write the storia / For Eva Longoria!” Then Longoria had pizza delivered for the strikers.

Fucking at least they're getting pizza out of it eh.

That's it she's getting an entry in celeb working class heroes. And Steve Carell

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Nov 8 2007 16:29

the workers' spreadsheet grows cool

sphinx
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Nov 8 2007 16:45

http://diy.despair.com/output/poster4774330.jpg

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Nov 8 2007 16:45

Just read that united hollywood page - great stuff. Of course they should be paid for that. It is kinda surprising there's never been a strike in The Office...

Flint
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Nov 8 2007 16:56
John. wrote:
Just read that united hollywood page - great stuff. Of course they should be paid for that. It is kinda surprising there's never been a strike in The Office...

I'm sure they'll be one next season, no?

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Nov 8 2007 17:10

Didn't the warehouse wildcat briefly in the US Office last year?

Mike Harman
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Nov 8 2007 18:34

Never seen the US one. I wonder whether we'll have to put Ricky Gervais in celebrity scabs or not.

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Nov 8 2007 21:30

British journalists protest in Amsterdam.
Seems the NUJ is a militant union, or at least by comparison. Must be gdbid. smile

http://www.nieuwsuitamsterdam.nl/English/2007/11/nuj.htm

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Nov 9 2007 00:27

I believe in season 2 the warehouse workers had a very bad start at an organizing campaign. Some of us in the IWW have considered implementing it into organizing trainings.

Smash Rich Bastards
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Nov 9 2007 03:26
OliverTwister wrote:
I believe in season 2 the warehouse workers had a very bad start at an organizing campaign. Some of us in the IWW have considered implementing it into organizing trainings.

I think for that to work you'd probably first need to come up with a good organizing model to juxtapose it with. grin

dara
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Nov 9 2007 11:42
Quote:
LOS ANGELES—Striking writer Hunter Covington said he was looking for "someone to be broke with" when he came up with the idea for a picket line for singles.

"I'm looking for a low-maintenance female who doesn't enjoy the finer things in life," he joked Thursday outside the Fox studio gate in Century City.

The writer for NBC's "My Name is Earl" was joined by about 50 other people for the impromptu event dubbed "Singles' Strike."

Charles Heit, a writer for the Sci Fi Channel's "Painkiller Jane," said he was dreading picket duty until he met Cara Delizia, a petite actress. Then it didn't seem so bad.

The two planned to go to dinner and a movie after putting down their picket signs.

"It's all about solidarity, right?" Delizia said.

http://www.mercurynews.com/breakingnews/ci_7408332?nclick_check=1

Love on the barricades...

sphinx
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Nov 9 2007 11:47

Leave it to the car culture capitalist nightmare of Los Angeles to dig its own grave by destroying any other human space and making strike lines the only place where people can find a date.

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Nov 9 2007 12:22
John. wrote:
Just read that united hollywood page - great stuff. Of course they should be paid for that. It is kinda surprising there's never been a strike in The Office...

united hollywood - link please.

I've still not got a handle on what this strike is about - the radio last night said they were striking over piracy or for better controls of copyright. Some bitch said something like 'watching online is killing the industry. If you love your shows don't watch them online'.

its not a strike for harsher policing surely? confused

Mike Harman
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Nov 9 2007 12:33

Tacks - earlier in thread roll eyes

Pretty sure it's about royalty payments to writers from the production houses - they don't get paid for legal pay-to-downloads and others (in the same way musicians generally don't get paid for downloads from iTunes etc.). I think that was the point of MJ's lame straw-man attempt at a jokey ultra-left response to the strike. I doubt it's a strike against p2p in any way, although I'm sure some individuals will be against it and the media will pick up on them.

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Nov 9 2007 12:34
Tacks wrote:
John. wrote:
Just read that united hollywood page - great stuff. Of course they should be paid for that. It is kinda surprising there's never been a strike in The Office...

united hollywood - link please.

I've still not got a handle on what this strike is about - the radio last night said they were striking over piracy or for better controls of copyright. Some bitch said something like 'watching online is killing the industry. If you love your shows don't watch them online'.

its not a strike for harsher policing surely? confused

link was already posted, also explains the strike. it's to get paid for shows shown online:
http://unitedhollywood.blogspot.com/2007/11/office-down-for-good.html

Pepe
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Nov 9 2007 13:39

Cast of Ugly Betty: