Barry Diller on the strike: “I think it’s stupid.”

Diller_2Or so he tells Neil Cavuto in a broadcast interview on FOX Business Network.

The normally shy and retiring Diller had much to say on the WGA strike:

I expect that it will probably be a long strike, which would be unfortunate because I don’t think it makes much sense….I think it’s stupid. I don’t think they should have gone out on strike…Both sides must have really mishandled this one… In order to have gotten to ‘strike moment’ everyone must have screwed up, which makes it difficult to get them back to some sort of sanity.”

He then goes on to say that the digital revenues are a nonissue, as there currently are none.

“What this strike is about is not revenues from first usage. It’s about revenues from what happens in this digital age, of which right now there are none… What they want to do is strike so they’re protected for the future. The problem with that is right now it’s a future that no one can figure out…What they should have done is say, we’re going to take the next five year period – we want to know where all of these revenues are coming from.  We want to freeze this area until we can understand the revenues, which aren’t going to develop for another few years…There are no profits for the work that writers do that is then digitized and distributed through the Internet.”

I think we’re pretty clear as to what the WGA would say to that.

— Dana Harris

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  1. chuck says:

    Thanks, Screenplay! I know about the hunt for research being Killer. As an illustrator for magazine articles & comicbook stories, (written by writer’s, of course), I’m researching all the time! Big props to The Photographers too! Just want to see everybody who deserves to get a fair share, including The Companies,… but not JUST The Companies.

  2. ScreenPlay says:

    chuck | November 13, 2007 at 07:22 AM
    I’m a terrible speller,… yet another reason to respect what professional writers do.
    Ah.. Chuck…..there is an on-line service provided called “spell check”…and it is FREE! There is also a site that offers “fact check” as well. That’s free as well. The Hunt or Research is the Killer. That takes EFFORT! ;)

  3. ScreenPlay says:

    What a wonderful day it would be.. if the writers aka handlers for all the Presidential candidates would stage a walk-out.
    (visual of little wind up dolls all crashing into one another-domino chain reaction)

  4. chuck says:

    Correction; At end of my first entry,… that’s “digital”. I’m a terrible speller,… yet another reason to respect what professional writers do.

  5. Lee Williams says:

    Hey…I just have to say…from a Producer’s P.O.V., figuring out how money is made off the Internet is an even bigger question than what should everyone be making from the Internet. For the BIG studios…all it’s doing is furthering the brand, exploiting the property a little further, but whether that’s actually or can be quantified by causing more and more people to tune in or subscribe to a particular cable package…does anyone have those figures. Obviously Pay TV, or Internet Pay download can be quantified…but if ABC Online shows a day-old “Desperate Housewives”, does anyone see it? Does actual money trickle down to anyone? Are there firms setting up to start collecting this info to quantify residuals? I’m only concerned that the WGA strike is a wee bit pre mature. Just a wee bit…probably about 2 years too early.
    Hey…don’t get me wrong, I support the right to Strike…but has the WGA contracted a third party accounting firm to quantify the trickle down resids from those digital ancillary area not in the WGA agreement…rather than speculating?
    Lee Williams
    Boomstone Studios, Canada

  6. chuck says:

    One man, one opinion. Here’s another. Even though the details of how the internet will ultimatly impact & change the dynamics of how licensed/copyrighted works profits are affected, the issue of percentage acknowledgments and distribution to creators is, and will always be, an issue, weather it’s figured out yet or not.
    Maybe a general fee can be paid to writers for overall internet usage?
    Mr. Dutter says there is currently no revenues from what’s happening in the digital age. If someone like me goes online to a network site to watch an episode of my favorite tv show, and I am then inspired to buy a t-shirt or another product related to the show from the site’s online store,… would’nt that count as “revenue generated by the digital age?”
    That being the case, along with the Corperation, would’nt the writer(s) that helped to create that show that ultimatly motivated me to make that purchasing decision be entitled to some small percentage of that revenue too?
    Both sides need to really attempt to figure out & agree on what’s fair, & adapt the agreement(s) accordingly as the new media evolves,…. ’cause it sure a’int gonna go away! This degital age is here to stay.

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