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Web streaming issue hits home for telepic scribe

The rub about free web streaming of movies and TV shows came into focus for scribe Juliet Giglio last year when she realized that a telepic she’d penned for ABC Family the year before was available for viewing on the ABCFamily.com website.

She never received any residual coin for the made-for “Pizza My Heart” — starring Shiri Appleby, Michael Badalucco and Dan Hedeya — because it never repeated on the cabler. But it was available for free streaming on the ABC Family website, and on a residual-free basis for Giglio.

More recently she’s come to realize that the majors’ position that ad-supported web streaming is all about promotion makes no sense, in this particular case, because “it’s not like they were promoting it to show it a second time” on the cabler, Giglio observed Thursday morning as she and her “labradoodle” mixed-breed Kylie took part in the doggie day picket outside 20th Century Fox.

(Giglio was one of the organizers of pooch picket along with her pal Cindy Chupack, who was at 20th with Tink, her sweet-faced Saint Bernard.)

And so Giglio has plenty of motivation to do her duty on the picket line. And she’s not the only one who’s missing what once would’ve been a dependable source of residual income. Even top shows a la “Lost” and “24” rarely see the kind of on-air repeats that yield five-figure residuals for scribes, but they are widely available on on-demand platforms.

Despite her frustration, Giglio can already see one silver-lining from the many weeks that she and so many others have spent not writing.

“We’re not going to have writers block ever again,” Giglio noted. “I’ve really missed the time that I normally have every day to just sit down and do what I love. When all this is over, if I ever have writer’s block again I’ll think about to these days when I couldn’t do it because I had to be out here every day.”

— Cynthia Littleton

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