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Apple video and residuals

News.com’s Blogma links to a set of blog comments on the subject of the residual payments to artists for video content downloaded from the iTunes Music Store – something that I mentioned in my own posting on Apple’s new video efforts.

Some of the comments linked to seem really surprising. in particular, the fact that the presidents of the unions representing Hollywood writers found out about the deal between Apple and ABC when they saw it on TV news is worrying, but, given Apple’s notorious secrecy, perhaps not surprising. I’m sure a deal will be worked out, but it really should have already been done.

Webfeed Central expresses an opinion that will, no doubt, be a common one among the more vociferous Mac users: that the unions pushing for residuals are just being greedy. This, of course, is a process that the unions have been through several times before in the last few decades, when video cassettes and DVD’s were first launched. The point is, of course, that the talent – the people who write the scripts, the people who act in the plays – are the creative forces behind each programme and they are entitled to their cut from any additional sales. Just as in the movie business DVD sales and rentals have become significant money-makers for the studios, so downloads will be in the not-too-distant future.

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  • http://www.ambivi.com Wes McGee

    I would absolutely hope that the “unions being greedy” meme doesn’t take hold — that would indicate that ignorance of the workings of the entertainment industry is more widespread than I thought.

    Of course, now I worry that the industries will be less open to work with Apple in the future because of these surprises sprung on them…

    …this in contrast with Google whom I’ve read went through all those negotiations with UPN, Chris Rock, and the various others involved with that episode of Everybody Hates Chris they streamed back in September.