Friday, November 9, 2007

Secret Writer Strike

I guess I am what I will call a secret writer. I don't really write for a living. Actually, my blog is the most writing I do beyond filing out my forms at work. But my dream job would be a screenwriter/tv show creator, and I did take screenwriting classes in college and after. So I do know how to write screenplays, I just don't. Secret writer. You might say wannabe, but that doesn't sound nearly as cool, so I'm sticking with secret writer.

So as a secret writer, I am interested in the current writer's guild strike. While not a member of the writer's guild, I am a member of a union, and I know how tough it can be to make the decision to strike. At my job, if we went on strike it would put maybe 1000 people out of a job while we were striking, but in the end, it would be mostly an inconvience for a few people. We wouldn't be affecting the whole customer service industry, not even the whole cell phone industry. If you didn't call customer service, you might not even know. But in Hollywood, if writers go on strike, there are no scripts which means no work for anyone and shuts the whole industry down. And with such a public industry, everyone has a side. You're not just taking yourselves, but many people's jobs and futures into your hands, so if you're willing to fight it must be something worth fighting for. And this issue (residuals for downloads) is defintely worth fighting for.

Many knitters do create patterns for free because they enjoy creating something and want to share it with others, but many also create patterns for purchase so that they can make money to support themselves. (I am actually going somewhere with this) With the internet, someone can buy that pattern and repost it so other people can get it for free or do other things to help others avoid paying for it. And I know it frustrates many knitters because the pattern they worked hard on creating, that extra income that they are hoping for themselves and their families is out there and they aren't getting credit or getting paid for it, which could mean that they aren't feeding their families or can't pay for their kids to go to college or something else. And since most patterns cost so little, it does not take much to help the person who created the pattern for, let's say, the lovely blanket that will become a family heirloom. And that frustration is exactly why the writers are on strike. But in this case that person who is giving the pattern away is actually selling it (either on iTunes or by selling ad time to air it for free on their website) and not paying the patternmaker.

So this secret writer is taking up her virtual picket for you in the Writer's Guild, and refusing to download video on a network's website or through iTunes. I know if I were ever able to write something that anyone would purchase, the work that you are doing now would help this writer/patternmaker (I'm a secret patternmaker too) get paid for it, so thank you.

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