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Guilds Question iTunes Deal

Oct 17, 2005  •  Post A Comment

Representatives of the talent guilds were sent scrambling by news of the iTunes deal to determine whether podcast streams are covered under existing contracts, sources said.

ABC officials said that payments to actors, producers and writers will be handled in a manner similar to how DVD sales are treated. The directors, writers and actors guilds released a joint statement that indicated that as of late last week they had not specifically discussed with Disney the iTunes partnership.

“We have not yet heard from the responsible employers of our members, but we look forward to a dialogue that ensures that our members are properly compensated for this exploitation of their work,” the joint guild statement said.

However, Writers Guild of America President Patric Verrone said talent guild members of all stripes should not be concerned.

“Internet downloads were discussed and negotiated in 2001,” he said. “The only open issue is what ABC’s business model is. I don’t know what their deal says, so I can’t tell you what the residual formula is. But we are all firmly of the opinion that we’re covered on this.”

-James Hibberd and Jay Sherman