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Guilds, ABC Take Potshots in iPod Residuals Fight

Feb 28, 2006  •  Post A Comment

The talent guilds and ABC fired media salvos Monday at each other in a battle over residuals for iPod downloads. ABC has told actors, writers and directors that iPod download sales residuals will be based on the traditional home video formula, which talent guilds have been struggling for years to increase.

“ABC’s actions are flatly inconsistent with our collective bargaining agreements and with labor law obligations, and fail to fairly compensate performers for the use of their work and images,” the Screen Actors Guild said in a statement. “SAG will pursue arbitration against ABC, or any company, which disregards their contractual commitments or attempts to deny our members just compensation.”

The Writers Guild of America added: “ABC’s unilateral decision to pay digital-download residuals at the home-video rate is a violation of our contract and an insult to our hard-working members. It is unacceptable, and we will aggressively pursue all legal options at our disposal.”

ABC countered with a statement of its own: “We believe that the residual for sales and permanent downloads of programs to the iPod is covered by the home video residual formula. If the Guilds have a different point of view, they have the right to challenge the Company’s determination before a neutral arbitrator.”