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Unions make joint call for iTunes TV show revenue

updated 01:50 pm EDT, Mon October 17, 2005

iTunes TV show revenue

Five unions representing actors, writers and directors today for talks to make sure members get a portion of revenue generated by the sale of TV shows on Apple's iTunes software: "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," according to a report from The Enquirer. The unions have not yet contacted ABC or its parent, Walt Disney, to discuss how much of the $1.99 that Apple is charging for a single episode should go to writers, actors and directors. ABC said "the guilds are our business partners, and we always welcome a dialogue with them on any business-related issue that affects their members." Revenue share talks could lead to a standoff, if studios decide to treat the internet downloads the same way DVD sales are treated, which would result in lower payments.

by MacNN Staff



  1. dimplemonkey

    Joined: Dec 1969



    So maybe Prince was right for having the words SLAVE on his face when he had his issues with WB Records. And maybe this is why iTunes has been doing so well with the music industry...because there was no union trying to stifle and demand their piece of the pie! IMHO, I hate unions (based on my personal experience, the union screwed over my father when they should have taken up for him like they claimed they would do.)

    I wonder what will Uncle Steve pull out of his hat to defeat this?

  1. Sondjata

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Producers Problem

    I don't think this is Apple's problem. I'm sure that like the music end, most of the price of the shows are going to the studios. They should be the sole parties on the hook. Apple is no more than an authorized reseller of material.

  1. haveaduff2

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Re: Hmm...

    I'm sorry a union screwed your father. But it seems a fair deal to me that the performing artists receive their just due. All too often, they don't.

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Re: producers

    That is correct. Apple pays to use the material, the producers/suppliers are then responsible for distributing profits/shares across whoever is contractually obligated to receive it (yes, the same as the music store).

    The unions here are just voicing their initial salvo at making sure its known they view the iTMS video content in the same way they view On Demand c*** on CATV, and want a slice of the pie accordinly, as opposed to thinking its DVD content, which is (for some unknown reason) a much smaller slice.

    And you got to love their use of the word "exploitation", like these guys were poor imigrants working in a sweatshop sewing clothes together.

    Oh, and if all doesn't get settled, at least the writers and all can strike, and put a huge hit on the networks.

    Oh, and depending on the contracts and all, some people still get screwed, regardless (I remember hearing Jack Klugman say that his deal for Quincy offered him a percentage of the profits of the show, and even though the show generated over a billion dollars in revenue, somehow they still hadn't broken even, so he made no money on the show.)

  1. Warrenpeace

    Joined: Dec 1969


    From who?

    Am I the only one who thought it was funny this report was from 'The Enquirer'? The tabloid? There's a good source.

  1. zac4mac

    Joined: Dec 1969


    The Enquirer, not...

    ... the National Enquirer that you see in the checkout line at the grocery store. It appears to be a Cincinnati paper..


  1. sadmachine

    Joined: Dec 1969



    This could be Apple's opportunity to have a subscription service. TV shows are usually only watched once or twice. If you want to own it, you're better off getting it on dvd anyway.

  1. Eriamjh

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Unions want more cash...

    Give the actors more and the studios less. $1.99 is a good price for an episode of Lost, etc.

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