ACTRA strike and new media.

Reading the press release from the Canadian Film and Television Production Association (CFTPA) and a Canadian Press article, I can see a familiar situation. When there are many different types of creators and intermediaries involved in some final form of creativity, and there are multiple distribution channels (traditional TV, Internet, etc), then how does all the money get carved up.

The core of the dispute seems to be that actors want new media to be treated identically to traditional film and TV work. While I don't know the details of the dispute, I will tend to disagree with those who think all media are identical as they are not. The business models of traditional movie production, distribution and funding, and of television, are not going to be the same for new media. The Internet is not a new type of "pipe" (Past Heritage Minister Copps) or "tube" (US Senator Ted Stevens) onto which you feed the same content as old media, but is a different type of media that enables a much wider range of production, distribution and funding options. Any attempt to start a conversation from a misunderstanding that all media is the same is going to end up in major disagreements.

We also need to move people away from discussing "minimum wage" and other such issues which are separate from discussions of how to carve up royalties or other rewards for exclusive rights granted to creators. These two issues are entirely separate, and only if we are talking about "work for hire" where no exclusive rights are granted to the worker are "wages" relevant. Where there are exclusive rights the rightsholder can express them in a variety of different ways, but they are not (and never were) a type of a "wage". Copyright and labour issues must remain understood as separate issues.