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THE WGA AND THE MORAL (AND FINANCIAL) RIGHTS OF THE AUTHOR

by
in Filmmaking
on May 6, 2007

It’s long, detailed and a must-read — Dennis McDougal’s piece in the L.A. Weekly, “Double Cross at the WGA,” on the guild’s collecting and non-payment of monies issued to member and non-member writers by foreign rights societies. The piece springboards off a class-action lawsuit filed by writer William Richert (Winter Kills) against the WGA as well as whistleblower activity by a now-terminated guild administrator into a discussion of American copyright law, studio business practices and the U.S.’s complicated relationship to the Berne Convention, the international copyright agreement spearheaded by author Victor Hugo.

The upshot? If you wrote a screenplay for any work of media that has aired on non-U.S. television, the WGA may be holding a check meant for you. (Or, perhaps, it held the check for six months and then shredded it… you’ll have to read the article for the details.)

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