The Instigator
ktimbes1983
Pro (for)
Winning
19 Points
The Contender
Kasemei
Con (against)
Losing
12 Points

The Writers are right.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/16/2008 Category: Arts
Updated: 9 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 1,588 times Debate No: 1875
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (7)
Votes (9)

 

ktimbes1983

Pro

The writers have every reason to be striking now. The networks are making money hand over fist by streaming content over the internet. The networks generate revenue from the internet in some of the same ways as on television. However they writers recieve no compensation for content streamed over the internet.

This should change.
Kasemei

Con

The writers have no reason to be striking right now. Granted that different things are being streamed online is out of the hands of the people that work at the networks. In addition to that, Writers are being paid a flat wage. This compensates for it as well. The fact is, if you don't want to write for a company because they don't pay you enough wages, quit and find another company. Don't agree to work for a certain company, then don't do it. Don't sit there and complain about it.

Another idea is the fact that people get royalties. For example, people who write a commercial can either opt to get a flat rate, or opt for royalities whenever their commercial is played. The same idea should apply here.
Debate Round No. 1
ktimbes1983

Pro

"Granted that different things are being streamed online is out of the hands of the people that work at the networks"

Some of the content is out of the hands of the networks and the writers. This is no different than the problems that the music industry had with illegal downloading. Notice that there has never been a musician's strike however, they only threatened and followed up on litigation.

This means that there must be some difference. Legally downloaded songs that are paid for by the customer do pay out royalties to the artists. This goes for ringtones as well. Musicians are benefitting from the digital age while writers are being given the middle finger.

Networks do have control over the content that they offer on their websites, and content that can be found on yahoo, etc. Comercial advertisements can be found in these online shows and represent serious revenue for the networks and potentially for the writers as well. Furthermore, they recieve direct payment when customers buy television shows from sources like itunes. It seems pretty simple that the writers should recieve either royalties from these sales or their flat wage should be adjusted accordingly. The networks have refused and that is why the industry faces the mess it is in today.

"The fact is, if you don't want to write for a company because they don't pay you enough wages, quit and find another company."

This is a union thing. All the union writers for every network are on strike. It is an industry wide-problem that needs an industry-wide solution.

"Another idea is the fact that people get royalties. For example, people who write a commercial can either opt to get a flat rate, or opt for royalities whenever their commercial is played. The same idea should apply here."

The world of television and movies has changed a great deal in the last few years. The internet represents a huge stream of revenue, from which the writers of the very content being sold, are not seeing a dime. The point of the strike is to change this so that the writers are adequately compensated. The same idea that you mentioned does apply here. However the writers have contracts with the union and the studios they work for. Now that it is time to negotiate those contracts, the writers are asking for compensation for new revenue that was non-existent years ago.
Kasemei

Con

"Some of the content is out of the hands of the networks and the writers. This is no different than the problems that the music industry had with illegal downloading. Notice that there has never been a musician's strike however, they only threatened and followed up on litigation.

This means that there must be some difference. Legally downloaded songs that are paid for by the customer do pay out royalties to the artists. This goes for ringtones as well. Musicians are benefitting from the digital age while writers are being given the middle finger."

Would that not be the same for the fact of the writers? There are ways do legally download different tv show and etc. The fact that the musicians getting the royalties would be the same as the musicians getting their royalties.

Another point is the fact that the writers, while they are writing the script, are never actually seen on screen like those who are paid to be there. Musicians can also get royalties because it's their work, and theirs alone. However, when it comes to movies, shows, etc., it's not just the writer, it's the actors, the actresses, the extras, that also pull a major part of the scene together.

Also in enduring between a musician and a writer, you talk about how musicians are benefitting from the digital age while writers are not. However, you have to keep in mind that musicians also can be more valuable than writers in a sense. A musician has multiple things to do in a day, from writing music to playing a gig. If you're one of the major bands or artists out there, and you don't get what you want, you could refuse to do something that could potentially lose your record company a lot of money.

For example. Say Fallout Boy wasn't getting its royalties anymore, so it decided to stop the rest of the tour. That would cause so much money lost, because the company would need to refund tickets. Perhaps they just refuse to work on their new album, shoving the release date even farther? That costs the record company even more money. Now, you may say that the company could just fire the band, but then that would be a huge band for someone else to contract, which would equal a lot of potential gain lost.

However, it is not such with writers. Say a writer got extremely ticked off because of this instance, and decided not to write? The director easily could fire said writer and hire another one, tell him how he wanted it to go, and have the new writer continue writing with a possibly different style. It doesn't effect his production much, and doesn't affect his income.

" However the writers have contracts with the union and the studios they work for. Now that it is time to negotiate those contracts, the writers are asking for compensation for new revenue that was non-existent years ago."

How many people's contracts are negotiable right now? How many have expired so they can be negotiated upon? The fact is, when the writer signed the contract, they agreed to so and so terms. If they have a problem with something mid contract, that is not the business's fault, and therefore the writers should wait until their contract has expired before attempting to change how much they're getting paid. If we have a strike every time someone's not happy with their wages, we'd would have strikes every day from all parts of the economy, and NOTHING would get done. Life would halt to a standstill.
Debate Round No. 2
ktimbes1983

Pro

"Would that not be the same for the fact of the writers? There are ways do legally download different tv show and etc. The fact that the musicians getting the royalties would be the same as the musicians getting their royalties."

No, it is not the same at all. Musicians have been recieving royalties for a very long time to compensate them for the number of units sold. However, television shows have only been sold on the retail market for a few years now. It was very simple to come up with royalty payment methods for online music purchases.

Television has generated content in a much different way for decades. Almost all revenue has been generated by selling ad space. Because there were no units sold, and therefore nothing to pay out royalties on, it was fair for the writers to get paid x amount of money for y amount of episodes.

In the last decade, revenues for networks have shifted greatly from television airwaves to the internet. The industry has changed, so should the compensation for the writers who provide the content.

"Another point is the fact that the writers, while they are writing the script, are never actually seen on screen like those who are paid to be there."

This is a decent point. However you can't argue with the importance of the writers. Nobody who has watched telivision lately would deny that. Look at the late night shows. A big portion of the content is jokes about the writers strike and how the shows have nothing to talk about. "The Office" is shut down. So is "Lost".

If you take away the on screen talent, than there is no show. The exact same thing can be said for the writers. The dozens of shows and who knows how many movies that have stopped production serve as perfect evidence that the writers are an integral part of the show.

"Musicians can also get royalties because it's their work, and theirs alone."

This is false. Going from conception of an idea to a CD on the shelved or mp3 available for dowload takes a huge collaboration just like TV and movies.

Along with the band, there is a producer, who is sometimes provided by the record company, a marketing department to get the word out about the album and perhaps the accompanying tour. And of course there is the record company who provides all of the investment to cover the cost of all these things. Musicians are a PART of the music industry just like the writers are to TV and movies. While we are on that topic MANY musicians do not write their own songs. In the music industry, song-writers are rewarded handsomely with royalties. Is it too much to ask for the same with writers.

"Also in enduring between a musician and a writer, you talk about how musicians are benefitting from the digital age while writers are not. However, you have to keep in mind that musicians also can be more valuable than writers in a sense. A musician has multiple things to do in a day, from writing music to playing a gig."

The statement that musicians can be more important that writers, is subjective and I would argue also false.

Like I said TV shows and movies are being halted because of the writer's strike. If the writers weren't so important, the networks would have come up with a way to keep airing new shows. Not to mention the fact that, just as many musicians don't write their own music, many writers DO ACT in their own shows. Seth Macfarland does probably half the voices on family guy, same for trey parker and matt stone of South Park. Steve Correll from The Office is also on strike, as he is a union member as well. In addition many actors write some of the movies they star in. They are paid for both.

"If you're one of the major bands or artists out there, and you don't get what you want, you could refuse to do something that could potentially lose your record company a lot of money."

This is precicely what is happening with the writers as I type. Again, the 2 industries share many similairities and the creators of the content should be compensated in similar fashions.

"Hoever, it is not such with writers. Say a writer got extremely ticked off because of this instance, and decided not to write? The director easily could fire said writer and hire another one, tell him how he wanted it to go, and have the new writer continue writing with a possibly different style. It doesn't effect his production much, and doesn't affect his income."

The exact same can be said for bands. Band replace members all of the time and keep on going. Shows replace actors and keep on going. Many of the parts of the whole process are replaceable. This includes on air talent, writers, producers, directors, and musicians. There are only a lucky few that are so valuable to their employer that they are absolutely irreplaceable.

I wonder what would happen, if the office fired Steve Correll. Or if Comedy central fired Trey Parker and Matt Stone. Or if Fox got rid of seth macfarland. Or if HBO told Larry David to take a hike. Do you think Seinfeld or Curb Your Enthusiasm could have existed without the creator Larry David.

Oh wait I know what would happen, because we are watching it unfold. The television and movie industry comes to a screeching halt and no new content is produced.

You have to remember that MANY times the writers of these shows are also the creators. It's not like the network comes up with all the ideas and then goes and hires a staff. Most of the time it is the creators that bring the ideas to the networks and the networks decide whether or not to go with it.

"he fact is, when the writer signed the contract, they agreed to so and so terms. If they have a problem with something mid contract, that is not the business's fault, and therefore the writers should wait until their contract has expired before attempting to change how much they're getting paid."

1)Things were different when they signed the contracts originally. The industry and the world have changed since then. They should be compensated accordingly.

2)The contracts have expired. That is why they are negotiating right now. The same thing is gonna happen in a year or 2 when the contracts with the actors union runs out if the networks don't get their act together.

I think it is clear how unfairly the writers are being treated.
Kasemei

Con

"This is a decent point. However you can't argue with the importance of the writers. Nobody who has watched telivision lately would deny that. Look at the late night shows. A big portion of the content is jokes about the writers strike and how the shows have nothing to talk about. "The Office" is shut down. So is "Lost"."

I honestly can't stay awake late enough to watch those, so I have no idea about any of that. I also don't watch The Office nor Lost, so again, know nothing of that.

"Musicians can also get royalties because it's their work, and theirs alone."

"While we are on that topic MANY musicians do not write their own songs. In the music industry, song-writers are rewarded handsomely with royalties. Is it too much to ask for the same with writers."

The fact is, in the music industry, there is much more revenue generated because of concerts, signings, cds, and other huge deals. Opportunities not gained as much in the movie industry, especially for the writers. If you have a good song, someone may listen to that for the longest time. If someone writes something that someone else says in a script, someone might remember the quote, but isn't going to walk down the street humming it. Take for example Pirates of the Caribbean. Someone might hear the song Drink up me hearties yo ho! However, one's not going to go down the streets and say one of the random lines over and over again.

Another fact is the fact that people have Ipods or mp3 players in which they can listen to music everywhere they go. Not so easy with tv shows. It doesn't work as well. It's also a lot better to be listening to music while doing homework, instead of watching the TV. People just do it more. On my debate team, our room has 2 tvs, as well as all the tables to work at. However, most people listen to their ipods while they do the work.

"Like I said TV shows and movies are being halted because of the writer's strike. If the writers weren't so important, the networks would have come up with a way to keep airing new shows. Not to mention the fact that, just as many musicians don't write their own music, many writers DO ACT in their own shows. Seth Macfarland does probably half the voices on family guy, same for trey parker and matt stone of South Park. Steve Correll from The Office is also on strike, as he is a union member as well. In addition many actors write some of the movies they star in. They are paid for both."

I don't get this point. You talk about how Seth Mcfarland does half of the voices on Family Guy and the other examples. If they're being paid for both, then I don't see what the point of the argument there is.

"This is precicely what is happening with the writers as I type. Again, the 2 industries share many similairities and the creators of the content should be compensated in similar fashions."

However, it's more severe in the music industry then in the movie making industry, with heavy consequences.

"You have to remember that MANY times the writers of these shows are also the creators. It's not like the network comes up with all the ideas and then goes and hires a staff. Most of the time it is the creators that bring the ideas to the networks and the networks decide whether or not to go with it."

If it's the network's choice, then they can simply try and figure something else out. If the writer's are causing such a big deal, they should just drop those writers and let them write elsewhere.

I honestly don't see the point. The fact is, if the writer's aren't happy with where they are, and their contract has expired as you say, let them find another place to work.

This was an interesting debate. ^^ Glad to have done it!
Debate Round No. 3
7 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 7 records.
Posted by ktimbes1983 9 years ago
ktimbes1983
When I come up with one i will hit you up.

Here are some topics I like to debate. See if anything piques your interest.

Sports
Music
Politics(as long as we agree to stay civil and not bringing millions of citations and facts into the mix. I like to debate political philosophies and concepts as opposed to debating about the way things are. No "who's better Reagan or Clinton".
Philosophy.
Some social issues
Religion(same thing as politics applies)
Posted by Kasemei 9 years ago
Kasemei
Don't know what to do..haha. Do you have any ideas?
Posted by ktimbes1983 9 years ago
ktimbes1983
feel free to propose one at any time.
Posted by Kasemei 9 years ago
Kasemei
I'd be happy to debate you on other topics. I wasn't too familiar with this one, and decided to wing my way through. XD
Posted by ctlaster 9 years ago
ctlaster
hmm...kyle, im glad you joined this site! i'll have to read thru the debate and make my decision. Im at work right now....and I am the ONLY closer.
Posted by ktimbes1983 9 years ago
ktimbes1983
Thank you.

Your arguments certainly had their merits as well.

This is the first of what I hope will be many debates on this website. I enjoyed it thouroughly.
Posted by Kasemei 9 years ago
Kasemei
You were the better debater. If I didn't have my policy on finishing a debate my way, I would have conceded. ^^
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Vote Placed by ktimbes1983 7 years ago
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Vote Placed by solo 9 years ago
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