Hollywood Wants Cut of iTunes TV Sales

Five Hollywood unions on Friday publicly called for negotiations on revenue sharing for TV shows that are sold through the iTunes Music Store.

In a statement aimed at the television shows' producers, the group said it looks "forward to a dialogue that ensures that our members are properly compensated for this exploitation of their work." The group claims that they were never informed of the deal until they learned of it through the media.

The unions involved include the Writers Guild of America West, and the Writers Guild of America East which are separate entities; the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, the Screen Actors Guild, and the Directors Guild of America.

The group has not contacted ABC and Walt Disney, the first studio to provide its content through iTunes, although ABC said in a statement that they "welcome a dialogue" with the unions on the issue of revenue sharing.

Currently, the unions have a contract that gives writers 1.6 percent and actors 3.6 percent of the license fees paid to producers of a show. The groups also has provisions in their contracts for work rebroadcast on the Internet.

The unions stressed that they have no problem with the technology itself, but are merely looking for compensation.

"As the representatives for the creative community we embrace new technologies that expand distribution of material featuring the work of our members," the group said.

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