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Saturday, December 9, 2023
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The New Deal: What Hollywood Writers Are Getting

Hollywood’s writers have ended their strike after reaching a tentative agreement with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP), the organization representing studios and streamers. The agreement is now under review by the members of the Writers Guild of America (WGA), who will vote on whether to accept it. One of the key issues addressed in the agreement is the use of generative artificial intelligence (AI), with the WGA demanding that AI be barred from writing or generating source material. The agreement affirms that AI is not considered a writer and sets guidelines for its use as a tool by writers. It also addresses compensation for writers from streaming services, increases minimum rates for writers, and outlines minimum staffing requirements for TV writers’ rooms.

The agreement prohibits the use of AI to write or rewrite literary material and considers anything generated by AI as not literary, assigned, or source material. While writers can use AI as a tool with consent from the production company, they cannot be compelled to do so, and companies must inform writers if they are given AI-generated material. The agreement also recognizes the legal uncertainty surrounding the use of writers’ work to train AI models and allows writers to assert that such usage is prohibited. Additionally, the agreement includes better compensation for writers from streaming services, with increased foreign streaming residual payments and a new bonus based on streamer viewership. It also sets higher minimum rates for writers and establishes minimum staffing numbers for TV writers’ rooms.

Although the writers’ strike is over, negotiations between the AMPTP and the Screen Actors Guild – American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA) are ongoing, and SAG-AFTRA is still on strike.

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