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Unions Want Slice of Video iPod Pie

17 Oct, 2005 By: Erik Gruenwedel

Still smarting from a recent pact with studios that saw its members receive little if any gains on DVD residuals, Hollywood unions say they expect to be “properly compensated” for entertainment programming distributed on Apple Computer's new video iPod digital device.

Apple announced it would soon begin offering select ABC TV and Disney Channel programming, including “Desperate Housewives,” “Lost” and “Night Stalker,” for $1.99 per episode the day after their original broadcast.

In payment for iPod downloads, the unions reportedly favor using the residual agreements currently in place for cable TV that pay based on a percentage of a program's entire gross, according to a Reuters report.

“The announcement unveiling the iPod represents the latest chapter in the ongoing technological evolution of our industry,” said a joint statement released by the Screen Actors Guild, the Writers Guild the Directors Guild and other talent unions. “We have not yet heard from the responsible employers of our members, but we look forward to a dialogue that ensures our members are [correctly remunerated] for this exploitation of their work.”

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