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SAG, Studios to Meet Feb. 17

10 Feb, 2009 By: Erik Gruenwedel

A long-awaited resolution to the current contract impasse between the Screen Actors Guild and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers, the union representing Hollywood studios, is back on the table when both sides meet Feb. 17 and 18 for the first time since last summer.

The contentious labor negotiations are slated to take place at the AMPTP offices in Sherman Oaks, Calif., the same venue of an earlier meeting this month that was scuttled when SAG president Alan Rosenberg unsuccessfully filed litigation attempting to halt the proceedings.

At issue are actors seeking greater compensation from Internet distribution, in addition to revamping the 20-year-old home video residual agreement, which the studios have steadfastly refused to address. The agreement originally applied to VHS, but the subsequent arrival of DVD and Blu-ray made potential residuals a more lucrative prospect.

In addition to increased minimums, pension and health-care provisions, studios are offering jurisdiction on new-media programs, in addition to first-ever residuals on ad-supported streams of movies, TV shows, permanent downloads (burn-to-disc), original and derivative new-media programs.

Actors have been operating under an interim agreement since the previous contract expired last June.

SAG and the AMPTP declined further comment.

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