The American Federation of Television and Radio Artists and the
Screen Actors Guild are negotiating with networks for reimbursement, according to AFTRA communications director John Hinrichs.
Artists represented by the unions have re-use fees in their contracts, which state that they will receive reimbursements for all uses of their performances. Since contracts cannot predict how technology and media distribution will evolve, the agreements leave room for good faith negotiations for areas that are not covered. Now that major networks are airing contents over the Internet and other devices, artists are requesting 4 cents per download, while network executives have offered 2 cents per download, according to a report in The New York Post.
"With respect to the programming that's available from ABC and Disney in the iTunes Store, they proposed to pay using a video cassette formula," Hinrichs said Monday in an interview with TechWeb.
Hinrichs said that those formulas took into account cassette production and distribution costs, which are higher than the cost of releasing programs for downloads.
"This is an important issue to performers and their voicing it through the union to make sure they get the compensation they deserve," he said.