Actors May Strike Over Payment For YouTube Clips

Pay negotiations between the Screen Actors Guild and movie studios broke down Tuesday over payment for performances of video clips on sites such as YouTube.

The movie studios want to pay actors a flat fee for video shown online, where as the actors want payment every time a video is shown.

SAG President Alan Rosenberg told Reuters that “What they’re asking us to do is erase 50 years of our customs and practice.”

The current state of play with online video is that studios and broadcast networks are free to use video clips for promotional purposes, for example a movie trailer. Reuse of clips as standalone entertainment (excerpts, outtakes or remixed works) can only be show with consent from every performer in the clip with a negotiated rate of pay. Each performer in a clip must receive a minimum of $759, even if the clip is just a few seconds long.

Talks between the SAG and studios are expected to resume later this month, with the current pay agreement expiring June 30. If the two parties cant agree on online payments, the SAG is expected to call an actors strike that will immediately cripple all TV and movie production in the United States.