back to article Unions claim win as Hollywood studios agree generative AI isn't an author

The Writers Guild of America has ended its 148-day strike after reaching an agreement with Hollywood's TV and film studios to increase pay and regulate the use of generative AI in ways that mean writers are paid regular rates even if they work on machine-generated material. Members voted to accept the Memorandum of Agreement [ …

  1. Claverhouse Silver badge
    Happy

    How Soon...

    ...before CEOs are replaced by AI ?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: How Soon...

      The rise of the sentiment couches!

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Thin edge

    Meet wedge

    Give them time.

  3. jake Silver badge

    'The Writers Guild of America has ended its 148-day strike"? Eh?

    They were on strike?

    Huh. Who knew?

    Did it matter? Did anybody care? It's not like they've done anything new and/or useful for 40+ years ...

    1. Neil Barnes Silver badge
      Headmaster

      Re: 'The Writers Guild of America has ended its 148-day strike"? Eh?

      /me counts on fingers... yup, both of the good Star Wars films and then nothing but franchise repeats. After all, why write a new film if it did so well last time?

    2. sabroni Silver badge
      Facepalm

      Re: Did it matter? Did anybody care?

      No, of course not. The management decided to give writers a pay rise because they are lovely people who want to do the right thing.

    3. veti Silver badge

      Re: 'The Writers Guild of America has ended its 148-day strike"? Eh?

      If you're not seeing new content, that's on you. There's plenty being produced.

      1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

        Re: 'The Writers Guild of America has ended its 148-day strike"? Eh?

        And even if you don't watch much television and film "content" – I don't – it is possible to both be aware of the WGA strike and sympathize with it.

  4. Vader

    For now it's a win.

  5. Pete 2 Silver badge

    Who really won?

    > Hollywood can use generative AI to create scripts or stories, but human writers asked to work on them will be paid as if they worked on any other gig.

    So the scripts will be generated by AI, but then a writer will be asked to tweak it.

    Doesn't that mean that the amount of time they will be paid for - even at the new, higher, rates - will be much less than if they had spent time writing the script themselves?

    1. lglethal Silver badge
      Go

      Re: Who really won?

      9 weeks minimum pay. So I guess the question is did it usually take longer than that to create the script previously? If yes, than they're losing out. If not, then nope.

      I certainly hope they're not losing out. Good writing really does deseve to be rewarded. I know there's a lot of dross out there too, but if there's a market for it, then it deserves to be rewarded...

  6. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

    Danger, Will Robinson

    The pen is (slightly) mightier than the algorithm may or may not be correct, however there is surely no possible doubt or argument that words create, command and control and destroy worlds.

    Hence, one imagines and can fully understand, desperate compromised systems vain and always destined to fail spectacularly attempts to curtail some of them, and deny their presentation to both baying and inquisitive masses.

    Sisyphus's task was similarly impossible to ever complete and claim oneself satisfied with and victorious.

    And it appears to be a very difficult simple lesson for dodgy systems administrations to learn and refrain from digging themselves ever deeper into darker and danker holes from which all avenues of escape are gone/removed/withdrawn.

  7. John70

    Their pay should be based on writing something new/original and not the same reboot, rehash or re-imagined trash.

    1. sabroni Silver badge

      You can vote with your money more effectively now than ever before

      If you want a little bit of challenge in what you're watching then maybe a bfi or mubi subscription would get you the variety you're looking for. If you're paying for Netflix, Amazon Prime and Disney then you're part of the problem you're moaning about.

    2. Killfalcon Silver badge

      They should get paid fairly for the effort doing the job asked of them. If Universal want Fast XI to be "like the last one but with more explosions", that's what they'll get, and they should pay to get it.

      After all, I work with VBA, the second or third most dogshit language around, but I still get paid. Why? Because my employer wants it done, and I'm the dipshit doing it. It's not easier work because it's unoriginal or objectively bad!

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Quality work

    Good.

    Finally, recognition that regurgitating predicable plots and endless reboots is a job that only a human can do properly.

  9. TheMaskedMan Silver badge

    That all seems pretty reasonable. Impressive though generative AI undoubtedly is, it's not going to produce a polished script. Yet. If you're asking writers to work on the script it's only fair that they are paid in line with their regular rate.

    Now everyone can get back to work producing content, while the AI bods get on with improving their models. They don't have much time - 2026 isn't that far off, and they have a lot to do!

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