Thursday, May 17, 2007

The Artful Writer and Foreign Levies

A little while ago, I posted here about how the WGA and DGA are the conduits through which "foreign levies" flow to writers and directors. And not just writers and directors for live-action work, but also animated product.

How the two guilds became the distributors of the millions collected by various tax organizations in European countries is a long story. The L.A. Weekly had an article on the subject, but the Weekly didn't have all the details and facts right.

For that, I think you would do well hopping over to The Artful Writer's discussion about foreign levies, and whether the Writers Guild of America is performing yeoman's service...or committing a crime...with its distribution methods:

Some people are obsessed with the grassy knoll. Others are sure that 9/11 was the first time fire ever melted steel (except for every single day in every steel mill in Pennsylvania, but hey, Rosie O’Donnell knows best).

In the WGA, there’s only one conspiracy theory worth talking up, and lo and behold, it’s the strange case of Foreign Levies.

Last week, no less than three articles were published about this topic. The Los Angeles Times, Fade In Magazine and the L.A. Weekly all weighed in, and with varying degrees of accuracy and sensationalism. Prior to this, I guess the only person really interested in this topic (who isn’t a conspiracy theorist) was me. I wrote an article about foreign levies, and if you want the rest of this piece to make sense, you should probably go read that first....

Screenwriters Craig Mazin and Ted Elliot are AW's proprietors, and the thread that follows Craig's take on the subject makes pretty compelling reading. Drink it in and draw your own conclusions.


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