As of Wednesday, work on screenplays will resume in Hollywood - after 148 days of strike, the screenwriters& union (WGA) and the trade association AMPTP (Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers) have finally reached a new agreement. Although it has yet to be voted on by the WGA members, it is likely that the vote will be positive, as the union was able to prevail on many points.
Among other things, the Minimum Basic Agreement (MBA) will provide for higher compensation, especially when high-budget content is written for streaming providers. Under the new agreement, these must now also release concrete, standardized viewing figures for to the WGA, as the amount of the newly introduced bonus payments for High Budget Subscription Video on Demand (HBSVOD) will depend on audience figures. Until now, streaming providers have generally kept such figures to themselves; they will probably not reach the general public in the future either, as they are intended only for the WGA.
The use of AI - a landmark point of contention - is severely restricted in the agreement. For example, it was agreed that AIs may not write or rewrite literary material, and that generated material may not be considered source material. Authors are free to use AI software such as ChatGPT in their writing if the client allows, but cannot be forced to do so. If AI-generated material is provided to authors by the client, this must be labeled. Last but not least, the WGA is allowed to enforce that material written by its authors is not used to train AIs.
After the almost five-month strike, the list of films and series delayed as a result has become unmanageably long - and the actors are still on strike, where no agreement seems to be in sight yet.