The DVD business is on the wane, but the WGA still blew it when it attempted to swap a concession on DVD residuals in exchange for a better deal on Internet downloads and streaming. So says former WGA counsel Jonathan Handel, now a LA-based entertainment attorney at TroyGould, in a Huffpo essay.
The WGA had originally sought a doubling of the DVD residual rate, known to the writers as “the hated DVD formula” which had basically cut writers out of the DVD boom of the last decade. But on the eve of the strike, the WGA caved on their demands on DVD in a bid to pursue more money on the yet-to-exist digital market. But Jonathan says they’re likely to get the worst of both worlds: It’s unlikely the studios will give up much on digital, and whatever they do give will be small change, since there’s no market there yet. And the writers will continue to miss out on the DVD market.
And while the DVD market is on the wane, it’s still a $17 billion market. DVD will remain the standard for home video as long as the TV-broadband connection is balky and difficult. And as Hollywood adopts new, more dense HD, 3-D, or even holographic formats, it will be even harder to move those movies through the pipe to the home, meaning DVD will be with us for years to come.