Ever wonder what it would be like to predict the future? Sometimes a hard look at the past is the best way to predict the future.
Workers in Hollywood – actors, writers, directors, and craft workers – have just such an opportunity today. Down one road is that laid out by Nick Counter in his propaganda campaign over the last couple of years. Every time he says the same thing about the internet and digital delivery: “Who knows?” and since we don’t know, we can’t pay. Down the second road, those in Hollywood who develop and create the content that then is distributed globally share equally and fairly in the revenues generated by this new business model.
How can we know that there are two possible roads? Because in many ways the tragic plight of today’s aging NFL stars – described so well in this piece from Yahoo Sports – indicates what happens when a weak union is unable (and apparently still unwilling) to counter the “Who knows?” argument from employers. In the 1960s the early Super Bowls could barely fill up the LA Coliseum! Now the Super Bowl makes the league, broadcasters and advertisers hundreds of millions (an estimated 379 million this year). But that is no consolation to the players of the 60s and 70s who were unable to get their fare share of the value they helped create.