I'm thinking songwriters, publishers, recording artists and record labels aren't the only ones wondering how to collect royalties, track usage, structure licensing, acquire data on performances etc. In this day of "regular" TV, online TV, mobile devices, social media and who-knows-what-else?, it looks to me like "Welcome To The Wild West & Pioneer City" for actors, athletes or anyone who gets paid to appear on camera - including chefs.
SIDE NOTE: I tried having a recent conversation on this topic with an experienced entertainment & copyright lawyer I've known & used for years - he proved to be COMPLETELY clueless about this topic, which tells me not many folks are paying attention to what is very clear to me. It also tells me I need to find a lawyer (and agent) who don't have their heads in the "digital sand." Sheesh.
One first-hand example I know of people at the forefront: Barry Krause & the folks at his Suite Partners agency in Chicago. However, it does appear they're so busy pioneering their cutting-edge, social-media ROI projects for Sears (Kenmore Live Studio and Craftsman Experience), it might take someone looking in from the outside - such as myself, once again being the "canary in the coalmine" - to point out that any kind of traditional compensation structure for on-camera talent is likely dead & gone. Here's why:
Having done some national spots for Kraft Foods awhile back, there were only relatively few options for the talent's image & performance to be used: "Regular" TV, cable TV, print ads, (terrestrial) radio, POP displays, FSIs. You got paid based on duration of the spots, how many markets (local or national), conversation over. That was then...
Now, with the antiquated backdrop of "broadast quality" becoming blurrier by the day, full 1080 HD cameras getting cheaper by the minute, cell phones = video cameras, online videos often getting bigger (and measurable) numbers than "regular" TV shows, there's this: The walls that separate HD broadcast television, online videos and mobile devices are crumbling fast.
What that means: If video content is being produced in 1080 HD, it's suitable for internet AND broadcast TV plus mobile devices. More, unless you have the resources available to monitor, track down plus "cease & desist" your copyrighted content, it's virtually impossible to keep it from being posted somewhere online without your knowledge or permission - especially with bit torrent file sharing sites. As I'm starting to say to a lot to my friends & clients: Until/unless the world as we know it comes crashing down (a distinct possibility, powered by Google and its fast-growing spinoff companies - I'm not kidding), whatever gets posted online is pretty much FOREVER. So... if the Internet is forever, so are on-camera performances posted online; and if online on-camera performances are forever, what kind of payment structure is fair for talent?
Comments are welcome (and feel free to send any forward-thinking agents/managers or entertainment lawyers my way). HAPPY NEW YEAR!
Labels: social media kenmore talent compensation rock n roll chef sears