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Dali99
02-13-2011, 11:14 PM
A question for those with experience. I've just learned of the Foreign Levies tax. Is it worth much? I have 3 genre films that are selling around the world and on tv all the time. Any advice private or public is welcome. And BTW I am in process of going after it, I just have no idea what it'll amount to.

Cheers,

Craig Mazin
02-14-2011, 12:16 AM
It depends on how frequently it has aired.

Expect very small checks.

C.

Jules
02-14-2011, 12:28 AM
A question for those with experience. I've just learned of the Foreign Levies tax. Is it worth much? I have 3 genre films that are selling around the world and on tv all the time. Any advice private or public is welcome. And BTW I am in process of going after it, I just have no idea what it'll amount to.

Cheers,

You have to actually 'go after it' ?

wcmartell
02-14-2011, 12:32 AM
If they don't have your address or phone number you must tell them you exist.

- Bill

Jules
02-14-2011, 01:01 AM
What is involved in 'going after it' , is there some suggestion here that people are holding out on paying the writer?

Ronaldinho
02-14-2011, 01:07 PM
What is involved in 'going after it' , is there some suggestion here that people are holding out on paying the writer?

No.

But the people collecting the money generally don't have the resources to put a lot of effort into finding writers who live on the other side of the planet.

The WGA collects levies on WGA-jurisdiction projects. Contact them if that's the case here. If you're talking about a non-WGA covered film, the WGA also play some role in handling the levies, but I don't know the details. Your first step should be to register the titles with the guild, here:

https://my.wgaw.org/flslookup/RegisterWork.aspx

and they can probably direct you appropriately if you have more questions.

Be aware that there is some dispute among who really deserves some of this money. The WGA and DGA (and perhaps others) came to an agreement to split levy money, and some writers disputed that directors were in any way "authors" of the films in question, and that the WGA was entering into this agreement without their consent. It may be more complicated than this, as it concerns non-WGA work, and I really don't know the details. (I remember reaction to reading about the lawsuit being something along the lines of, "Well, they might have a point, but if they win they're going to make life much, much harder on everyone." I don't really remember more details).

Dali99
02-14-2011, 02:43 PM
Like so much else with the writing life - you hear about this money (and from everything I read, it's supposed to be ours, in principle) and then it's trying to track down people and waiting. I can't find anything here (Canada) that allows me to get that money without splashing out 15% to the friendly screenwriting agency (connected to WGC) for recovery!

I know it's all relative, but depending on the numbers, it seems worth chasing. I'm obsessed with tracking my work so I know it's been translated into a variety of languages and selling all over Europe (where it seems most of this copyright is concerned). I also know it must diminish over time, but with more than one film times 5 years (so far) times 19 countries (according to the WGA), this isn't nothing, is it?

Does anyone know what the formulas are to determine what the writer gets? In particular for broadcast.

This is clearly something we should all know about - it's our money!

wcmartell
02-14-2011, 03:42 PM
You may be better off because you live in Canada!

The issue Ronaldinho mentions is not between writers & directors, it's between writers & directors (together) against producers. Because the USA is the only country in the freaking world that allows copyright to be sold, and allows companies to own copyrights. Everywhere else, *people* own copyrights... the people who created the works.

So this $ was collected for *people* - writers & directors - but in the USA the producers own the copyrights and so they said they should get all of the money. But the dudes in charge of the money said "no", so the original deal was that the $ would be split 3 ways... except the producers said "no" because they legally own the copyright and would take this to court and win, so the writers & directors settled for 20% of the $. Producers get 80%. But that is in the USA... you may be able to get 50% because you're a Canadian (as long as you work through the Canadian Writers Guild Thingie) - and paying 15% may still leave you with more money than I get. (WGA takes 5% I believe... but 95% of 20% is less than 85% of 50%.) I don't know anything about the Canadian deal, so I may be wrong - but check it out.

- Bill

Dali99
02-14-2011, 06:35 PM
Thanks Bill, that's edifying. Still, skimming is skimming, isn't it?

Craig Mazin
02-15-2011, 01:16 AM
If you're American, the WGA handles it whether the work was union or not.

C.