Hollywood Strike: Studios Expand Guidelines to Protect Writers from AI and Ensure Data Transparency

Hollywood Strike: Studios Expand Guidelines to Protect Writers from AI and Ensure Data Transparency

UTC by Tolu Ajiboye · 3 min read
Hollywood Strike: Studios Expand Guidelines to Protect Writers from AI and Ensure Data Transparency
Photo: Writers Guild of America West / Facebook

Production studios and companies represented by the AMPTP have proposed new guidelines and rules as they look to end the ongoing strike.

The Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) has published a proposal that includes guidelines controlling the use of artificial intelligence (AI). The new Hollywood guidelines seek to appease striking writers and actors and address their concerns about data transparency and AI.

According to the proposal, any written content created by generative AI (GAI) would not be considered “literary material”. This suggests that literary or intellectual protection enjoyed by human writers for their written content would not be expanded to generative AI content. The guidelines also state that using AI would not affect a writer’s rights or credits. According to the new rule:

“A writer will not be disadvantaged if any part of the script is based on GAI-produced material, so that the writer’s compensation, credit and separated rights will not be affected by the use of GAI-produced material.”

The rule suggests that companies may still be able to use AI to generate materials. However, writers who edit or otherwise alter the generated content would receive compensation as the original creator. Also, any AMPTP studio hiring a writer to develop or rework a script generated by AI must reveal the script’s origins.

The August 22 guidelines were first published on August 11. However, the AMPTP had to rework the rules as they did not include specific issues of concern.

In addition to addressing AI issues, the new guidelines contain rules on data transparency. The proposal allows writers to access viewership metrics, which was unavailable before now. However, this may be restricted to subscription video-on-demand (SVOD) viewership:

“For the first time, viewership data in the form of quarterly confidential reports is to be provided to the WGA that will include total SVOD view hours per title. This increased transparency will enable the WGA to develop proposals to restructure the current SVOD residual regime in the future.”

Hollywood Strike Action for AI Protection and Better Conditions has Cost Billions

The Writers’ Guild of America (WGA) began striking on May 2 when negotiations for better conditions failed. Later, the Screen Actors Guild joined the strike. Current estimates suggest that the strike has cost several billion dollars so far.

At the moment, there is still no clear end to the strike action affecting about 11,500 Hollywood writers and 160,000 actors under the Screen Actors Guild as well as the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA). This has suspended production on movies and television shows as all sides try to resolve the issue. The AMPTP represents production companies and Hollywood studios and negotiates on their behalf.

According to reports, the strike is causing a lot of hardship for several thousand businesses and workers who depend on the entertainment industry for their livelihood. The action directly affects everyone, including directors, prop makers, production assistants, caterers, hairdressers, and even dry cleaners. According to an estimate from Cal State Northridge professor of entertainment industry management Todd Holmes, the strike has cost production companies at least $3 billion so far.

Artificial Intelligence, News, Technology News
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