Battlestar Wiki talk:Think Tank/WGA Strike

Discussion page of Battlestar Wiki:Think Tank/WGA Strike
< Battlestar Wiki talk:Think Tank
Revision as of 20:53, 15 November 2007 by Joe Beaudoin Jr. (talk | contribs) (→‎Blog: reply)
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When I first saw this, I was concerned that it was proposing that WE strike. Which, while that might sound noble, I doubt would have any impact on the thinking on TPTB that make the real decisions. Stopping work (or, more extreme, shutting down the site) would hurt the fans without directly impacting the studios. (I'd like to think that our work does indirectly help them... but we're still here because they suffer us, so I don't want to get too big of a head.)

As for this proposal, I'd be in favor of it. Regardless of the position that we took, just having a visible position at all will help bring attention to the situation to those who weren't aware of it. As almost all contributions to this site involve writing, and are about the stories that the writers(and writer/producers) bring to the table, it's pretty reasonable to expect our community to align more on the side of the writers than otherwise. I'd certainly be welcome to hearing opposing views on the issue... I'd just be surprised if there were too many weighing in on the side of the studios. --Steelviper 08:47, 11 November 2007 (CST)

I have two polarized views on this, both important. (1) It is in Battlestar Wiki's interests as fans of the show to support the writers, since they are the content generators that actually make the show, and form it into something worth watching, worth reading, worth documenting. Without the writers, Battlestar Wiki would not exist. But, (2) Battlestar Wiki does not own Battlestar Galactica in any form. We are allowed to document the various Battlestar Galactica episodes and other media under the legally-specious "fair use" doctrines. In the end, the show is owned by NBC Universal, which, if we took sides in an issue that we do not own, can tick off people in the know and (in the worst case) order a cease-and-desist and shut Battlestar Wiki down in a heartbeat, and petition the transfer of the wiki's content to their wiki.
Because of this, I recommend that Battlestar Wiki stay Symbol neutral vote.svg Neutral on the Writer's Strike. I know that Joe (as well as myself and others as individuals) obviously support the writer's efforts for fair compensation for their efforts, but we must also respect the content owner's right not to have third-parties that haven't any legal involvement with the dispute from generating a protest action on behalf of fans. I think this is the "dark side" of being a free wiki on copyrighted works. As individuals we can support anything and anyone we want. As the organized body of Battlestar Wiki, we can be targeted for politicizing, which is not our purpose. I wouldn't want to tick off the network executives any more than the writers. I don't think we should use Battlestar Wiki as a soapbox in this issue. --Spencerian 12:34, 11 November 2007 (CST)
That's something to think about, definitely. We've pretty much enjoyed NBC-Universal's benevolence in our existence and that's something that we may, ultimately, not want to frak with. -- Joe Beaudoin So say we all - Donate - Sanctuary Wiki — New 12:48, 11 November 2007 (CST)
Has anyone with a decent amount of legal knowledge actually researched how legal we are? Do we know (or have a fair idea of) what will happen if NBC/Universal should turn against us? Or have we simply been praying they'll just leave us alone (which Joe seems to suggest with his "benevolence" statement)?
Since we're a major fan site (*brag*), our official support (and that of all other FrakMedia sites) to the writers would kind of formalize fandom's support to them. It would be a shame if we can't send this big signal to NBC/Universal because we fear they might take us down for revenge.
That's why I think we should stay neutral until we have some more clarity on what NBC/Universal can do to us legally if we make them hate us, after which we can support the strike if it turns out it's legally safe to do so. --Catrope(Talk to me or e-mail me) 14:51, 11 November 2007 (CST)
Well said. It is a lot to think about. -- Joe Beaudoin So say we all - Donate - Sanctuary Wiki — New 15:02, 11 November 2007 (CST)
I wouldn't call fair use doctrine "specious". It's pretty well established, if limited. However, no matter how in the right we are on copyright grounds, we're still basically counting on the goodwill of NBC-Uni not to sue the pants off us anyway, as right or wrong they've got the resources to easily do so. There's no doubt they're the hand that feeds us. I just question whether we're even at the level to show up on their radar should we bite. I'd LIKE to think so... but the official position has definitely been one of ignoring us. While it could be some sort of conspiratorial "nudge, nudge, wink, wink, saynomore" type of ignoring, it seems like the "Battlestar Wiki who?" explanation is the simpler of the two. While I obviously have personal feelings on the issue, I agree that a neutral strategy for the site is safer. I still would be surprised to see any pro-NBC-Universal arguments. --Steelviper 17:20, 11 November 2007 (CST)

Hey everyone, I know I'm still kind of new to all this so bear with me. I was just wondering how our Razor spoilers affect our status with the company, and how they would affect this decision. Now I know that for any wiki, when something like that happens (something gets leaked), it's nearly impossible to contain, and it's better to just embrace it rather than fight it, but I still can't help wondering if it really falls below their dradis so to speak. I think, at least politically, that it might have some bearing on your decision. Although, on the other hand, I should also point out that supporting the writers, while a huge risk, might have rewards. It would probably ingratiate us with the writers and producers, and at the same time go a long way towards ensuring that some of the mistakes the network makes, some of which I've felt are unnacceptable, would never happen again. On a related note, is that why we have no contact at all with anybody from the show? Because of our dubious legal status? --OrionFour 15:33, 11 November 2007 (CST)

We do have contact with Bradley Thompson sometimes, but he's nearly always too busy to stop by and answer our questions. Supporting the writers officially might draw more of them to us, considering they probably aren't very busy writing right now. You're right about the Razor screener stuff, we should also investigate how safe that is legally. Waiting two weeks for the Razor airing is also an option, albeit not a very attractive one. --Catrope(Talk to me or e-mail me) 15:39, 11 November 2007 (CST)
*brain wave* The first advance screenings are tomorrow (November 12) after which pretty much every one of us who lives in the US has an excuse to know "Razor" plot details. I'm pretty sure that putting plot details and all that stuff is legal as any US member could have visited an advance screening. Screenshots and audio fragments will still be illegal, of course, until November 25. --Catrope(Talk to me or e-mail me) 15:42, 11 November 2007 (CST)
For screenshots we should wait for the DVD release anyways (unless someone has HD rip to work from). Otherwise we have twice the work. The DVD will be out December 4th, so that's not much later. I think we can do without screenshots until then. --Serenity 17:46, 11 November 2007 (CST)
Though I am in very much support of the Writer's Strike, I am going to have to stay that we stay neutral ground. I really want us not to take any side (on any FrakMedia site(s) and partners, minus our discussion forum area, were we talk as individuals) because from what I know, NBC-Uni does visit our site and does keep tabs on us. There is even evidence that they visited recently during the Strike to see how fan sites are doing IMO, but they do keep tabs on us. RDM, Mrs. Ron, and Bradly, and even Mark visit the wiki, under the cover of non-registered names (minus brady). Thought they are all writers, I think it would be wrong for us to stay a stand. It would be so against and contradictory to BW:NPOV *Maybe even BW:REAL*. It would allow us to still "ask" proactive questions (BW:OC) and document the event in an article 2007 Writers Guild Strike and what happened to BSG at the time, as information is feed or even posted online. There is already a sleuth of worthy material that is Strike and BSG related, and for future projects, it might be willing to save it as part of the project itself. --Shane (T - C - E) 23:44, 11 November 2007 (CST)

I definitely have personal feelings on this and many related issues (writers require proper compensation, "fair use" and "public domain" have effectively been destroyed by corporate copyright extension lobbying, etc.) and I am extremely torn to also agree that BSGwiki should remain Symbol neutral vote.svg Neutral. If everyone took the "we shouldn't piss off the corporation" attitude, however, necessary changes would never occur, abuses would run rampant, and profit would rule over any and every other consideration. There comes a time when you have to stand up and be counted, whatever the cost. I'm sure the writers didn't strike lightly. So, BSGwiki as an entity: neutrality. Me personally: take the corporations to task when they try, yet again, to stick it to workers and their customers - you know, the people that make their profit possible? JubalHarshaw 08:34, 12 November 2007 (CST)

I concur with the "neutralist" arguments. Not being from the US I'm not particularly well-informed as to the strike (other than through wikipedia), but from what I read here it seems pragmatic for us to remain collectively neutral. An article detailing how the strike pertains to BSG would be good though (could it delay S4?) OTW 14:50, 12 November 2007 (CST)
I agree that a neutral stance is probably safest. For information on the strike, see here, for a short interview with Ronald D. Moore about how it affects BSG (and some background on the strike as well), see here. Tomorrow I'll work on a template people can put on their userpage to support the strike. --Catrope(Talk to me or e-mail me) 15:46, 12 November 2007 (CST)
Wonderful. At least we as users can support the strike on our user pages, which is fine by me. Feel free to add to the proposal with these new developments as well, since while I'm convinced that it is in our best interests to have the wiki be Symbol neutral vote.svg Neutral, we should leave it up to the members to voice their Symbol support vote.svg Support for the strike. -- Joe Beaudoin So say we all - Donate - Sanctuary Wiki — New 15:54, 12 November 2007 (CST)
I'm personally in Symbol support vote.svg Support, but I agree that, as an organization, Battlestar Wiki absolutely must remain Symbol neutral vote.svg Neutral. --Slander 18:38, 12 November 2007 (CST)

I just had a thought while I was trying to sleep. Ok, so we may not be able to say anything official on the site for legal reasons, but surely there are other ways for us to voice our support, even if the network execs never get to see it, and it's not an official BSG Wiki position. Even if it's something as simple as an email, just to let RDM and the rest of the staff know that we'll still be here "after the jump". It would be something any interested BSG Wikier could sign if they wanted to, and it would be directed at RDM or in some way that they would all see it. I'm just trying to be constructive with this, so if you guys think up a better idea let me know, I just feel like I want to do something. --OrionFour 03:37, 15 November 2007 (CST)

You mean like a "fandom supports BSG writers" petition that we would send RDM/Brad/whoever, signed by pretty much everybody who is anybody at BSWiki?That'd be a nice idea, as long as the petition or whatever it is clearly states that those people are speaking individually, as fans of the show, and not as BSWiki officials. --Catrope(Talk to me or e-mail me) 07:56, 15 November 2007 (CST)
Online petitions aren't really that effective. To give it any weight, you'd probably need to do something via postal mail. -- Joe Beaudoin So say we all - Donate - Sanctuary Wiki — New 14:11, 15 November 2007 (CST)


I've added a parameter to {{User Data}} which shows one's support to the writers (as demonstrated here). If you don't want the support thingy to appear in your user data infobox but somewhere else, use {{WGA support}}. Thanks to Steelviper for the image. --Catrope(Talk to me or e-mail me) 08:59, 15 November 2007 (CST)


I've updated the blog, since I feel that we've gotten all the feedback we're gonna get. Here's what I wrote. -- Joe Beaudoin So say we all - Donate - Sanctuary Wiki — New 14:11, 15 November 2007 (CST)

Ron Moore opened a personal blog and made a comment or two about the strike and the fan support for the writers. --Serenity 14:42, 15 November 2007 (CST)

Yeah, I saw that. ;-) It's actually on the BW main page, though neutrally worded. -- Joe Beaudoin So say we all - Donate - Sanctuary Wiki — New 14:53, 15 November 2007 (CST)