University of Pittsburgh
November 5, 2007

Pitt Faculty Experts Available to Comment on Hollywood Writers' Strike

Contact:  412-624-4147

PITTSBURGH-The following Pitt professors are available to comment on the first Hollywood writers' strike in two decades.

Pitt Professor Marick Masters says the strike initiated by the Writers' Guild of America is a classic labor-management confrontation. "The parties are at loggerheads over how to divide an evolving economic pie to be shaped by new and uncertain technologies," he says. "The writers possess talent that is not easily replaceable, and they seek appropriate recognition for their contributions to the industry. A long standoff is to be expected, a real test of economic will. The parties need to arrive at a new model of compensation so that writers and other contributors to the industry can benefit from emerging opportunities to profit from the recycling of their products."

Masters is a professor of business administration and the director of the Center on Conflict Resolution and Negotiation in the Joseph M. Katz Graduate School of Business at the University of Pittsburgh. He has published extensively on a wide variety of business and organizational topics in numerous disciplines. Masters serves on the editorial board of the Journal of Labor Research, edits the annual volume "International Perspectives on Employment Dispute Resolution," and was formerly the editor of the "Association for Conflict Resolution Workplace Section News." Masters is also the author of a monthly column in the "Pittsburgh Business Times."

Dan Santoro, professor of social sciences at University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown, says,

"The current writers' strike is concerned primarily with residuals paid on reuse of movies or shows presented on other platforms, such as Internet downloads or Internet streaming. One is reminded of an earlier time when a similar battle was being fought over reuse of theatrical material on television-especially short subjects, such as the 'Three Stooges'."

At Pitt-Johnstown, Santoro teaches courses on gender, wealth, and power; political sociology; environmental sociology; and class structure. He can be reached through Amanda Leff.

For a list of Pitt faculty experts, visit www.umc.pitt.edu/m/experts.html.

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