February 21, 2019
Re: WGA Code of Conduct
Dear WGA Franchised Agent:
On behalf of Writers Guild of America, West, Inc. and its affiliate, Writers Guild of America, East, Inc. (collectively, “Guild”), I am writing regarding the impending termination of the Guild’s agency franchise agreement, the Artists’ Manager Basic Agreement of 1976, which expires on April 6, 2019.
The Guild has been discussing with both the Association of Talent Agents and various individual agencies the terms of a new set of agency regulations. The Guild’s leadership has decided to send to all currently-franchised agencies the new regulations—denominated a Code of Conduct—that the Guild intends to implement on April 7, 2019.
Since the Guild sent its original proposals to agencies last year, we’ve heard some useful feedback and have modified three proposals to accommodate those concerns, while still protecting the best interests of our members. The Code of Conduct differs from the Guild’s original proposals in the following respects:
- An agency may charge commission on MBA scale.
- An agency must disclose to its writer client when a producer hasn’t yet secured rights in underlying intellectual property prior to submitting the client for employment.
- Allows agencies to represent multiple clients on a project, but provides that, upon request by a writer client, an agency must disclose in writing the names of other clients who are employed on or actively being submitted for employment on the same project.
We are sending the Code to all currently franchised agencies at this time subject to two important conditions. First, the Guild continues to have discussion with agencies regarding the Code of Conduct. Any modifications in the Code of Conduct that the Guild makes as a result of those discussions will be applied on an equal basis to all agencies. Second, the Code of Conduct, in its final form, will be subject to ratification in a vote of the WGA membership, which will take place around the April 6 expiration date.
Any currently franchised agency wishing to become signatory to the new Code of Conduct can sign and return the linked Letter of Adherence. Any agency that is not currently franchised should contact the WGAW’s Agency Department at (323) 782-4502 or email@example.com.
David J. Young, WGAW Executive Director
cc: Lowell Peterson, WGAE Executive Director