The Dramatists Guild is a member of a coalition of creative professionals who co-filed a request with the Federal Trade Commission and the Department of Justice for collective bargaining rights on behalf of creators of copyrighted works everywhere, including playwrights, composers, lyricists, and librettists.
Such artists continue to suffer in the marketplace, due to outdated labor laws that treat them as independent businesses rather than as workers; this treatment results in their inability to protect themselves through collective bargaining.
To confront this issue, the coalition has recommended three possible legislative approaches that could make a world of difference to writers like you.
- The Freelance Author and Artist Labor Act (“FAALA”) of 2022, which would be an amendment to the National Labor Relations Act that would add “professional creative workers” to Section 7 of the NLRA (the provision that allows “employees” to bargain collectively and to engage in other concerted activities for the purpose of collective bargaining or other mutual aid or protection);
- The Freelance Author and Artist Freedom Act (“FAAFA”) of 2022, which would be a stand-alone antitrust exemption for professional creative workers;
- Amendments to Section 101 of the 2021 Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act (H.R. 842), to have it cover professional creative workers.
Any of the pieces of legislation proposed by the coalition would serve to empower dramatists to act collectively through their guild to establish fair terms and practices in the theatre industry, so we support this effort and ask you to consider supporting it as well.
As you may recall, the Guild lobbied for an exemption to the anti-trust laws about 15 years ago, to achieve this very purpose. While we were successful in having bills proposed in both the Senate and the House, and even had hearings on it, our efforts were ultimately unsuccessful due to the objections (and greater resources) of New York producers and landlords. This time, however, we are not going it alone.