You are currently viewing How the *MFKRs* Are Grifting You: Writers/Actors Strike and History

How the *MFKRs* Are Grifting You: Writers/Actors Strike and History

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Let’s look back and history just for a moment, to a better time, when musicians were paid for their music. Enter Napster and the whole MP3 craze. Their labels freaked out, sued, and fought against the MP3 format. They lost.

Enter the DMCA. The “podcaster” loophole. In some legal buffoonery, companies like Spotify and Apple Music have been allowed to stream entire albums, entire artist cataloged, and pay most of them NOTHING. The big artists (Rolling Stones, U2, Beyonce, Taylor Swift) fought to make sure they were covered. And as streaming took over the world, the royalty model of music died for 99% of musicians. Is that fair? Was it good for music? Are you happy paying $17 per month for a service that rips off your favorite artists? The answer is OBVIOUSLY!

Okay, so today, the movie industry is struggling with a similar issue. They are going about things differently. The fight is similar.

Where are the stars of TV and Film? I’m guessing Stephen Colbert, my fav, is still pulling down his full salary with healthcare and benefits while his writers, are on the picket line. What gives? Why do the billionaires at the top need more money? At the expense of killing the creative talent that makes their industry a success?

Back to Napster/Spotify and music again for a second. What if, we launched a new service, called MFKR.LY? And we simply allowed all movies to be downloaded and streamed. Even the ones in the movie theaters now. No problem. Screeners, streamers, whatever you want. And what if, MFKR.LY didn’t want any of your money? ZERO. There’s no business behind MFKR.LY, but there is an idea.

If the revenue was ripped from performing artists’ hands by the corporate negotiations and the copyright laws, why can’t we do the same thing with movies? I mean, no one is going back to the theater. Oh, sure Barbie and Oppenheimer are making a big splash, but the industry as a whole is collapsing. Well, can we help their demise? Maybe? Can we do for movies what the industry did for music?

I suppose you could argue, that music streaming and lack of royalty income put the power back in the hands of the artists. I mean, we no longer have labels to pay for stuff, so we can pay for it ourselves. And we no longer get money for our recorded work, so we just have to gig all the time. Fine.

Let’s take on the movie business and the entertainment business again. Let’s give away all the movies for free. And if we did collect a “fee” let’s pay it equally to the writers and creators of the movies. But wait, there’s more…

MFKR.LY is launching soon. The website is already up. Not with a mission or a business plan. Nope, the only pain we can inflict on the bastards holding Colbert and Fallon and Meyers hostage is CASH. Let’s stop going to the movies altogether. Get a nice tv with a surround sound bar and use MFKR.LY to download Barbie and watch it at home tonight. Why not? The theaters are stinky, full of unknown pathogens, and in Texas, humid and warm. Stay home. Keep your money. Let the streaming chips fall where they may.

Oh, and maybe we can negotiate with the writers and actors to get Spotify and Apple Music to refactor their royalty system. While we’re at it…

John McElhenneyLinkedIn

See also:

Here’s the book I wrote about/to/for my micro-manager in the process of finding a new job: HELLo MGMT.

Please check out a few of my books on AMAZON

Especially this one, about living a creative life of intention and joy. 


this creative life - john oakley mcelhenney