Gigs & Bytes: Faux Site Milks Laughs From Writers Strike
A quick perusal of Web sites for both sides, such as amptp.org representing the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers and sites for the Writers Guild Of America West at wga.org and its East Coast counterpart at wgaeast.org, shows very complex issues involved, with major disagreements between all parties hardly boiling down to a few sound bites.
Now you can add a another Web site to the mix. And, while the site is on the writers’ side, the difference between itself and sites repping the writers is that this site comes with laughs.
First off, its Web address is remarkably similar to the Web address for the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers. Except it ends in .com instead of .org.
And what does one find when surfing amptp.com? A site that looks very similar to amptp.org. However, there are a few differences.
For example, next to the AMPTP logo on amptp.com is the slogan, “Our thinking is as creative as our logo.” Furthermore, a message dated December 10th reads:
“We are heartbroken to report that despite our best efforts, including sending them a muffin basket, making them a mix CD, and standing outside their window with a boombox blasting Peter Gabriel songs, our talks with the WGA have broken down.”
In other words, amptp.com is a fake site. One that mimics the producers’ alliance site while clearly supporting the writers in the current labor debate.
“Still, we must be clear,” reads the message on the faux site. “Under no circumstances will we knowingly participate in the destruction of this business. If we destroy this business, it will only be through accident and incompetence – that’s the AMPTP Pledge!”
The owner of the domain is a self-described “military and police technical advisor to movies and TV shows” by the name of Bill Davis, reports the Los Angeles Times. According to the Times, Davis has owned amptp.com and amptp.net for more than a year, and has even received offers to sell the Web addresses. So far, Davis has refused all offers.
Maybe that’s for the best. While both sides of the debate use their official sites for spin purposes, amptp.com is providing a few much-needed chuckles. Especially since the current strike has pretty much silenced the daily dose of topical humor from late-night shows.
“Their proposal for Internet compensation could doom the Internet media business before it ever gets started. (Projected start date: October 4, 2012.),” reads amptp.com’s bullet point regarding Internet payments to writers. “We have already offered the writers a very generous $250 per episode for using their work on the Internet. Sure, $250 may not sound like much, but it adds up – a whole season of ‘Heroes’ would cost NBC.com nearly $6,000! Who’s going to pay that money?”
Meanwhile, the strike continues …