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Award-winning game composer takes musicians union to task
June 9, 2014 | By Kris Graft




Musician and composer Austin Wintory has created music for games including The Banner Saga, Monaco and Journey, picking up a Grammy nomination and BAFTA awards along the way.

But according to Wintory, not all is well in the realm of video game music. In a YouTube video posted today (above), Wintory stated that his union, the 90,000-strong American Federation of Musicians, is essentially blocking musicians from doing recordings for video games.

“My union has made it effectively impossible for composers like me to continue to do this, and I’m even facing a possible $50,000 fine,” he said. “I think it’s madness.”

He explained that a few years ago, heads of the union put together a new video game recording contract. The contract was enacted in 2012 by union executives, but no members of the union were given a chance to vote on it.

That new recording contract was universally rejected by all video game publishers, developers and game makers. The AFM has yet to revise the bill into something that game makers and the union can both agree on.

“Under this new agreement, no AFM musician has been able to work on a new video game score for almost two years,” said Wintory. “And there’s no end in sight to the prohibition of this work.”

“This contract has created an untenable situation,” added Wintory. “…We’ve had to [work in an industry we love], with no union sanction, for almost two years.”

It’s working outside union sanction that landed Wintory in trouble with the union. The AFM sent him a letter just prior to the release of The Banner Saga, for which he composed music, threatening to fine him $50,000 for taking part in non-union work.

“It seems they are trying to make an example out of me,” he said. “…I refuse to live in fear of my own union.”

We’ve contacted the AFM for comment.


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Comments


Michael Joseph
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I don't understand. Why are you in the union if you don't want to be limited to following union rules? I'm assuming being in the union has benefited you at some point in your career? You undermine that union when you sign a work contract with a company that doesn't want to play by the rules of your union.

There are high quality, professional compositions being made in game soundtracks today. They just aren't being made by AFM musicians. But guess what? They aren't getting the most lucrative jobs out there because those are going to AFM musicians.

You say that no members were allowed to vote on that contract. That could be a fair point. But you've not shown that the majority of your fellow members want to change that contract. You are showing us pictures of AFM board members as if they are the bad guys that the general membership has lost control of.

Why are you appealing to random people on youtube who probably don't even know how unions work? Taking advantage of audiences' ignorance is the kind of stuff that anti-union people do. You want the benefit of the union, but you don't want the limitations. What have you done specifically to communicate with your fellow members and to get the AFM board to produce a new version of the video game contract?

You're not being persecuted. You're undermining an organization you obviously don't believe in being apart of. So leave.

I hope the video game developers you worked with were ignorant of your AFM membership before they agreed to work with you outside of the AFM contract.

David Cummins
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I understand your point about leaving the union, but I guess the point is that he's resisting what he views as an untenable situation on behalf of others who are not in a position to resist.

Imagine if you were in a union that disallowed you from working on 2D games, or games that have touch controls. It's a bizarre and unreasonable restriction which could cost working people a lot of work. I assume that the union is quite powerful, and therefore that leaving the union could ALSO cost a lot of lost work. Either way, people are screwed. I understand that unions can take time to negotiate, but 2 years is a long time for a contractor.

I think the complaint is valid regardless of what happens with his individual case.

Austin Wintory
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Thanks for your comments Michael. I'd like to address them individually:

"I don't understand. Why are you in the union if you don't want to be limited to following union rules? I'm assuming being in the union has benefited you at some point in your career? You undermine that union when you sign a work contract with a company that doesn't want to play by the rules of your union. "

>> I have remained in the union because I believe in democratic solutions of reform from WITHIN the union. Despite moronic policies of the leadership, I still have a passion for my community of AFM musicians and their artistry. I love working with recording artists who are AFM members and must remain so for their livelihood. I have no desire to undermine the union but I do believe reform, and new leadership, is needed.

"There are high quality, professional compositions being made in game soundtracks today. They just aren't being made by AFM musicians. But guess what? They aren't getting the most lucrative jobs out there because those are going to AFM musicians"

>> I'm a bit confused by your point here. You're conflating composing and musician recordings. There are zero lucrative AFM musicians jobs in games, and have been none for almost two years. Basically 100% of current game scoring is happening outside of the AFM (the only exception are a VERY tiny number of games which were grandfathered into the old contract; and I believe those are all finished now, which means it's truly 100%)

"You say that no members were allowed to vote on that contract. That could be a fair point. But you've not shown that the majority of your fellow members want to change that contract. You are showing us pictures of AFM board members as if they are the bad guys that the general membership has lost control of. "

>> That is because I DO believe that the IEB is an out-of-touch, irresponsible board. I am not speaking for anyone but myself on that, but I also know that I'm far from alone amongst AFM on that opinion.

"Why are you appealing to random people on youtube who probably don't even know how unions work? Taking advantage of audiences' ignorance is the kind of stuff that anti-union people do. You want the benefit of the union, but you don't want the limitations. What have you done specifically to communicate with your fellow members and to get the AFM board to produce a new version of the video game contract?"

>> I am not appealing to random people on YouTube, though all are welcome to learn about this situation. Nor am I taking advantage of anyone, ignorant or otherwise. I asked for no petition to be signed, no rally attended, no donation made. This will only be solved democratically, within the AFM and using AFM procedures. However, I DO believe that with a very public appeal, the AFM can be made to realize the importance of course-correcting in a way that purely internal politicking would never accomplish (As demonstrated by two straight years of ZERO contract progress).

I attempted to record The Banner Saga under AFM contract, and when I was told there was a new contract, I reviewed it and realized it would never fly. This was back in 2012, when it was brand new. I called the contract's author (who is at the heart of these AFM politics) and told him straight up this was not only going to force me out of town on The Banner Saga, but would spell doom to the entire game recording industry. He basically respectfully disagreed.

"You're not being persecuted. You're undermining an organization you obviously don't believe in being apart of. So leave."

>> Virtually EVERY composer in the AFM is guilty of violating the bylaws because of the vague, legally over-reaching way they're written. But they are not charged because of their political status. There are numerous examples, though I'm not going to name names here. It's widely known w/i the AFM. I was, and am, an outspoken critic and it is quite clear that I was singled out for this.

"I hope the video game developers you worked with were ignorant of your AFM membership before they agreed to work with you outside of the AFM contract. "

>> My AFM membership status is irrelevant to them. If they don't sign the agreement, they are not obligated to anything. They can work with whomever the want and even in this situation they are not impacted.

I genuinely appreciate your questions because these complex, oftentimes convoluted issues that only open, transparent dialogue can address. I have been scouring reddit, NeoGAF, twitter, FB and youTube (and now Gamasutra) for chances to address the legitimate questions. My SOLE agenda is reform so great musicians can get back to recording great scores.

E Zachary Knight
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This is the kind of crap that makes me hope that Unions never permeate into the games industry. This really sucks that he basically has to be a part of a union thanks to Hollywood and television. A lot of good composers do work there and those sectors *require* a union membership to get a gig. Frankly, I think that is insane.

Ian Richard
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I agree completely.

I despise the way the video game industry is run and the treatment of their employees but I dread the day that we have a union. I've seen unions do far more work in holding exceptional employees back than I see them helping them.

Michael Joseph
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Frankly, this is not a union full of steel workers or construction workers.

I think that the AFM is likely full of very smart people with very high IQs. A union of game developers would be full of smart people too and I should hope they'd be able to limit abuses of power and position at the tops of their ranks.

I can't think of anything better than for smart working people to form unions.

Gregory Booth
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/agree

Unions, at least in this scenario, do more harm than good.

Michael Joseph
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@Gregory Booth

They may not be liked, but these scenarios are what have kept the standard of living for their members very high.

Wintory has ultimately benefited from being a member.

Lars Doucet
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No need to insult steel and construction workers to make your point.

Michael Joseph
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@Lars Doucet

Are you kidding me? How can we have a conversation if you're going to accuse me of insulting people when I'm trying to express a truth as I see it. (look at history of corruption in unions associated iron & steel workers and construction)

People need to keep in mind that not all unions are the same. And the "OH MY GOD UNIONS WILL DESTROY OUR PROFESSION" fear is perpetuated in part by taking advantage of a cultural stereotype of low skilled worker unions run by corrupt officials at the top.

Maybe I'm wrong but I think that AFM members have significantly higher IQs than steel workers and construction workers. But high intelligence is no guarantor of integrity or wisdom. But I can't help believing it should help. Smart members should be able to create a union that is resistant to corruption by examining the ways in which unions have been corrupted in the past. For example, board members can be limited to people who have worked in the industry for a minimum number of years as opposed to electing lawyers and other industry outsiders to high offices. oops, I think I just insulted lawyers.

I have a strong suspicion that AFM members have benefited tremendously from their union efforts. Don't let Wintory's claim distort the big picture.

http://www.afm.org/about/mission-statement

Gregory Booth
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@Michael Joseph

So this is a "societal contract" ??

This union's actions are IMHO, as he has described the context, heavy handed.

Not so sure I agree that he has benefited.

In any case, "benefited" is for him to judge, not you.

Gregory Booth
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Not sure he is as much "distorting" as he is describing.

I have a strong suspicion that some people would defend unions actions in any context.

Michael Joseph
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"So this is a "societal contract" ??"
--

"Big picture" refers to the welfare of the membership and their families and descendants over the history of the union.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Austin_Wintory

I don't know how many of those films listed were AFM friendly productions.

I do get that one can have issues with the AFM video game contract. But I think his video is a distortion that is helping to produce anti-union sentiment in talk backs and forums as evidenced here.

EDIT: An AFM musician isn't forced to accept work-for-hire contracts that require them to relinquish the ownership of their IP. THIS ALONE is a huge benefit even their least famous/powerful members enjoy through their unionization.

Game developers create IP and generally get bupkis once their work is done. One day they are bound to wake up and take collective steps to stop the exploitation and to secure futures for themselves and their families.

Gregory Booth
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Well at least most of the comments here do serve to balance your pro-union comments... and for that I am glad.

I am also glad that you "get" that one can have issues with union contracts.

Whatever anti-union sentiment that is inferred from his video may perhaps be justified.

In any event when the perceived "welfare" of any group impinges on the perceived "rights" of an individual we end up in these discussions where people proffer their societal or political opinions as fact, and attempt to "prove" them as such.

In these situations I tend to side with the individual.

Take care individual.

Gregory Booth
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"and those sectors *require* a union membership to get a gig"

That is one of the most irritating issues here.

/insane /agree

Michael Joseph
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I side with individuals. Unions are comprised of individuals who have voluntarily agreed to stand together to help secure for one another a better deal from companies that need their services. Because they can. And they are smart enough to realize the benefits.

Gregory Booth
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I am very glad you side with individuals.

Perhaps the tone of your comments led me to believe you sided with unions over the welfare of individuals.

I side in this particular instance with the individual Austin Wintory.

I also concur with Lars Doucet when he states "Fitting this into an existing pro- or anti- union narrative doesn't look so easy."

Austin Wintory
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"I do get that one can have issues with the AFM video game contract. But I think his video is a distortion that is helping to produce anti-union sentiment in talk backs and forums as evidenced here."

>> I am NOT attempting ant-union sentiment. Why do that when I can just quit the union and go on easy street? I'm advocating reform. Plain and simple, which will require public support lest they ignore us from within (As they have for years).

"EDIT: An AFM musician isn't forced to accept work-for-hire contracts that require them to relinquish the ownership of their IP. THIS ALONE is a huge benefit even their least famous/powerful members enjoy through their unionization."

>> Can you please clarify this? Do you mean AFM composer? Because musicians never own the music they play on, union or otherwise. And there is no such thing as an AFM composer (despite the language of the overreaching Bylaws)

Austin Wintory
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"They may not be liked, but these scenarios are what have kept the standard of living for their members very high. "

>> This is a fallacy. There has been a well-over 50% drop in film score recordings for AFM musicians and a 100% drop in game recordings. By what measure is that maintenance of high standard of living? When I moved to LA there were 5 big scoring stages. Today there are 3 and all 3 are on the precipice of shutting down due to lack of work. With those stages go hundreds of ancillary jobs (mostly IATSE members, by the way) for stage crews, engineers, etc. The AFM has created this problem.

The difficulty emerges when you have a totally, easily outsourceable product. Steel workers can't be outsourced because if you're in Town X and need work done, you have to hire the local force. The building can't be imported.

On the other hand, there are musicians ALL OVER THE WORLD chomping at the bit to record film and game scores, and they'll offer any deal terms you'd like. The AFM does not "protect" anyone if they fail to recognize that, like it or not, they are not having to COMPETE, like a business. If they choose to assume that AFM contracts are the default for production companies recording their scores, they will simply cease to exist. And rapidly, that is the choice they tragically making.

"Wintory has ultimately benefited from being a member. "

>> Please substantiate that claim.

Michael Joseph
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@Gregory Booth
You aren't making much sense. This individual Austin Wintory you're talking about claims to believe in his union. Austin Wintory can leave his union any time he wants. You side with him as far as I can tell only in so far as Austin Wintory is against having to abide by the union rules. So you're not actually for individuals. Because there are more individuals within his union who oppose his position. Why don't you side with them? You're just anti-union.

Austin Wintory
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"I have a strong suspicion that AFM members have benefited tremendously from their union efforts. Don't let Wintory's claim distort the big picture. "

>> I already addressed this, but I'll state again, that there has been a CATACLYSMIC decline in AFM recording and it's directly as a result of AFM philosophies leading to weak, non-competitive contracts and extremely poorly-designed publicity stunts, etc.

A musician who never works is not better off than a musician who has a plum contract, used once a year.

Michael Joseph
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"The AFM has created this problem."

if true, how is a >50% drop in film score recordings a problem created by AFM?

Seems to me you are saying that there is a growing movement to simply not work with AFM musicians and/or that an increasing number of talented musicians are not joining the AFM.

Outside of better awareness campaigns and recruitment, I don't see how this is a fault of your union. A union can only compete with non union workers (at home or overseas) when there is a significant talent disparity. Otherwise the union will race to the bottom with the the rest of the non union workers.

http://variety.com/2012/film/news/is-union-helping-or-hurting-fil
m-tv-composers-1118062356/


Adam Bishop
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I'm in a union and it does a lot of great things. My work situation is definitely better for the presence of my union. Just because the AFM executive is acting in a certain way doesn't mean that all unions are bad any more than one boss who harasses employees means that all managers are bad.

Austin Wintory
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"if true, how is a >50% drop in film score recordings a problem created by AFM? ... Outside of better awareness campaigns and recruitment, I don't see how this is a fault of your union."

If you believe that creating a work situation that accelerates outsourcing, and eliminates work (including hundreds of ancillary jobs outside the union, such as stage crews and recording engineers) is acceptable behavior for a union, then we will never see eye to eye on this.

Albert Thornton
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"I think that the AFM is likely full of very smart people with very high IQs. A union of game developers would be full of smart people too and I should hope they'd be able to limit abuses of power and position at the tops of their ranks."

This mentality confounds me. At what point did we become so gullible?

When has a cadre of 'wiz kids' ever done more good than harm?

This unshakable modern belief that if we get enough 'smart' people together to do 'good', manna will flow from heaven ... it's simply insane.

Why not just let people manage their own business?

Michael Joseph
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@Albert Thornton

I qualified the rest of that comment with the statement that intelligence was no guarantor of integrity or wisdom.

As for letting people manage their own business, they are. Groups of people decide to come together to work together. They also decide to come together to collectively bargain wages, salaries and benefits together.

Michael Joseph
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@Austin Wintory

If you believe that creating a work situation that accelerates outsourcing, and eliminates work (including hundreds of ancillary jobs outside the union, such as stage crews and recording engineers) is acceptable behavior for a union, then we will never see eye to eye on this.
---

What can a union do to prevent outsourcing? If you're saying that they have to be competitive with countries that have no workers protections, then you're saying the union must basically cave in to every employer demand. And then they'll still outsource because there's no way the American worker can compete with countries where you can eat for $2.50 a day.

You're not sounding very reasonable anymore. I think you're just anti-union. You aren't talking about solutions, you're just railing about all stuff you don't like and apparently all of it is the union's fault. What specifically would you like to see the AFM change in it's video game contracts?

Lars Doucet
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Couple facts:

1) There are music unions in other countries
2) Union musicians in other countries are willing to negotiate with the game industry (like negotiating prices for a buyout clause)
3) Quite a lot of these union musicians in other countries don't charge peanuts, they serve their members well, get paid well, and also are willing to negotiate with the industry.

"Competing with outsourcing" does not have to mean "screw over our members." There's room for nuance here without the only two options being "you're either for unions, every union, or you're against them."

To make my bias perfectly clear:
I run a game studio.
I pay residuals to my musicians (the key concession AFM wants from the industry, that the industry refuses to give).
I don't insist on buy-outs. I have non-exclusive licenses for my music that let me do what I need, but still let the musicians retain certain key rights.
My musicians are all non AFM.
My musicians are all non-US citizens.
I don't know if my musicians are union or not (never asked). They have agents, tho.
My musicians do not earn peanuts. They are paid quite well.
The AFM contract is insane and I could never afford those terms.

Michael Joseph
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Maybe the AFM contract will change but I don't think the AFM is insane (i know that's not what you said). They're starting from somewhere. You have other options and you're using them. Still, if you're an AFM member then you should abide by the rules or otherwise leave the union. They're not forcing anyone to abide by them and Wintory I guess is saying he's not benefiting from the union anyway so... it's not clear what he's ranting about other than this 50k penalty he's been handed for staying in the union and allegedly breaking their rules.

RE: "Competing with outsourcing" does not have to mean "screw over our members."

No? What nuanced changes to a union contract do you think can compete with outsourcing in a global resource pool? The entire western world would like to know? If someone can have it all, why would they ever settle for less?

Globalization has weakened unions in western countries that don't protect domestic workers from the race to the bottom. Conscientious business owners have a choice on whether they want to support their own artists (in this case) and their own communities.

Lars Doucet
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Austin Wintory has responded to most of the questions people are raising over at this NeoGaf thread:
http://www.neogaf.com/forum/showthread.php?t=834012

@Michael Joseph:
"You want the benefit of the union, but you don't want the limitations."

Perhaps Wintory's response to this post sheds some light on this.

"As a union member, were you unaware that recording the Banner Saga was a violation of the bylaws, or did you violate them intentionally? Was it to make a point about AFM's lack of contract?"

Wintory:

"Texas is a "right to work" state, meaning union members can work non-union w/o repercussion. I recorded TBS in Dallas with the Dallas Wind Symphony. Also, the union does not represent composers, nor music producers, which were the reasons I was there obviously. Their bylaws likely can't hold up in court because they forbid members from composing non-union, yet union protections don't extend to composing.

I know this is standing [sic] esoteric and complicated.

Basically, only instrumental performance (singing is covered by the Screen Actors Guild, not the AFM), conducting, arranging/orchestrating (very nebulous terms in today's day and age), sheet music prep (called "copyist" work) and a few other similar things are covered by the AFM. I do not pay work dues, nor get health care / pension contributions based on composing work.

So therefore no, I did not knowingly break any rules."

-----------------------

Another response:

"Unions are very much a double-edged sword. They have good points and bad points."

Wintory:

"I wholeheartedly agree. That is why, even as the contract killed off game work and I KNEW I would be forced to work non-union, I decided to stay in the union. I believe in their overall ideals, and what they stand for. I felt it best to remain a member and democratically participate in order to help re-steer the ship.

This action against me is the result.

Bear in mind that I have done many films over the years where I lost money, going out of pocket over-budget, in order to work with AFM musicians. I even told the union that in my official rebuttal, but they didn't care. "

-----------------------

And from Reddit (http://www.reddit.com/r/gaming/comments/27pc91/banner_saga_compos
er_austin_wintory_speaks_out/):

"Note that this one popular, successful musician. He is asking the union to let him work for less than a living wage because he does not need one for every job because of his success and popularity. While working for cheap on a grassroots project like that might seem laudable, that actually means a less popular/successful musician might be pressured to also work for cheap because otherwise he'd face competition from people like him, thus undermining the idea of unions that negotiate for a living wage.

Please also note how he is almost solely appealing to your feelings and not bringing many actual arguments."

Wintory:

"At no point did I say this was a wage dispute. I did not ask to work for less; despite the Bylaws' provisions stating I can't compose non-union, composing and producing are NOT covered by the AFM. They do not dictate wages, and therefore have absolutely no say in how much I make. I do not pay work dues, nor contribute to healthcare / pension with my composition fees.

Furthermore, the musicians I hired for this game (against my own paycheck; it's called a package deal. The more I pay them, the less I make) were all paid rates concurrent with union standards. No one was asked to do a favor.

Please ask any question you like that would satisfy your interest in "actual arguments." I genuinely welcome it because union issues are complex."

------------------------------

In other words, it looks like the devil is in the details. Fitting this into an existing pro- or anti- union narrative doesn't look so easy.

Gregory Booth
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"Fitting this into an existing pro- or anti- union narrative doesn't look so easy."

Now that is something I can agree with.


As we all know however some people will attempt to polarize *any* issue.

"Only a sith speaks in absolutes"

Michael Joseph
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His video is polarizing. His comments seem more reasonable.

Austin Wintory
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Glad you think so :)

Gregory Booth
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/support :D

James McDermott
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@Michael Joseph I believe therein lies the problem with Mr. Wintory's approach. If one got down to talking with him, he is more than capable of making clear, concise, honest arguments and respectfully respond to one's questions and arguments.

However, I feel his video sums up the issue as he sees it in such a way that it lacks important details, such as his non-union gig being in a right-to-work state (Texas) and what "right-to-work" means. As such, one could be forgiven for thinking he's an anti-union activist if the video is one's only point of contact with his argument.

Had he included those important details along with the others - as well as criticizing the union board members' actions rather than the board members themselves - I think the general reaction to the video would've been a lot more positive.

Greg Scheel
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@McDermott

It's not about details, it's about attitude.

Look at what the lawyer from AFM has to say, he thinks he can bully people. That may work with recording companies, but videogame companies have a very different culture, as we are primarily software people.

"games come from a place of love and enjoyment and celebration, not from a place of fear."

sean lindskog
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I wish Austin the best of luck. Based on his video, the complaint seems legit.

Gregory Booth
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I wish him the best of luck in defeating the AFM's actions.

Perhaps he'll be successful, I certainly hope so.

Jean Louis
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Unions had a purpose when human decency and valuation was being abused. Now, they tend to create gridlock and inflation. I'm much happier to pass up union gigs and be able to do what I like. Freedom to fail is better than security at the cost of bondage.

Greg Scheel
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Human decency and valuation is being abused now more than ever before.

The problem of union formation and management stems from its nature, that to form a union requires a politician, and to run a union is the work of a lawyer, yet neither politicians nor lawyers do the work of the union laborers. One possible fix is to require union leadership to come from the union membership itself, and to make mandatory recent performance of said labor. Each union should sponsor its own members to attend law school, and to create a system to train leaders, so as to keep the interests and experience of the leadership aligned with the membership.

The video game industry needs a union rather badly, most particularly with regard to the "AAA" publishers, yet we remain too chaotic to get our act together.

No bondage is greater than that of poverty to the point of destitution, you have clearly never slept out of doors against your will and preference.

Jean Louis
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Well, you're wrong on that last point. Harder times have not taught me to rely on governing bodies to save me, quite the contrary.

Albert Thornton
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One of the biggest failures of 'progressive' groupthink is that it's so insular: it is an ideology singularly unwilling to examine its assumptions.

This is why we still hear 'right-minded' people robotically insist that unions are 'necessary', that business is 'evil', etc, yet simultaneously see unions destroying our public education system, holding our government (and government services) hostage, inflating the cost of making things like cars domestically so high that it requires government subsidy, and on and on.

Unions are cartels. They were never ideologically pristine, but you could make the argument that you needed a cartel on your side because the businesses were their own cartels. But the real problem with the business cartels was that they had the help of the government. They still do. And now the unions have the help of the government. So we revile one corrupt cartel and kneejerk support another corrupt cartel, and wonder why nothing improves.

We do not 'need' unions in games. I would argue we don't need unions at all. If you think we do, you're not paying attention.

Michael Joseph
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And how would you address their concerns re: corporations & corporate collusion that have made the marketplace uncompetitive for workers and customers?

Unions are not cartels. They are unions. In fact, unlike a cartel which likes to hide the fact that they are colluding with their competitors against global customers, unions are out in the open.

People like Ron Paul point to the worker exploitation in the USA during the industrial revolution (not unlike worker exploitation in China today) and say "the government enabled the monopolies that lead to these abuses! If it weren't for the government, then none of that would have happened!"

Libertarians speak about the government AS IF it was not already an extension of the super wealthy business magnates' hands. But most folks know very well who runs this country. They know who has all the money and they know that the Constitution allows that money to buy the seats of power. They know taxes are dodged and they know that money is not being reinvested at home.

Ron Paul likes to talk about "if we'd only follow the Constitution..." Well unfortunately the US Constitution's failures are why we're here in the first place.

Finally your general portrayal of progressives is wrong. When you say they are groupthinkers, ideological, unwilling to examine their assumptions, etc, it sounds as if you are setting yourself up with an excuse to not engage in a dialogue. That's why groups demonize other groups - they are saying "we don't want to talk with them nor do we want our members to!"

Ian Richard
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This is difficult because I've worked for a few different unions and I have a terrible desire to rant. Instead, I'm just going to say that I'd rather negotiate my own salary, work to keep my own job, and be responsible for my own actions. I've seen what can happen to people when someone else fights their battles and I don't want any part of it.

I don't care how "Smart" the masses are, I know what's best for my own life better than they do.

Michael Joseph
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talking points and slogans.

Ian Richard
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This is difficult because I've worked for a few different unions and I have a terrible desire to rant. Instead, I'm just going to say that I'd rather negotiate my own salary, work to keep my own job, and be responsible for my own actions. I've seen what can happen to people when someone else fights their battles and I don't want any part of it.

I don't care how "Smart" the masses are, I know what's best for my own life better than they do.


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