IAWG Charter

IAWG Charter Table of Contents:


Affiliation Agreement

  • Article I - purpose and extent of affiliation.
  • Article II - structure.
  • Article III - membership status, benefits and responsibilities.
  • Article IV - collective bargaining agreements, codes of fair practice, working rules.
  • Article V - affiliation agreement.

Screenwriting & TV Credits Agreement.



The writer is a primary creator of works of imagination, entertainment and enlightenment; a significant initiator of cultural, social and economic processes. These are of basic importance in all societies. To fulfill effectively these social responsibilities, the writer must have the following rights:

  1. The right to be acknowledged, legally, morally and contractually, as the author of one's work.
  2. The right to complete freedom of expression and communication, and freedom from any form of censorship.
  3. The right to maintain the integrity of a work and to protect it from any distortion or misuse.
  4. The right to fair payment for all uses of a work.
  5. The right to have the work published or produced solely on the basis of its merit, without regard to any form of invidious discrimination which shall include but not be limited to age, color, gender, marital status, national origin, physical or emotional instability, race, religion, sexual orientation, social or political affiliation or belief of the writer.
  6. The right to form unions or guilds entitled to bargain and act collectively for their members.

Believing that these rights are fundamental to the dignity, integrity and well-being of writers, it is the policy of the Affiliation to work for their attainment everywhere, and as part of this effort to take all necessary steps to achieve the following goals:

  1. to work for copyright laws that are based on the concept that the creator of any work is its first owner, with inalienable legal and moral rights in that work that protect its use and integrity;
  2. to ensure continuing participation of the writer in the preparation and production of a work for film, radio, television or the stage. This includes casting, the selection of a director, and the right to be present when the work is being produced or presented;
  3. to fight all attempts by others to claim authorship or ownership in a work, including moves by producers, directors and corporate entities to be accorded "possessory" credits;
  4. to encourage and maintain the distinct cultural identities of each country;
  5. to oppose all attempts by governments, corporations, special interest groups, and others, to impose on creators censorship in any form;
  6. to seek means to facilitate the free movement of writers in and between all nations;
  7. to establish the conditions that will free the writer's imagination and fulfill his or her capacity for creative expression.

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This revised Agreement is made as of this 19th day of October, 2000, by and between the Australian Writers Guild (AWG), New Zealand Writers Guild (NZWG), Société des auteurs de radio, télévision et cinéma (SARTEC), Writers Guild of America East (WGAE), Writers Guild of America, west (WGAw), Writers Guild of Canada (WGC) and Writers Guild of Great Britain (WGGB).

The parties hereto agree as follows:

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  1. The objects of affiliation are:
    1. To promote and protect the interests internationally of each Guild and of the respective members thereof.
    2. To promote and encourage friendly relations with other writers' groups or organizations having objectives or interests in common with any of the affiliated organizations.
    3. To procure adequate international laws or treaties and to promote better relations among nations in copyright, labour relations and taxation; to promote freedom of expression and of communication and to oppose censorship in whatever form it may take.
    4. To promote fair dealings and to cultivate, establish and maintain harmony, cordial relationship, unity of action and understanding among members of the Member Guilds; and between members, on the one hand, and on the other hand, individual firms, corporations, associations and organizations who employ them or purchase their material, or with whom they work or have business or other dealings; and to protect the rights of members in that respect.
    5. To procure better working conditions for members of the Member Guilds and payment for their work commensurate with its value, to correct abuses to which they may be subject, and to bring about harmonious and concerted action by its members in such respects.
    6. To disseminate information as to the rights and interests of members of the Member Guilds.
    7. To enforce standard minimum contracts established by any of the Member Guilds in radio, television and motion pictures, as such industries are presently constituted or as they may hereinafter be constituted or reconstituted as a result of any technical or scientific developments or discoveries.
    8. To cooperate with and work closely, one Guild with the other.
    9. To do any and all things necessary, desirable and proper to promote the welfare and interests of the members of the Member Guilds in carrying into effect or furthering any of the foregoing purposes.

  2. The AWG, NZWG, SARTEC, WGAE, WGAw, WGC and WGGB shall be affiliated and all the terms and conditions of such affiliation shall be as set forth in this Agreement.

  3. The Affiliation shall be known as the International Affiliation of Writers Guilds.

  4. Each Guild shall, except as otherwise expressly provided in this Agreement, conduct its affairs in its own name and for its own account, and shall not use or permit the use of the name of the others except to make known the fact of affiliation. The Guilds shall not use each other's credit in any manner whatsoever, nor represent or permit others to represent that either is the agent of another except to the extent permitted herein.

  5. None of the Guilds shall enter into an affiliation agreement which abrogates, modifies or reduces any right or privilege given to or reserved by any of the Member Guilds.

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  1. The Affiliation shall maintain administrative contact and may agree upon and pursue joint action with respect to all matters germane to the purposes of the affiliation.

  2. An Affiliation Conference shall be convened regularly and at intervals no less than annually at such time and place as may be mutually agreed and each Member Guild shall be entitled to send one or more delegates. A quorum shall exist if at the Affiliation Conference there is a minimum of one delegate present from four of the signatories to this Agreement. Each Member Guild represented, regardless of the number of delegates, shall have one vote. No proxy voting shall be allowed. In the event of a tie vote the question shall be lost. The expenses of members attending such meetings shall be borne by the Guild they represent.

    The draft agenda for each Affiliation Conference shall be prepared by the Policy and Research Group. Each Member Guild shall be invited to submit items of business or motions for inclusions on the final agenda which shall be circulated to the Members at least one month before the date fixed for the Conference.

    The Chairman of each Affiliation Conference shall be appointed by the Conference. The host Guild shall keep the Minutes and shall provide each delegate with a full Minute of the proceedings not later than one month after the Conference has concluded.

    A Summary of the Resolutions of an Affiliation Conference shall be circulated to all the governing bodies of the Guilds by the host Guild (or at the host Guild’s request by the Secretary of the PRG) within seven days of the conclusion of an Affiliation Conference. The Resolutions shall be deemed to be ratified and accepted and become effective immediately unless within a period of ninety days after the circulation of this Summary a Guild that made a reservation on a Resolution at the Conference sends a specific rejection of this Resolution to the Secretary. Notice of such a Guild decision shall be sent by the Secretary to all Affiliates.

    At each third Affiliation Conference the delegates present and voting shall nominate a Treasurer. It shall be the duty of the Treasurer to take custody of all monies in the Affiliation treasury, to collect dues and to make all expenditures which are for the normal operating expenses of the Affiliation or which are authorized by vote of the delegates present and voting at a Conference. At each Conference the Treasurer shall make a full and complete report in writing of the finances of the Affiliation including an itemized record of the monies received and paid during the period since the last such report was made. Copies of such report shall be provided to each Conference delegate. The Treasurer shall make a financial report to the PRG at each PRG meeting.

  3. The Member Guilds agree to consult with each other prior to the issuance of a public statement expressing a policy concerning a matter affecting the economic or professional interests of the members of any of the Guilds.

  4. It is the purpose and intent of the Affiliation to remove national barriers between writers. None of the Guilds will advocate, adopt, establish, maintain or promulgate any policy, rule or regulation which adversely affects the economic or professional interest of any of the other Guilds or the members thereof; nor will any of the Guilds discriminate against members of another organization on the basis of nationality or citizenship. We nevertheless recognize the need for writers covering the entire range of regional and cultural elements in each country to have access to the mass media and the need to sustain to a reasonable degree in each country a national repertoire in the mass media.

  5. A special meeting of the Affiliation may be requested by any Member Guild to consider any matter which in the opinion of the Member Guild affects the signatories to this Agreement. Such a request shall be made in writing to the Secretary of the Affiliation who will circulate it to all Member Guilds. If a quorum of the Member Guilds agrees, the Secretary shall, in consultation with the Member Guilds, arrange to convene the special meeting not later than three months after the date of the original request.

  6. By joint action, the Member Guilds may appoint both standing and ad hoc committees to consider, take action or report to the governing bodies thereof, as the case may be, in accordance with and to the extent of the authority jointly delegated by the governing bodies.

  7. The annual fees for Members of the Affiliation are 1/7 of 1% for a Guild with operating revenue of $500,000 or less; 1/3 of 1% for a Guild with operating revenue of $500,000 to $5,000,000; and .575 of 1% for a Guild with operating revenue in excess of $5,000,000; with a minimum for each Guild of $100. [All figures are in $US.]

    Fees are due on January 1 and shall be paid not later than April 1 each year and shall be based on the total operating revenue calculated at the end of the Guild’s prior fiscal year.

  8. A Policy & Research Group (PRG) is hereby established, to consist of one representative from each Member Guild, plus a Chair. The Chair shall be a member in good standing of one of the Member Guilds, shall be appointed by the Affiliation for a period from one Affiliation Conference to the second Affiliation Conference following, and shall act as the Secretary of the Affiliation. The duties of the PRG shall be 1) to conduct research, provide information and make recommendations on the broad range of issues of concern to the Affiliation, including (but not limited to) copyright; the status of the writer; IAWG Projects; collectives; communications; ties of the IAWG with other organizations; trade issues; technology; the future of the industries in which members work; the administration of the Affiliation; and any other matter that affects the work of the members of the Guilds or which is referred to it by an Affiliation Conference; 2) to continue the work of the Affiliation between Affiliation Conferences; 3) to prepare the Budget for approval by the Affiliation Conference and administer this Budget; and 4) to propose the agenda for each Affiliation Conference.

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  1. The criteria for Membership in the IAWG is as follows: A Member Guild shall: 1) represent, at a minimum, screenwriters, and be the exclusive or predominant representative of the screenwriters in the country concerned; 2) negotiate and administer collective or model agreements; 3) have a form of dues, reflecting professional standards, organized on either a scale or percentage basis); 4) demonstrate that it operates on democratic principles; 5) have a constitution, and a bank account; 6) be able to sign and abide by the terms of the Affiliation Agreement.

  2. A category of Associate Membership in the IAWG is hereby established. An Associate Member Guild shall meet or be working to meet the criteria for Membership, shall not have a vote, and shall not pay dues. Associate Membership shall be for the period from one Affiliation Conference to the next Affiliation Conference, and may be renewed.

  3. Each Member Guild shall furnish at least annually to the other Guilds a list of the names, addresses and membership status of each member of such Guild. A copy of membership eligibility requirements shall also be furnished and each Guild shall notify the others promptly of any subsequent modification or revision thereof.

  4. A writer who is or becomes a member of any of the Member Guilds shall as an obligation of such membership be bound by the terms and conditions of this Affiliation Agreement, and each Member Guild shall include this requirement, as appropriate, in its own rules and regulations.

  5. A member of any Member Guild working in the exclusive collective bargaining jurisdiction of one of the other Member Guilds shall join that Guild, pay basic and other dues as required and be subject to the rules and regulations of the Guild. The writer may continue as a member of his or her original Guild.

    1. A writer shall in no case work within the jurisdiction of a Member Guild for any engager who has not adhered to the relevant collective bargaining agreement of that Guild (or who is on the unfair or strike list of that Guild).
    2. A writer actively negotiating for work in the jurisdiction of a Member Guild of which s/he is not a member shall register with the Guild concerned.
    3. A writer working in the jurisdiction of a Member Guild of which s/he is not a member shall join the Guild concerned.
      1. A writer shall be contracted under the relevant collective bargaining agreement of the Member Guild where the producer, at the time the writer is contracted, has its principal place of business for the production of the property concerned. If no such collective agreement exists, then the collective agreement of the Member Guild where the writer is resident shall apply.
      2. A co-production shall be deemed to exist where two or more companies involved in the production of a property have their principal place of business for that production in two or more countries. A production between any company and a subsidiary or affiliate of that company in another country shall not be considered a co-production. In the case of a co-production, writers shall be governed by the collective agreements of the country in which the writer is resident.
      3. In the event this Article III F 4 is in conflict with the working rules of a Member Guild each such Member may limit the application of Article III F 4 to conform to its rules.
    4. If any Guild feels these rules are being used by a producer to avoid obligations to a Member or members of a Guild or to the Guild itself, then the Guilds involved will meet to resolve the problem.

  6. A member of one Member Guild who wishes to join an affiliated Member Guild shall apply to the Guild of which s/he is a member for certification of membership status, and upon presentation of this certification to an affiliated Guild the member shall be assigned the membership status to which s/he is entitled on the basis of the qualifications uniformly required by the Guild. Such members shall then be admitted into membership without being required to pay the initiation fees.

    A member using this provision may maintain membership in any other affiliated Guild.

  7. Any member declared to be in bad standing, suspended or expelled by one Member Guild shall not be entitled to join any of the Member Guilds until such time as s/he has been restored to membership in good standing of the first Guild.

  8. Any member who shall be found guilty, after disciplinary procedures conducted in accordance with the provision of the Constitution of the Member Guild to which s/he is a member (or if s/he shall then be a member of more than one Member Guild, of the Guild in whose collective bargaining jurisdiction the violation occurred), of failing to abide by the requirements of such minimum basic agreements, codes of fair practice, or working rules, may be suspended, declared not in good standing, expelled from membership in the Guild, be asked to resign, or in lieu thereof, or in addition thereof, may be censured, fined or otherwise disciplined. Any appeal procedures provided for in the Constitution of the Guild imposing the disciplinary action shall be available to other members of the Guilds.

  9. The Member Guilds shall endeavor, jointly and severally, to have portability provisions relating to Guild pension and retirement savings plans. In instances where this is not possible, a member of one Guild who becomes a member of another Guild according to the provisions of Article G shall be entitled to apply for, and be granted, repayment of amounts paid by him/her on his/her behalf to such plans in a country in which s/he is not resident.

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  1. Each Member Guild shall use its best efforts to keep the others advised of negotiations for minimum basic agreements and codes of fair practice. Prompt notification of the terms and conditions of each such agreement or code shall be given to the other Guilds by the Guild entering into such agreement or code.

  2. To the extent practicable, each Guild shall adopt uniform codes of working rules and bring existing codes into uniformity.

  3. After ratification of any minimum basic agreement, code of fair practice, or working rules, copies thereof will be forwarded by the ratifying Guilds to the other Guilds. Members of each Guild will be advised of the provisions thereof.

  4. Each Guild shall provide the others with a list of signatories to its minimum basic agreements and codes of fair practice.

  5. If the governing body of any of the Member Guilds duly issues an order directing all members of that Guild to cease rendering services to and refrain from contracting for the sale or licensing of their literary or dramatic material to any of the persons, firms or corporations named in such directive, such Guild shall immediately notify the other Guilds. The governing body of the other Guilds shall thereupon, subject only to national law and the terms and conditions of local agreements, instruct their membership not to enter into any contractual commitments with such person, firm or corporation for the rendition of their services as writers or for the sale or licensing of their literary or dramatic material or rights therein until further notice from said governing body. Such restraining order shall continue until withdrawn by action of the governing body initiating such order. The other Guilds shall be notified immediately of any withdrawal of a restraining order and the effective date of such withdrawal.

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  1. The term of this revised Affiliation Agreement shall commence with the date hereof and shall continue for a period of four years and thereafter will be automatically renewed for a period of two years unless terminated as hereinafter provided.

  2. This Agreement may only be amended by the unanimous agreement of the signatories. Written notice of any proposed amendment shall be sent to the Secretary of the Affiliation at least three months before the next Conference date. The Secretary shall then circulate the proposed amendments to all Members at least two months before the Conference date, inviting each Member to comment on or propose additional amendments. All proposed amendments and comments thereof shall be placed on the final agenda. A Conference resolution to amend this Agreement shall not have effect until ratified by each Member’s governing body.

  3. A Member Guild may withdraw from this Affiliation Agreement by sending to the Secretary not later than six months prior to the next Affiliation Conference notice that a resolution to this effect has been passed by the Member Guild's governing body, and the Secretary shall immediately advise all other Members.

  4. All notices and other materials required to be forwarded by one Guild to the others shall be sent to the respective addresses set forth in this Agreement, unless subsequent written notice is given of a change of address. Notices required to be sent to members shall be sent to the last address supplied by the member to the Guild in which s/he maintains membership.

  5. Where under the working rules of one Member Guild, members of that Guild may not render services as writers or sell or license literary or dramatic material or rights therein to any person, firm or corporation, or may do so only under specific conditions, such restraint or conditions shall apply equally to members of other Member Guilds with respect to such deals with said person, firm or corporation.

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Agreement entered into this 23rd day of September, 1998.

The purpose of this Screenwriting & TV Credits Agreement is to establish procedures and to resolve differences among the signatories to the International Affiliation of Writers Guilds Affiliation Agreement as to the determination of writing credits on a theatrical motion picture or TV drama where the collective bargaining agreements of any two such Guilds may be involved (e.g. by reason of the engagement of writers under two of such Guilds' respective collective agreements). We have agreed as follows:

    1. If the Producer has its principal place of business for the production of the film in country A and the first writer is engaged or literary material is acquired pursuant to the Basic Agreement of the Guild in country A, then the Guild in country A will conduct the arbitration.
    2. If the Producer has its principal place of business for the production of the film in country A and the first writer is engaged or literary material is acquired pursuant to the Basic Agreement of the Guild in country B, then the Guild in country B will conduct the arbitration, but the Guild in country B may request the Guild in country A to conduct the arbitration and the Guild in country A will accede to such request.

  1. That existing screenplay/TV credits “Written By,” "Screenplay By,” “Story By,” and “Screen Story By” continue to be awarded in any international credit arbitration as they are now in the respective agreements and credits manuals. In the case of any other credit, the credit agreement and manual of the Guild whose basic agreement applies to the services of the first writer will apply.

  2. That each Guild must annually file with each other Guild its master list of credit arbitrators; and the right of any writer to any reasonable number of challenges to the list of another Guild shall be guaranteed. As in all aspects of credit arbitration, any challenges shall remain confidential.

  3. The Member Guilds shall use their best efforts to keep one another advised of any available information regarding employment of writers or acquisition of material that would be subject to this Agreement.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, the parties have caused this Agreement to be executed as of the day and year first above written.

Australian Writers Guild, 8/50 Reservoir St., Surry Hills, NSW 2010, Australia

New Zealand Writers Guild, P O Box 47 886, Ponsonby, Auckland 1034, New Zealand

Societe des auteurs de radio, television et cinema, 1229 Rue Panet, Montreal, Quebec H2L 2Y6, Canada

Writers Guild of America East, 555 West 57th St., New York, NY 10019, USA

Writers Guild of America, west, 7000 West Third Ave., Los Angeles, California 90048-4329, USA

Writers Guild of Canada, 123 Edward St., Suite 1225, Toronto, Ontario M5G 1E2, Canada

Writers Guild of Great Britain, 430 Edgware Rd., London W2 1EH, England

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