WGA East adds iPhone-app writers

iLarious scribes first in digi content to get repped by union

Can you picket via iPhone?

The writers of iLarious, which produces digital content for iPhone apps including "This Just In," have become the first batch of scribes in the niche medium to gain union representation. The effort is part of the WGA East's Writers Guild 2.0 drive to organize digital-media writers.

Comedy writers from "The Daily Show With Jon Stewart," "The Onion," "Human Giant," "Saturday Night Live" and other comedy programs that are covered by the agreement will get to count their jokes written for the app toward WGAE health insurance and other benefits.

"iLarious was founded to be the leading entertainment and comedy brand on mobile by a group of writers, producers and performers -- many of whom are members of the WGA," said iLarious founder Fred Graver, a WGAE member. "In a couple of years, mobile will be one of the dominant forces in our industry. ... The new means of producing content allows us to be owners and creators at the same time -- and in the future, we look forward to being able to picket ourselves every few years."

The WGAE recently has signed 20 new digital-media companies to guild agreements, which currently cover more than 25 active Web series.

"Whatever the technology, writers will always benefit from membership in a creative community that is organized to advance their interests," said WGAE executive director Lowell Peterson. "Signing on with the WGAE is a very important step for creators of digital media to gain the standing and strength they deserve."