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It’s not uncommon for rights licensees in the entertainment industry to find themselves in a rights dispute when a licensor files for bankruptcy. Section 365(a) of the Bankruptcy Code allows a Chapter 11 debtor, subject to court approval, to assume or reject any executory contract. While a rejected contract leaves the non-debtor party with a pre-petition damages claim for breach of contract under §365(g), it does not allow it to compel the debtor to continue performing. However, under §365(n), if the contract at issue is one “under which the debtor is a licensor of a right to intellectual property,” the licensee may elect to “retain its rights … to such intellectual property,” thereby preserving its ability to continue using the licensed IP.
By Stan Soocher
Non-payment of monies is an all-too-common complaint in the entertainment industry, with frustrated plaintiffs in many cases seeking default judgments against defendants who fail to respond to lawsuits seeking payment. Two new Central District of California federal court decisions illustrate — after the judges sort through the factors for determining whether to grant a default judgment — how consideration of the amount of money at issue resulted in different outcomes on whether to enter a default judgment.
By Stan Soocher
We sadly note the November passing of long-time Entertainment Law & Finance editorial board member Jay Rosenthal.
By Raychel Lean
A New Yorker who settled a copyright lawsuit against several news outlets over a photo he took of star quarterback Tom Brady and Boston Celtics manager Danny Ainge has struck again. This time he’s suing a radio station owner in Florida federal courts in a case that could test the boundaries of an emerging area of copyright law, raising major questions about how media companies incorporate social media posts into online stories.
By Maxwell Briskman Stanfield
In the entertainment industry, it can take years for actors, musicians and others to reach a point where their efforts begin bringing in a notable return. If and when these types of clients begin to make a consistently significant income, one method that deserves consideration for protecting the hard-earned pay is to organize a loan-out corporation.