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Section 181 of the Internal Revenue Code (IRC) was first introduced in 2004 and, with some gaps in time, lasted through its expiration at the end of 2016. It has provided benefits to both producers of movies and television programs (and, for a shorter period of time, to producers of live stage productions) and — under pass-through legal structures such as limited liability companies — to their investors. Now, with the enactment at the end of 2017 of the sweeping new federal tax law, commonly referred to as the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (the Jobs Act), §181 has been given new life, with a couple of additional benefits and a couple of additional twists.
By Scott D. Locke and Laura-Michelle Horgan
Broadcasters around the globe know that Americans want access to digital content and that they often ignore who provides it to them. For business reasons, tax reasons or to try to avoid liability under copyright law, many of these broadcasters intentionally do not set up operations in the United States. However, when these broadcasters transmit content for which they do not have authorization, they may be in violation of the copyright holder’s rights.
By Stan Soocher
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit reversed a district court’s award of attorney fees to Sony Corp. under §505 of the Copyright Act for winning a ruling that a lawsuit over a Sony Music songwriting contest should be sent to arbitration.
By Dr. Dariush Adli
The hotly disputed legal issue between the majority and dissent in the recent, highly-publicized “Blurred Lines” decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit concerned whether Marvin Gaye’s 1976 hit song “Got to Give it Up” was entitled to “broad” or “thin” copyright protection.
By Christopher J. Buccafusco
Pop musicians may be running out of creative space. And this problem is being exacerbated by the behaviors of what we might call the “legacy” interests — parties who own copyright interests in already-created songs but who won’t be making any new music.