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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.
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By Stan Soocher
In Fourth Estate Public Benefit Corp. v. Wall-Street.com LLC, the U.S. Supreme Court held that, under 17 U.S.C. §411(a), “registration occurs, and a copyright claimant may commence an infringement suit, when the Copyright Office registers a copyright” — that is, acts on a registration application, rather than when an applicant delivers the registration materials to the Copyright Office.
By Karen Hoffman Lent and Kenneth Schwartz
In November, the DOJ asked a federal district court to terminate the Paramount Consent Decrees, a set of rules governing major film studios for the last 70 years. In effect, these rules prohibited movie studios from owning downstream movie theaters and banned a variety of vertical agreements, such as block booking — the practice of bundling multiple films into one theater license.
By P.J. D’Annunzio
A federal appeals court upheld the dismissal of a Philadelphia lawyer’s suit alleging that Los Angeles litigation boutique Pierce Bainbridge Beck Price & Hecht acted in bad faith by failing to follow through with a $160,000 settlement in a dispute over attorney fees.
By Frank Ready
A new esports-centric survey released by the law firm of Foley & Lardner projects that esports revenues will climb above the $1 billion mark this year. But the increased stakes and growing sophistication of the industry will likely not be without their headaches.