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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 the 1976 Copyright Act, Congress inserted a termination right for authors or their successors for pre-January 1, 1978, assignments of copyrighted works. However, the legislators didn’t directly address a key issue: how to determine termination rights for what are known as “gap grant” works — that is, those created post-1977 under copyright assignments made before then.
By Neil J. Rosini and Michael I. Rudell
The COVID-19 outbreak has wreaked havoc on the entertainment industry. Productions have been halted and distribution channels disrupted. In the midst of this pandemic, one big question for contracting parties is whether force majeure will excuse or postpone a party’s obligations without liability.
By Raychel Lean
Federal Judge Kathleen Williams recently analyzed the hit song “Despacito” in a copyright lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida, when she found its writers had not copied an earlier Spanish song with the same name.
By Mark A. Salky and Jessica Johnson Fishfeld
During a time when online marketing, virtual shopping and electronic communication are more widely used than ever, it is critically important for entertainment industry businesses to be highly aware of how they are using trademarks, the scope of a trademark owner’s rights and the consequences of infringing them.