International Tax Incentives

For those Producers looking for an exotic shooting location, there may be more reasons to travel overseas than you initially realize.

Foreign governments are looking to Hollywood to stimulate growth in local economies. This is evident by the increasing number of foreign legislation providing production tax incentives and other forms of economic breaks.

The most recent country is Hungary who decided to extend their incentive for another 6 years.

For the latest, see Variety



Production Problems: NY Gun Laws

For several of my clients, the NY ban on guns has proved to be problematic in more ways than one. As a consequence of NY law, film producers are forced to hire licensed gun professionals to supervise the use of gun props, in order to avoid criminal liability.

For those of you there, even independent film producers who anticipate using firearms in a scene, even if the firearm isn’t discharged during filming, make sure you are in compliance with NY law.

Full Article here.



Pink Floyd makes peace with Pandora

Pink Floyd makes peace with Pandora

– Jeff John Roberts

Pink Floyd’s attitude to companies like Pandora and Spotify appears to have changed dramatically since this summer when the band very publicly attacked streaming music services.

Legendary band Pink Floyd made waves this summer when it publicly blasted online radio service Pandora for conspiring to cheat musicians out of a fair royalty rate. The accusations, set out in a public letter, touched off a debate over whether streaming services are bad for the bad industry.

Now, though, the debate is taking a new direction as Pink Floyd’s drummer (and one of the signatories to the letter) appears to have had a change of heart about streaming music services.

“Streaming .. is beginning to look like it might work for the artist.. Initially, streaming was seen as a form of piracy but it’s beginning to become a commercial possibility,” Nick Mason told an audience on Thursday at the Wall Street Journal’s Tech Cafe in London.

As some have noted, Mason’s words may not be such a surprise given that Pink Floyd signed a deal with Spotify in June; in the Journal interview, Mason referred several times to Spotify but not to Pandora. (Pink Floyd’s music label, EMI, signed a deal with Spotify in 2011 but did not include the band’s catalogue).

Other comments by Mason suggest he believes musicians’ struggle to make money lies more with record companies and the structure of the music industry, rather than technology. He pointed out that its hard for new musicians to climb up the traditional ladder when the bottom rungs simply aren’t there anymore; Cracker’s David Lowrey, another strident Pandora critic, has made the same point.

But what about solutions? Mason suggested more musicians should sit on copyright and royalty boards to oversee how the money flows; it’s a good idea, and one that will help prevent an ongoing pattern of theft by middlemen. He added that the industry as a whole can embrace Spotify and other streaming services in a way that directs more money to musicians:

“I would like to see 50-50 between the recording company and the artist and an increase in the amount of streaming.

Mason also observed that music fans, in an era where recorded music is cheap and everywhere, have come to value live performances more than ever, meaning concerts and merchandise are musicians’ best bet to earn money.

Many musicians, of course, will be quick to point out that, unlike Pink Floyd, they can’t make a living from concerts. But the idea of trying to build a new economic eco-system to support music, rather than trying to recreate an outdated one, appears more promising than simply lashing out at technology.

Emmys signal changing TV Industry

I don’t know about you, but I haven’t been impressed with the films that have been hitting theaters lately. With the exception of ‘The Wolf of Wall St.’, I can’t say I’m excite about films that are set to hit theaters this year.

On the other hand, TV seems to be attracting audiences with more complex and appealing content. Since I have experience working in both mediums, I can say without a doubt that TV is harder to get made and requires more effort. Notwithstanding, without taking anything away from fellow film makers, TV producers face changes in the industry – and they need to be prepared.

For more information, please check out the NY Times article.


New Rules Allow Private Offerings to be Publicized

Colleague, Daniel Wasser, over at the law firm FWRV wrote a great article on the changes in the law related to the most traditional form of film finance, the private offering.

Under the new rules, there will be limited forms of advertising that will be permitted, which was prohibited until now.

For a further read, go to the full article.



EDM Problems

Will Electric Zoo’s Drug-Related Deaths Impact SFX’s IPO?

– Kerry Mason

There was abundant free water, trained security guards, roving medics, regular harm-reduction announcements and multiple medical tents. But even those measures couldn’t keep tragedy from striking the Electric Zoo Festival on New York’s Randall’s Island during the holiday weekend of Aug. 30-Sept. 2, when the drug-related deaths of two young attendees and hospitalization of three more the 5-year-old EDM festival. Promoter Made Event called off Sunday, the third and final day, after intervention from city government agencies.

Cities have shut down nightclubs and raves over drug concerns throughout dance music’s 30-year history. But that was before the arrival of EDM with its giant and young audience, and the massive investment it attracted. Live Nation, Yucaipa and Robert F.X. Sillerman’s revived SFX have all anted up hundreds of millions of dollars for EDM entities in the last 12 months. Sillerman’s now taking SFX to public investors to raise as much as $300 million, according to a filing. The industry believes its rollout to investors is imminent because its deal with German promoter iMotion expires if the initial public offering (IPO) misses an Oct. 16 date.

From This Week’s Billboard: Will Electric Zoo’s Drug-Related Deaths Impact SFX’s IPO? | Billboard.

From This Week's Billboard: Will Electric Zoo's Drug-Related Deaths Impact SFX's IPO? | Billboard


#NYFW and Law

Luxury labels, and their famous logos, are being co-opted by streetwear makers in a blossoming marriage of high and low, chic and street. The trend is indicative of the pervasive appeal of luxury brands and the ongoing dialogue between high fashion and youth culture.

Central to the trend, however, are the legal issues of trademark protection, and what legal strategies designer brands should pursue to guard their logos while cultivating a potential constituency of style-savvy customers.

via: Designer Clever Parodies Test Legal Boundaries in Streetwear


Designer Clever Parodies Test Legal Boundaries in Streetwear


Read up on Fashion Law

Recent Publications

(1) Fashion Law and Business: Brands & Retailers

To the general public, the fashion industry is most closely identified with celebrated fashion houses mounting elaborate and highly publicized runway shows in the major fashion capitals of the world. In reality, the fashion industry is much more diverse, complex, and global. FASHION LAW AND BUSINESS unravels the complexity and provides clear guidance on the wide range of legal and business issues faced by fashion industry participants, including designers, suppliers, manufacturers of apparel and accessories, and retailers.

via PLI: Treatises – Fashion Law and Business: Brands & Retailers.

PLI: Treatises - Fashion Law and Business: Brands & Retailers

(2) The American Bar Association’s Legal Guide to Fashion Design

The American Bar Associations Legal Guide to Fashion Design is the authoritative handbook you need to make your way through creation to copyright to clothing store. Each chapter contains a general roadmap for one phase of the fashion design business:

*Trademark Creation
*Trademark Protection
*Copyright and Fashion
*Design Patent
*Internet Law
*Forming Your Business
*Funding in Fashion
*Employment Law
*The Runway

Included in each chapter and on an enclosed CD are the relevant forms, agreements, and contracts for that phase of production or sales, from model runway releases to nondisclosure agreements for manufacturers to sample trademark applications. Written by experienced lawyers who work closely with fashion designer clients, this Legal Guide to Fashion Design is the inside guide to the process of taking an idea and creating and selling a productperfect for entertainment and intellectual property lawyers; art, design, trade, and law schools; and burgeoning artists with an idea, in need of a guide to get them to inception.

via: The American Bar Association’s Legal Guide to Fashion Design

PLI: Treatises - Fashion Law and Business: Brands & Retailers

Rihanna beats major UK retailer in court

In honor of New York Fashion Week, I am proud to see that some courts have begun to regulate the business of fashion design.

Rihanna sued Topshop when Topshop began to sell t-shirts with her image.


The High Court ruled that Topshop’s sale of the t-shirt was an act of “passing off”. The law of passing off prevents one person from misrepresenting his/her goods or services as being the goods and services of the claimant. Passing off also prevents one person from holding out his or her goods and services as having some association with claimant.

Will the US courts ever follow suit?

Check out the story here: