IFTA In Focus | August 2019 IFTA In Focus | August 2019
August 14, 2019

IFTA Joins Industry Groups to Push Back on Piracy


On July 29, IFTA joined CreativeFuture, the MPAA, and SAG-AFTRA in comments to the U.S. Department of Commerce on ways in which the U.S. government can help combat digital piracy which in the U.S. alone is estimated to cost between $30-$70 billion annually, between 230,000 and 560,000 jobs, and between $45-115 billion in GDP, as well as threatening consumers and our nation's cybersecurity with exposure to dangerous malware.

In the submission, the groups identified the following as the first-steps towards the government curbing these issues: A) the Commerce Department and the broader Administration encourage online platforms and internet intermediaries to adopt certain best practices for curbing internet-based copyright infringement and other illicit online activity; B) the DOJ bring criminal actions against entities engaged in online copyright infringement; C) the Administration help restore access to WHOIS data critical to combatting internet-based IP infringement and other illicit online activity; and D) the Administration raise the level of copyright protection and enforcement abroad through trade agreements. Read the full submission.

Copyright holders submit anti-piracy ideas to US government - World IP Review

IFTA Urges Senate Finance Committee to Protect Federal Production Incentives


The Senate Finance Committee has formed Task Forces of members and staff to actively examine several expiring/expired tax provisions, including the expensing of qualified film and television productions under Section 181 that expired at the end of 2017, in an effort to find solutions that would provide long-term certainty for taxpayers.

Section 181 allows producers to elect to begin depreciation of qualified production expenses (up to $15 million and in certain circumstances up to $20 million) in the tax year they're incurred, providing critical cash flow to independent producers. This important federal tax incentive worked successfully and in conjunction with state production incentive programs to make filming in the U.S. a compelling decision. Section 181 expired at the end of 2017 and Congress is considering benefits and costs of extension of this and a handful of other provisions related to specific industry needs.

IFTA's Senior Counsel Eric Cady, as part of the rare closed-door session with the Task Force on Cost Recovery in Washington D.C. in June, urged the extension of Section 181 through 2019 and the adoption of a permanent fix to ensure that the benefits of 'accelerated depreciation' are fully available for independents. IFTA pressed the Task Force to recommend either continuing Section 181 indefinitely or amending the triggering language for 'bonus depreciation' under Section 168(k) to reflect that a qualified film or television production shall be considered "placed in service" at the time costs of the production are first incurred, rather than when the production is placed in distribution. This difference is especially critical for independents who do not control their own distribution and may need the cash flow benefit of earlier depreciation. IFTA's written submission on the issue can be found here and the Task Force summary report is available here.

New IFTA Website Launched!


We're pleased to announce the launch of IFTA's new website at ifta-online.org. Visitors will now find more on the global independent film and TV industry; IFTA's advocacy work as the voice for the Independents; the IFTA Model Agreements and industry-wide content licensing concepts, definitions, terms, and FAQs - which reflect the industry standards around the world; as well as research and resources which IFTA provides to its Members and the industry at large.

U.K. Territory Market Snapshot


While the theatrical market in the United Kingdom has changed over the past several years with the domination of U.S. major studio pictures, there remains opportunities for independent films. Overall, one of the best prospects for an independent film to gain distribution is through already existing relationships with local all rights distributors, rather than seeking platform-specific sales. Read IFTA's UK Snapshot.

Have You Registered for AFM 2019?


Registration is now open for the 2019 American Film Market, November 6-13 in Santa Monica. AFM provides unmatched access to thousands of film industry decision makers and experts from around the globe; the world's largest motion picture conference with topics covering every aspect of filmmaking; and unparalleled networking opportunities for sharing ideas and discovering new partners. Watch the AFM Video. Register here.


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