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MPAA Praises Domestic-Film-Production Act

The Motion Picture Association of America Wednesday praised the introduction in the Senate of the Domestic Film Production Equity Act of 2008.

The bill, which was introduced by Sens. Diane Feinstein (D-Calif.) and Gordon Smith (R-Ore.), would encourage domestic TV and film production by giving a bigger tax break to companies that produce shows domestically rather than, say, going to Canada, where production is cheaper.

Currently, the deduction to spur domestic production generally is calculated based on wages of permanent, full-time employees, while TV and film production often relies on short-term workers. The bill "fixes this discrepancy," according to Feinstein. It would also expand the deduction to include salaries paid to "writers, directors and production personnel."

Studios would also now get deductions for TV shows broadcast over the Internet and other delivery platforms, and they could deduct income from the licensing of copyrights and trademarks.

“Film and television production occurs all across the United States each year, creating $30.24 billion in U.S. wages and contributing millions of dollars into local economies," MPAA president Dan Glickman said in praising the bill. "Each individual production employs hundreds of hard-working Americans. This bill recognizes the importance of the filmed-entertainment industry as a U.S. economic engine and aims to stimulate domestic production and job creation."

John Eggerton
John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.