337 Reported Business Practices

by John W. Cone, Attorney

This monograph focuses on the reported business practices of the Hollywood-based U.S. major studio/distributors. Such practices include those that have helped these seven entities to gain and maintain their domination over the film industry, affording in turn, both financial and creative control over this important industry and its films. Such business practices are also the most critical factors in determining whether any profit participants, particularly net profit participants, who make significant contributions to the financing or production of a feature film, including producers, directors, actors, investors and others, will actually share in a portion of the revenue generated in any or all markets by the exploitation of a given motion picture. These factors are referred to herein as "distributor practices". In certain situations, however, the practice is actually something that may be occurring at the studio level, but since it is often difficult to separate the activities of the studio from its affiliated distributor, the phrase "distributor practices" will suffice for purposes of this report. The practices also run the gamut from industry level problems to rather obscure distribution agreement drafting issues.

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