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Open Access Publications from the University of California

About

The UCLA Entertainment Law Review (“ELR”) is an international law journal published once or twice a year by the UCLA School of Law. Since 1994, ELR’s staff has worked diligently to bring to our subscribers academic work of the highest quality, as well as articles that tackle the most novel and cutting edge issues in the field of entertainment law.

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Articles

Introducing Price Competition at the Box Office

Why is it that movie ticket prices do not vary between films that

cost vastly different amounts to make? It is because the current model

for the production, distribution, and theatrical exhibition of feature

films is deeply flawed. Despite long-awaited federal action designed to

curb anticompetitive behavior, film distributors have continued to exert

inappropriate control over pricing at the box office. The result is an

insufficiently competitive-and hence inefficient-market for theatrical

exhibition. Previous scholarship has discussed some of the root causes

of this behavior and has called for ticket price differentiation based

upon the context of a screening (such as the time of day, the day of the

week, the season, or the seating). Some scholars have also suggested

pricing based on film genre. Unfortunately, these proposed solutions

fall short of the mark, and there has been a glaring absence of discussion

or scholarship about the market problems resulting from a lack of

price differentiation between individualfilms. This article analyzes anticompetitive

behavior in film exhibition, focuses on the resulting market

inefficiencies that ultimately harm the consumer, and calls for a

pricing system primarily influenced byfilm-specific costs.

Labor Pains on the Playing Field: Why Taking a Page from Europe's Playbook Could Help the United States

Work stoppages have become commonplace in American professional

sports. Whether it takes the form of a strike or a lockout, a work

stoppage, or the threat thereof accompanies nearly every labor dispute

between owners and players. This is hardly surprising, though,

because the current system for resolving labor disputes-the National

Labor Relations Act and its implementing body, the National Labor

Relations Board is ill-fitted to the unique challenges posed by sports

labor issues. Additionally, there is no institution tasked with directly

overseeing professional sports in America.

 

The same is not true in Europe. Oversight bodies are common

throughout Europe and help to resolve sports labor disputes before

they turn into full-blown work stoppages. As this Article discusses,

American professional sports need this type of oversight.

 

Therefore, this Article advocates a two-tiered approach to solving

American professional sports' culture of frequent work stoppages.

First, the United States should enact new legislation to govern the resolution

of sports labor disputes, as it has already done to regulate labor

disputes in other American industries. Second, the United States

should create a body charged with overseeing professional sports and

implementing this newly-created legislation. By taking these two steps,

the United States can end the pattern of work stoppages that plagues

professional sports labor disputes and provide stability to this critical

American industry.

Drawing Lines: Addressing Cognitive Bias in Art Appropriation Cases

For centuries, artists ranging from Renaissance painter Raphael to

surrealist Salvador Dali have embraced the concept of originality

through imitation, drawing heavily from the works of their predecessors

to create new and original works of art. Despite the role that appropriation

has historically played in artistic culture, art that borrows

substantially from other works is more likely to be punished than

praised under our current copyright system.

Following the decisions against appropriation artists in Cariou v.

Prince and Rogers v. Koons, the future of art appropriation is increasingly

unclear. Although the Supreme Court has warned that judges

should not employ aesthetic reasoning in assessing works protected by

copyright, recent copyright cases suggest that judges are doing exactly

that. After showing how the open-ended nature of the copyright and

fair use inquiries can make judges particularly vulnerable to various

cognitive biases, this Article relies on Rogers v. Koons and Cariou v.

Prince to illustrate how fact finders can be improperly influenced by

known cognitive biases such as anchoring, hindsight, and confirmation

bias and could be tempted to substitute their own value judgments

when assessing an appropriator'sw ork.

Comments

Creating Sustainable Regulation of the Open Internet

Every day, new innovations move us toward a mobile, alwaysaccessible

Internet. In this time of rapid technological change, the

challenge for any new regulation of the Internet is sustainability: to

craft rules that can adapt to and withstand the constant evolution in

technology and network structure. This comment analyzes the Open

Internet Order, the latest attempt by the FCC to protect Internet neutrality

and openness, through the lens of regulatory sustainability. In

the Order, the FCC has decided to regulate "mobile" ISPs less than

their "fixed" ISP counterparts. Critics worry that this lesser regulation

of mobile Internet will create a foundation of discriminatory practices

by mobile broadband providers who could take advantage of the

lax regulation and block specific content and applications. Missing

from these critiques, however, is a clear understanding of the repercussions

on the sustainability of these regulations caused by dividing

Internet providers into separate categories.

 

This comment argues that in using the categories of 'fixed" and

"mobile, " the FCC continues its flawed tradition of placing communications

technologies into distinct regulatory silos that become unwieldy

when new hybrid technologies erode the differences between

those silos. We are heading towards a convergence of networks, where

wireless and fixed-line networks will combine to form one overarching

network that caters to all endpoints, stationary or moving. This convergence

of networks will result in the Order's distinctions between

"fixed" and "mobile" becoming obsolete. This comment argues that

the FCC should reject its ex-ante fixed category-based approach in the

Order and rely on a more flexible, ex-post adjudicatory system to create

sustainable regulations for the future. This comment proposes one

such solution to ensure that the Order remains sustainable.

Are Copyright Firms Incentive Intermediaries?

Copyright scholarship has long condemned the Copyright Term

Extension Act for failing to significantly increase authors' incentive to

create. Economic and psychological data combine to suggest that the

increased reward supplied by the twenty-year term extension is too

temporally distant to have any effect on individuals' decisions in the

present. However, a small body of empirical research suggests that

term extensions do lead directly to some increases in creative production.

This Comment explores one possible explanation for the discrepancy

between theory and practice by distinguishing individual authors

from creative firms. Individuals are subject to heuristics that diminish

their ability to forecast the future and reduce their valuation of the

term extension's reward Corporate decisions are not necessarily

guided by such heuristics; consequently, creative firms may be influenced

to produce works of art by different incentives than those that influence

individuals.

 

Term extensions may thus provide an incentive for corporate producers

even if their incentive effect for individuals is negligible. This

Comment argues that firms, which are more responsive to term extensions,

may be able to act as incentive intermediaries by passing along

the greater value of a longer-term copyright. Faced with a more valuable

copyright term, firms may either pay more for works up-front or

use the increased profitability to offer additional opportunities for individuals

to sell their works. There is limited evidence showing that

firms do act this way; instead, it appears that they keep any additional

profits as windfalls. As a result, society must decide whether incentivizing

firm authors is as valuable a benefit of legislation as incentivizing

individual authors.