What’s In It For Showbiz – .

UPDATE, 8.45pm PT: The Senate passed a $ 2.3 trillion coronavirus aid package and a government spending bill with a number of provisions requested by various sectors of the entertainment industry, including supporting movie theaters and live venues.

The Senate passed massive package 91-7.

The next bill will go to President Donald Trump for signature.

John Fithian, president of the National Association of Theater Owners, said the legislation “means the vast majority of small and medium-sized US cinemas and their staff will have the resources to get through to the end of this tunnel. We demand immediate implementation. “

He said that without the support, 70% of medium and small sized venues would file for bankruptcy or close. But he said they continue to seek government aid for larger theater chains.

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The bill contains a wide range of provisions that go beyond exonerating Covid-19 and government appropriation. It contains a new law that makes running an illegal streaming service a crime, and another that sets up a small damage panel to judge copyright claims.

PREVIOUSLY: The House passed a massive $ 2.3 trillion Covid-19 aid and government spending package that includes a number of provisions designed to serve as a lifeline for the hardest hit sectors of the entertainment industry.

The package – $ 900 billion in Covid-19 aid and $ 1.4 trillion in government funding – was overwhelmingly approved just hours after the 5,000+ pages of legislation were published. It’s going to the Senate now.

Perhaps of the greatest interest to the industry is raising $ 15 billion in aid specifically for cinemas and live venues aimed at operators, promoters, and agents whose revenue has dried up when the pandemic closes public spaces forced or severely limited capacity.

The bill also addresses some of Covid-19’s earlier relief packages, including the expanded right to unemployment benefits for workers with a mix of traditional and professional income. This classification includes a number of people working in the music and entertainment industries. SAG-AFTRA and the Recording Academy advocated the inclusion of these types of workers.

“I know from my constituents and how many I have heard about it that it will have a big impact on the Los Angeles area, and I know there are other cities where it will also have a disproportionate impact,” said Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), who worked together with Rep. Judy Chu (D-CA) for the determination,

Here is an overview of some of the provisions:

Direct payments. Up to $ 600 per person will be provided, an amount roughly half the payments sent out earlier this year. Those earning up to $ 75,000 per year are eligible for the full payments, and those earning around $ 99,000 are not eligible.

Unemployment insurance. Unemployed people are entitled to higher unemployment benefits of $ 300 per week on top of the typical level that states offer for a total of 11 additional weeks. That total is half of the $ 600 per week included in the CARES Act, the relief law passed in March. Equally important to the entertainment industry is that freelancers, gig workers, contractors, and those with mixed incomes are eligible for the benefits.

Schiff said the Covid-19 crisis “has opened our eyes to how many people work outside of the traditional W-2 economy, and we both need to figure out how to ensure that such workers are protected in the future, however.” also to ensure that the system is funded so that there is a source of income for those who will use this form of unemployment insurance. “

Save our levels: The provisions would target small and medium-sized theaters and venues with 500 employees or less, and theaters with a revenue loss of at least 25%. It applies to various aspects of the live and theater business, including event operators, promoters, producers, performing arts organizations, museum operators, and talent representatives. Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) and Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-CA) introduced the legislation in July, and it was originally geared towards live entertainment venues. It was expanded to include cinemas in October.

Assistance with rent payment: Legislation provides $ 25 billion for families to help pay rent and extends an eviction moratorium.

Employee loyalty credit: The bill provides credit for businesses, including large companies like studios, to keep employees. The initial loan included a maximum loan of $ 5,000 and was available to companies that have ceased operations due to COVID-19 government contracts or whose gross revenues have decreased significantly.

Broadband connection: Offers $ 7 billion to improve broadband access. The money includes support for low-income and unemployed workers who pay for the internet service.

Tax incentives for film and television: A federal tax incentive for film and television productions will be renewed. This allows manufacturers to spend up to $ 15 million in production costs in the year they are created instead of depreciating them. The extension takes place for a further five years until December 31, 2025. This is important insofar as Congress has usually renewed the provision from year to year, sometimes retrospectively.

Local media loans: Newspapers, television and radio stations that are part of larger media companies could be eligible for Paycheck Protection Program loans. They would be limited to individual sales points.

PSA campaign: Government agencies are encouraged to direct public awareness campaign advertising costs to local media, including $ 75 million to increase confidence in the Covid-19 vaccine.

The House passed the bill in two parts by votes 327-85 and 359-53.

The legislation also contains long-awaited copyright laws, including a provision that makes operating illegal streaming services a criminal offense.

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