2020-12-08

Court: Don’t be fooled by “hot drama star” in film and television investment

By yqqlm yqqlm

The court issued a typical case involving film and television investment disputes: Don’t be fooled by the “hot drama star”

“Major production, zero risk, guaranteed return…” Film and television investment projects are often full of With temptation. On December 8, a reporter from Beijing Youth Daily learned from the press briefing on typical cases involving film and television investment disputes held by Beijing No. 3 Intermediate People’s Court. Compared with other investments, film and television drama investment has strong professionalism, diversified capital flow, and production cycle. Risks such as long-term, record-filing approval, and information asymmetry inside and outside the film and television industry make it easier for the public to misjudge investment risks. Therefore, in recent years, cases involving film and television investment disputes have increased year by year.

According to Xue Qiang, vice president of the Beijing Third Intermediate Court, from January 1, 2016 to November 21, 2020, the court concluded 111 cases involving film and television investment disputes. In the investment boom, there are some situations such as irregular production and distribution of films, inadequate management of investment funds, and inability of projects to respond to changes in the market environment in a timely manner. This has triggered disputes in the performance of contracts, resulting in an increase in the number of film and television investment disputes. In addition, in cases involving film and television investment disputes, the contracts signed by the parties often have various names, making the types of cases involving film and television investment disputes diversified.

In addition, this type of case also presents the characteristics of easily triggering group disputes, intersecting civil and criminal charges, and obvious similarities in appeals.

“Ordinary investors are not professional enough to identify investment risks.” Chen Jinxin, President of the Fourth Civil Division of Beijing No.3 Intermediate Court, pointed out that ordinary investors lack professional understanding of the film and television industry and their awareness of risk prevention is relatively weak. On the one hand, some practitioners or intermediary parties package film and television investment into “zero-risk” “capital-guaranteed financial products”, paralyzing investors; on the other hand, non-professional institutional investors and individuals lack film and television investment experience and are likely to be “hot The gimmicks such as “drama” and “famous characters” are attracted. Before signing the contract, they did not fully understand the qualifications of the main creative company of the film and television drama, the status of the project record, and whether the transfer of the income share exceeded the reasonable premium range, etc., and followed the investment. In the case of financing film and television projects through a collective fund plan, film and television investment institutions often design multi-level investment rights, and the investment rights of some investors also come from the transfer of others. The multiple levels of investment rights and interests have undergone multiple transfers, making it difficult for investors in the middle and lower reaches of the investment transaction chain to follow up the progress of the project in time, unable to accurately grasp the actual situation of the production and distribution of the film and television drama, and increasing disputes based on distrust.

In the typical case published by the court, there was a dispute caused by the fact that the practitioner concealed the true investment situation. From January to March 2019, a cultural company obtained a 5% investment share and the right to profit from the film by signing a “transfer agreement” with a person outside the case. Later, in order to attract investment, the cultural company falsely promoted that it enjoyed all the copyrights of the film And distribution rights, the film will be distributed worldwide, and promised that Yang will invest 500,000 yuan to obtain 0.2% of the copyright income rights. After investigation, the film was only released in China, and the cultural company was not the producer or producer of the film. In the end, the court found that the cultural company was fraudulent when it signed the “Cooperative Investment Agreement” with Yang, and supported Yang’s litigation request to cancel the agreement and return the investment funds.

Judge Jiang Jun of the Beijing Third Intermediate Court reminded that in the investment promotion of film and television projects, if the practitioners deliberately conceal the true situation of the investment project or deliberately inform investors of false information, investors may make mistakes. If an investment contract is signed for value judgment, if it meets the conditions stipulated in Article 54 of the Contract Law, the investor has the right to cancel the investment contract within one year from the date when he knew or should have known the reason for the cancellation.

In addition, Judge Jiang Jun also stated that the long investment cycle of film and television, the low transparency of project operation, and the slow rate of return of funds are likely to cause some investors to have insufficient ability to provide evidence during litigation, which will increase the risk of losing the case. risk. Therefore, in the important stages of investment, production, approval and issuance, all parties involved should increase their legal awareness and keep evidence in a timely manner to prevent subsequent difficulties in safeguarding rights due to insufficient evidence.

Text/Reporter Zhu Jianyong