Media & Entertainment Law

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Reflecting the broadness of scope of the media and entertainment industry, Chetcuti Cauchi’s media & entertainment law team is multi-disciplinary in nature with its lawyers coming from several disciplines and equipped to advise on all legal aspects pertaining to media and entertainment. 

Malta Filming Law

With Malta positioning itself among the most popular locations in the European and Mediterranean region, Chetcuti Cauchi offers start-up and established clients, in the local and international film industry, commercial and legal advice that transforms projects into affordable concrete realities. Our Media & Entertainment Law team offers advice on copyright matters, attainment of permits and authorisations, sourcing of funding, provision of complex tax advice, corporate structure planning and representation on film development deals.

Since filmmaking is such an expensive exercise, many films made outside the country of inception usually take the form of international co-productions. This is facilitated though agreements between countries which would usually qualify as a national production in each of the partner nations and would have access to benefits that are available to the local film and television industry in each country. Benefits may include government financial assistance, tax concessions and holidays and inclusion in domestic television broadcast quotas.

In co-productions, even though the film might originate from one country and would have actors from that country, most of it would be shot in a studio in a third party country. International co-productions open new markets for films and television programs and can increase the output of high quality productions through the sharing of equity investment.

Currently Malta has a co-production treaty with Canada and has ratified the European Convention on Cinematographic Co-Production. The Convention has opened new opportunities for Malta in that Malta now has in effect bilateral co-production treaties with twenty-eight other European countries (Austria, Azerbaijan, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. It has also been signed by Armenia, Belgium, Croatia, Slovenia, Turkey and the Holy See).

Malta Tax Structures for Entertainers & International Sports Professionals

Maltese Media & Entertainment law does not specifically provide for a definition or description of the activities that amount to a media, entertainment and sports professional. 

Having said that Article 17 of the OECD Model Convention provides that:

Notwithstanding the provisions of Articles 7 and 15, income derived by a resident of a Contracting State as an entertainer, such as a theatre, motion picture, radio or television artiste, or a musician, or as a sportsmanfrom his personal activities as such exercised in the other Contracting State, may be taxed in that other State.

2. Where income in respect of personal activities exercised by an entertainer or a sportsman in his capacity as such accrues not to the entertainer or sportsman himself but to another person, that income may, notwithstanding the provisions of Articles 7 and 15, be taxed in the Contracting State in which the activities of the entertainer or sportsman are exercised.

In July 2010, a ‘Discussion Draft on the Application of Article 17 (Artists and Sportsmen) of the OECD Model Tax Convention’ was published to be discussed by the Working Party on Tax Conventions and Related Questions.  The Sub-Group proposed several amendments to the qualification of entertainers and sportsmen, particularly in relation to definition of personal activities and the level of involvement in each state, in order to clarify the allocation of tax liability to the different countries in which income arises.

Professional sportsmen and entertainers who are not resident in Malta may benefit from advantageous tax opportunities in Malta. Apart from the Malta Income Tax provisions, the income of entertainers or sports professionals may be received in Malta or routed through Malta in the form of royalties.

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For more information about our tax solutions for sports professionals and entertainers, contact our team of Malta Tax Advisors.

Our Malta Media & Entertainment Law Practice

Chetcuti Cauchi assists clients in the local broadcasting, media & entertainment industry by providing a number of services to businesses which either intend to establish their operations in Malta or have already set-up shop in Malta and want to consolidate or internationalise.

The Media & Entertainment Law services include:

  • drafting of all regulatory documentation for the purposes of obtaining relevant permissions
  • negotiations with and representation before the broadcasting and communications authorities
  • assistance with the attainment of frequency allocations
  • assistance with the sourcing of local infrastructure
  • negotiations with local service providers
  • providing advisory service that facilitates compliance with licence conditions

Media & Entertainment Law: Our Malta Sports Law Practice

Advising and acting for entertainment and sports personalities, theatres, clubs, sporting bodies and organizations, Chetcuti Cauchi's Media & Entertainment Law team provides services related to reputation management, protection of privacy, taking up of residence,  personal tax advice, dispute resolution, image rights, sponsorship rights, broadcasting issues and associated contract work. Our services include advisory services connecting to:

  • the setting up and establishment of sports associations and clubs,
  • contracting drafting, revision and negotiation
  • taxation and structuring
  • dispute resolution whether its through arbitration, mediation, negotiation or court proceedings
  • sports agents, managers and agency agreements and negotiations. 

Media & Entertainment Law: Our Malta Digital Media & Entertainment Law Practice

Adapting to the progressive and evolving needs of the digital media industry, Chetcuti Cauchi provides services relating to all forms of electronic media, whether in relation to advisory, regulatory or contractual matters. Our Digital Media & Entertainment Law services include advice connected to: 

  • sound recordings, and music downloads and streaming 
  • podcasting 
  • mobile phone applications 
  • content delivery 
  • digital rights management systems 
  • domain name issues and conflicts
  • related litigation or out-of-court settlements
  • e-money systems and institutions 
  • e-commerce and website development issues.

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