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Entertainment Industry Groups Opposing Film Futures Market

The Motion Picture Association of America and other entertainment industry groups are seeking a delay on approval of a futures exchange tied to box office receipts. The Sherman Oaks-based MPAA and the other groups want more time to give their views to the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, which is scheduled to vote April 2 on the application from Media Derivatives Inc. The proposal from Media Derivatives, and a second futures exchange application from Cantor Futures Exchange L.P., are based on faulty understanding of the film industry and creates a risk of rampant speculation and financial irresponsibility, the groups said in a letter to the commission. Joining the MPAA in seeking a delay on approval for Media Derivatives are the Directors Guild of America, the Independent Film and Television Alliance, the International Alliance of Theatrical and Stage Employees, and the National Association of Theater Owners. The groups want more time to provide detailed and focused arguments for the commission and address issues such as whether any exchange infrastructure is capable of surveying the box office marketplace to detect and address potential market manipulation. The Cantor Futures application is up for approval in May. Mark R. Madler

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