- Created on 10 April 2013
Superstar actor, director and playwright Tyler Perry, who has called Atlanta home for years, says he is planning “a huge expansion” to his Tyler Perry Studios complex in the city.
In an interview with Entertainment Tonight’s Rocsi Diaz on Tuesday, Perry revealed what he called a “huge expansion” to his studios.
Diaz and Perry reportedly have ties “from way back,” according to the director, and the revelation of the expansion slipped out almost by accident.
“This isn’t really an interview,” Diaz said during the ET segment. “It is two friends catching up.”
As Diaz and Perry toured the complex, Perry told the reporter, “I am about to do a huge expansion here.” Then Perry paused and said, “I haven’t told anybody that.”
Perry opened the Atlanta studio in 2008. The complex has five sound stages set on 30 acres. It is located inside two former Delta Air Lines affiliated buildings in the Greenbriar area of southwest Atlanta, and includes 200,000 square feet of sets and office space.
Perry also owns and operates 34th Street Films, a production arm of Tyler Perry Studios, through which he guides the work of other filmmakers.
Perry didn’t provide any more details about the expansion, saying only that he had given Diaz "an exclusive."
Click here to see the interview and tour of the complex.
- Created on 10 April 2013
The family of David Pryor is suing rapper Kanye West for allegedly using unlicensed samples on his hit record “Gold Digger.” The 2005 hit received much buzz from its obvious sample of Ray Charles’ “I Got a Woman.”
The children of Pryor, who is now deceased, accused West of sampling a very small part of the song "Bumpin' Bus Stop," which was written and sang by Pryor and his band Thunder & Lightning in 1974.
Trena Steward and Lorenzo Pryor claim that when listening carefully, Pryor can be heard singing "Get Down" three times, echoing West singing, "Get down girl, go head, get down" 13 seconds into the song.
Steward and Pryor each own one-quarter of the song and have asked a judge to put a halt on the sale of the song. They have also asked for "millions of dollars" in damages for the allegedly unlicensed sample.
According to AllHipHop, the lawsuit accuses West and various labels of engaging in a 15-year "illegal copyright infringement scheme and criminal enterprise involving the unauthorized, willful sampling of plaintiffs original copyrighted music on a massive scale." Other labels including Roc-a-Fella Records, Bad Boy Records, Stones Throw Records, Bomb Hip-Hop Records, Autumn Games, Activision, Caroline Distribution and Island Def Jam Music Group have been named in the suit.
This is not the first time West has been sued for using unlicensed samples. Most recently, he was sued in September 2012 by New York label TufAmerica, who claimed that West illegally used portions of a 1969 song by New Orleans legend Eddie Bo on his 2010 album "My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy."
TufAmerica said West's then label Roc-A-Fella paid a $62,500 license fee but "failed and refused to enter into written license agreements that accounted for their multiple other uses of ['Hook and Sling']."
Similarly in 2010, West was sued by Vincent Peters over a copyright dispute for his "Stronger.” West's legal counsel referenced the works of philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche, whose saying "that which does not kill us makes us stronger" is quoted in the song. The court ruled in the rapper's favor.
- Created on 09 April 2013
(NNPA) – National Newspaper Publishers Association Chairman Cloves Campbell, Jr. has instructed Attorney James Belt of Dallas to “take whatever steps necessary” to collect a $418,180.12 judgment against Robert Bush, a former independent contractor responsible for advertising sales.
“I have asked Attorney Belt, who heads a special committee I appointed to bring a close to this matter, to take whatever steps necessary to collect on the order issued by U.S. District Court Judge Robert L. Wilkins,” said Campbell, publisher of the Arizona Informant. “The order was issued a year ago and Mr. Bush has yet to voluntarily comply with it. Under the circumstances, we will take whatever steps needed to make sure he complies with the judge’s lawful order.”
Bush, who is believed to be living in Glendale, Calif., filed a suit against the NNPA in federal court in the District of Columbia.
According to the complaint filed on behalf of Bush on June 4, 2010, he was has hired to serve as NNPA’s chief advertising salesperson, with an annual base salary of $120,000, plus up to 5 percent in commissions. Bush alleged that he was on target to secure at least $15 million in advertising over the first three years. However, nine months into the 5-year NNPA contract, Bush said he “was being suspended for alleged wrongdoing which [the NNPA] declined to specify.”
Bush sought unspecified compensatory damages, attorney fees and costs and a jury trial.
In its response to Bush’s complaint, the NNPA stated that in February 2009 Bush notified NNPA that, among other things, “he was not devoting his full time and attention” to his NNPA work “and that he was using time and resources which were to have been devoted to [the NNPA] for other matters.”
When then-NNPA Chairman John B. Smith requested an accounting of his activities on April 26, 2009, Bush “stated that he would not provide the requested information.” Consequently, the NNPA’s executive committee voted to again request the pertinent information from Bush. After he failed to comply with a second request, the executive committee voted to suspend Bush.
According to the NNPA’s counterclaim, Bush has refused to turn over company records and documents.
The case was heard by a jury in Washington, D.C., which dismissed one of the claims NNPA had made against Bush and one of Bush’s claims against the NNPA. Judge Wilkins issued a partial summary judgment on April 12, 2012 authorizing the NNPA to recover $32,706.06 from Bush that had gone to him as overpaid commissions.
Judge Wilkins noted that Bush’s failure to oppose NNPA’s motion for attorneys’ fees constituted a concession.
Wilkins wrote that it was “Further ordered that, based upon Bush’s concession and the Court’s thorough review of the Independent Contractor Agreement and the documentation submitted in support of NNPA’s motion for attorney’s fees and costs, NNPA recover from Bush the amount of $385,474.06 for attorneys’ fees and costs.”
James Belt, who chairs the NNPA committee set up to resolve the matter, said: “Chairman Cloves Campbell has asked me to take any and all necessary steps to recover nearly a half million dollars that we have spent defending ourselves against baseless allegations. The court’s judgment was issued a year ago and we will aggressively try to make sure that another year doesn’t pass without the judge’s order being fully enforced.”
- Created on 09 April 2013
With Benjamin Franklin’s admonition in mind – “…nothing is certain but death and taxes” – and serving as point of reference, here are some basics to help out those who have not yet done their tax duty.
Importance of filing on time
When you owe taxes to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), it is imperative that you file and pay on time or you may be subject to penalties and interest on the amount due. However, if you have a refund coming, there is no penalty for filing late.
Types of penalties
Failure to file Penalty: This penalty is calculated based on the time from deadline of the tax return due, which may include extensions to the date the return is actually filed. The penalty is 5 percent for each month the tax return is late, up to a total maximum penalty of 25 percent of the tax due as shown on the tax return filed.
Failure to pay penalty: This penalty is calculated based on the amount of tax you owe as shown on the tax return filed. The penalty is 0.5 percent for each month the tax is not paid in full. Unfortunately, there is no cap or maximum limit to this failure to pay penalty, which is calculated from the original filing deadline of April 15 until the full balance due is paid.
Interest is calculated based on the taxes that are due. Interest rates change every three months. Currently, the IRS interest rate for underpayment of tax is now about 4 percent per year.
With all of the penalties at the disposal of the IRS, it is better to file on time. However, if the lateness simply cannot be avoided, at least file an extension to potentially avoid or reduce the failure to file penalty. You still may be subject to failure to pay penalty and interest, but it will still be worth it to avoid the potential of up to a 25 percent penalty.
To avoid all interest and penalties, it may be more economical to borrow the money to pay from family and friends, draw on a home equity loan or even look to a credit card as an option. While a few of these options may have interest, they are probably far less than 25 percent.
If all else fails and you just cannot come up with the necessary funds to pay the IRS the taxes due, an installment payment plan may be able to be negotiated. First, you must complete Form 9465, which is the Installment Agreement Request. Attach it to the income tax return. You should include the amount you propose to pay each month and the dates of the month the payments will be made.
The IRS will notify you if this Installment Agreement Request has been approved. There is a fee of about $45 for establishing an agreement. Remember, interest may continue to accrue until the balance is paid in full.
No money compromise
If the amount you owe the IRS is so great that you may never be able to pay it, the IRS may accept less than what is owed through the Offer In Compromise Program. You must complete Form 656 – Offer In Compromise and Form 433A – Collection Information Statement. Submit both of these forms to the IRS, along with the $150 application fee. Additionally you must provide a personal financial statement, which includes all of your assets, debts, income and the amount you can pay immediately in an effort to settle this debt.
Before this settlement offer is granted, the IRS will evaluate your current financial picture and future income capacity. If the IRS believes that they will be unable to collect the full amount owed, they may accept the offer. However, the odds are not favorable that your settlement offer will be granted. Remember, this program is for those taxpayers that are in sever financial distress – not those that have the money and are just seeking to pay less than what is owed.
Pay agreements on time or else
If you have successfully obtained an installment plan or an Offer In Compromise Agreement, you must pay all of your federal tax bills on time for the next five years or until the amount agreed upon is paid in full, whichever is longer. If you fail to pay or default on the terms of the Offer in Compromise Agreement, all of your taxes forgiven will be due in full.
Additionally, the IRS may file a lien on any assets that you have in an effort to guarantee payment. So if you remember nothing else, do not just ignore your taxes. File on time and make payment arrangements.
- Created on 08 April 2013
The Jumpstart Our Business Start Up Act (JOBS Act) was signed by President Obama one year ago today and a leading organization that represents entrepreneurs and small business owners has expressed frustration regarding inaction it feels from the administration.
According to a statement issued by the Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council (SBE Council), the Securities and Exchange Commission’s response to the JOBS act has been subpar. They’ve failed to issue any rules helping small business improve capital access and have missed key deadlines set up under the JOBS Act.
SBE Council President & CEO Karen Kerrigan who was present for the bill signing and was part of the group that helped to spark the JOBS act legislation said: “The SEC is undermining this important capital formation initiative that was supported by an overwhelming majority in Congress. Entrepreneurs and high-potential businesses that can bring our nation back to robust levels of job creation and growth are being undermined. There really is no excuse for the SEC’s lack of progress.”
Of particular importance was the provision in the JOBS Act which makes debt and equity-based crowdfunding legal. Organizations such as the SBE Council realized that capital was and remains a critical issue for small business owners.
“While lending standards have eased some, according to the latest Fed senior loan officer survey, getting credit remains a difficult task for small businesses. For good measure, it’s worth noting that venture capital investment took a notable dip in 2012. Access to financing remains the biggest hurdle for most entrepreneurs, which makes crowdfunding a critical option in the marketplace,” noted SBE Council Chief Economist Raymond Keating.