By: Gabriella Labita
St. John’s Law Student
American Bankruptcy Institute Law Review Staff
In In Re Relativity Fashion, LLC, the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York held that Netflix was not permitted to stream certain films before they were theatrically released. RML Distribution Domestic, LLC, DR Productions, and Armored Car Productions, LLC (collectively, the “Debtors”) filed for bankruptcy in July 2015 and proposed a Chapter 11 plan of reorganization (the “Plan”), which contemplated the theatrical release of certain movies before Netflix streams them. The Debtors’ release of the films yielded specific financial projections and was a critical factor in the court’s determination that the Plan was feasible as required by the United States Bankruptcy Code. The Debtors petitioned the court to compel Netflix to comply with proposed amendments to Notices of Assignment that were issued under a license agreement between Netflix and the Debtors. The judge’s confirmation order of the Plan approved these amendments, dictating that the payments owed by Netflix under the license agreement were to be assigned to the lenders. Netflix conceded the amendments because the license agreement required compliance as long as the terms did not change Netflix’s rights. Netflix asserted, however, that accordingly to the license agreement it had the right to distribute the films prior to theatrical release.