It seems that the issue is being resolved in the context of the financial services legislation ("Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act", known fondly as the "Dodd-Frank Act" in honor of its two main Congressional sponsors) that is apparently in its last legislative phase before securing final Congressional approval. One of the issues in the legislation has been an attempt to "rein in" the trading of derivatives, principally by creating exchanges intended to make the terms of such derivatives more transparent to the parties.
But it appears that enhanced transparency via public exchanges is not the only way that the legislation seeks to regulate the trading of derivatives. Another tack is simply not to allow exchanges to operate at all, at least for certain kinds of instruments. Among the victims here seems to be the nascent (read: still-born) effort to create an exchange for derivatives based on box-office receipts. That seems, at least, to be the case as reported by ML Strategies of Washington, D.C., in its June 28 update on the legislation. The report states:
"In a big win for the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) and most of Hollywood, the financial reform conference committee voted to retain Sen. Lincoln’s language banning futures contracts on box office receipts. As recently as Monday, the CFTC had announced a narrow decision that would haveallowed the Cantor Futures Exchange to trade a derivative based on the motion picture The Expendables.Though the CFTC found this contract to not be in violation of the Commodity Exchange Act, reg reform conferees bowed to pressure from the movie industry to quash the new investment market before it even began.The movie futures contracts were intended to allow film investors to hedge their financial commitment,but key players in Hollywood objected to the concept because of its potential to give shorting investors an incentive to sabotage a project."