Friday, December 17, 2010

January 2011 Events

  • January 11, 6PM-10PM - California Copyright Conference: Film and Television Music Panel

  • January 20, 7PM-12AM - Association of Independent Music Publishers: Artist Showcase at Molly Malone's

  • January 22-26 - MIDEM & MidemNet in Cannes, France

  • January 27, 12PM-2PM - Beverly Hills Bar Association: Back by popular demand to give the 3rd annual State of Evolving Media address is leading IP and new media lawyer James D. Nguyen, a partner in the Beverly Hills office of Wildman, Harrold, Allen & Dixon LLP. Jimmy will discuss the latest technology and business trends with evolving media and key legal issues in the evolving media landscape.

  • January 30 - Deadline to give audit notice if your objection period ends 30 days following the period ended December 31.  Don't lose your rights - call or e-mail me for help (310-882-6381).

Monday, November 8, 2010

Copyright Protection for Pre-1972 Sound Recordings - US Copyright Office Requests Your Comments by December 20, 2010

The US Copyright Office last week published in the Federal Register this notice that it will study granting federal protection to pre-1972 sound recordings.  As part of the study, it is requesting your comments regarding the economic impact on rights holders and how best to achieve copyright protection for pre-1972 sound recordings.

What would this mean to you or your clients?

First, consider some background: Copyrights to sound recordings secured after February 1972 are covered by federal copyright law, but prior sound recording copyrights are covered by state law or common law only (so protection varies from state to state).  Some of my music clients and their heirs have been or may in the future be able to terminate or revoke copyright grants for pre-1972 compositions, but they cannot do so for pre-1972 sound recordings, partly because the copyright laws that allow authors to terminate grants relate only to federally protected copyrights.

If federal copyright protection is granted to such pre-1972 sound recordings, it will make it easier for artists to get "a second bite of the apple" as some say; artists who authored pre-1972 recordings can make a much stronger case for getting their copyrights back.  Thus, increased copyright protection may be good news for recording artists and their heirs, bad news for digital music services who do not pay royalties for pre-1972 sound recordings (see David Oxenford, Esq.'s blog post here), and mixed news for record companies.

As a royalty auditor on behalf of many recording artists, I support copyright protection for pre-1972 sound recordings.  Whether or not you agree with me, I implore you to send your comments - due by December 20, 2010 - to the Copyright Office in accordance with the instructions set forth in its notice.  Thank you.

Friday, October 29, 2010

November 2010 Music Business Events in Southern California

Below are November 2010 music business that you may wish to attend:

    I will update the list with additional events that come to my attention.  Hope to see you in November!


    Monday, October 4, 2010

    How to Recover Your Client’s Fair Share - Part II: Enforce Contract Compliance

    California's top legal recruiting firm,
     Swan Legal Search, just published my second guest post on its blog.  The posts are written for IP attorneys and are loaded with detailed tips from an auditor's perspective on "How to Recover Your Client's Fair Share:"

    Whether you practice law or not, I invite you to share your thoughts on the above guest blogs.

    Attorneys: stay tuned for a guest post from Delia Swan, Esq., who can change your legal career!

    Wednesday, September 22, 2010

    Austin Lucas touring UK

    Oct 12 @ Prince Albert Brighton, UK
    Oct 13 @ The Croft, Bristol, UK
    Oct 14 @ The academy 3 Leicester, UK
    Oct 15 @ The 13th note Glasgow, UK
    Oct 16 @ Brudenell Social Club Leeds, UK


    Monday, September 20, 2010

    October 2010 California Music Business Events

    Below are October 2010 music business that you may wish to attend:

    I will update the list with additional events that come to my attention.  Hope to see you in October!


    Friday, September 17, 2010

    STIM Invites American Indie Music Publishers to Non-Exclusive "WOI" Pan-European Licensing Platform

    Sweden's music rights society STIM is launching a pan-European licensing platform for American independent music publishers.  STIM's Scott Farrant yesterday in Los Angeles called on the Association of Independent Music Publishers to join its "WOI" initiative and collect more download and streaming publishing royalties from Europe's 27 countries.

    Farrant explained that WOI needs at least five percent independent Anglo-American publisher participation in order to achieve the efficiency and negotiating leverage comparable to the majors' pan-Euro licensing partnerships:
    • To form "PEDL," Warner/Chappell allied with many societies, including:
      • STIM (Sweden)
      • PRS (UK)
      • SACEM (France)
      • BUMA/STEMRA (The Netherlands)
      • SABAM (Belgium) 
      • SGAE (Spain)
    Update: Farrant explained on October 11, 2010 that "Stim was also amongst the first societies to sign with Warners for their 'Anglo-US' PEDL rights and are in fact one of only two societies currently issuing licences for the PEDL rights."

    • EMI allied with PRS (UK) and GEMA (Germany) to create "CELAS"
    • UMG allied with SACEM (France) for "DEAL"
    • SONY engaged GEMA's "PAECOL" (Germany)
    • SONY, EMI and independent publisher Peermusic allied with SGAE (Spain) for licensing of Latin American repertoire

      Independent music publishers may wish to join a pan-Euro licensing initiative in order to enjoy deal-making leverage and royalty recoveries that are on par with those of the major publishers in connection with music services that operate across multiple territories in Europe (e.g., Apple iTunes and Nokia Comes with Music).

      However, many independent publishers are bound to exclusive subpublishing agreements in Europe that will not allow for affiliation directly with a society.  In order to participate in WOI, such publishers must "rearrange" their subpublishing deals to make them non-exclusive, advised Farrant.  He argued that subpublishers should not object because WOI focuses on multinational exploitations, while subpublishers will retain administration rights on a country-by-country basis.

      Still, it seems like a virtual landgrab is happening now in Europe's multinational music publishing rights marketplace, and not every subpublisher thinks the new role of rights societies is for the best.  This may be because pan European license alliances cut out the subpublisher as middleman.  As Farrant pointed out, WOI is as close to "at source" as publishers can get.  Provided enough publishers join, STIM thinks it can limit collection fees to ten percent 10% and US publishers will receive quarterly accountings directly from STIM, without having to wait for a subpublisher to process the royalties (and take a share).

      Farrant outlined how the WOI initiative will work:

      "With detailed information on licensing terms made available via the STIM/WOI website, the US independent publisher has the flexibility to suggest changes (that will be put forward in the negotiations process), or opt out of the license altogether.  When you sign up with WOI you are under no obligation to license your content until and unless you are satisfied with the terms of the license agreement.  You are under no obligation to license your content via WOI because your relationship with WOI is strictly non-exclusive."

      If you are an independent music publisher in the United States or Canada, what is your strategy for collecting European royalties derived from digital exploitations?  Have you looked into joining one or more pan-European licensing initiatives?  If not, why not?

      Either way, Scott Farrant would like to hear from you.  His email address is: and I will give you his telephone number upon request.  It will take STIM some time to review your repertoire before you can sign up, so do not delay in contacting him soon to discuss the details if you are looking to start collecting digital music publishing royalties from multinational European music services.

      I encourage you to explore WOI as well as other options, such as IMPEL, PRS' pan-Euro licensing initiative for independent music publishers, and talk to your subpublishers to learn their views on the subject.

      Wednesday, September 8, 2010

      How To Recover Your Client’s Fair Share – Part I: Negotiate a Better Contract

      California's top legal recruiting firm, Swan Legal Search, invited me to guest blog at  Below is a link to my first post:

      How To Recover Your Client’s Fair Share – Part I: Negotiate a Better Contract

      Attorneys: stay tuned for guest blog entries from Delia Swan, Esq., who can change your legal career!

      Tuesday, September 7, 2010

      September 2010 Music Business Events in Los Angeles

      Mark your calendars for these important Los Angeles music business events:

      Hope to see you at one or more of the above events!

      Monday, September 6, 2010

      Gain a Working Knowledge of Music Publishing - Steve Winogradsky's UCLA Music Publishing Class Begins 9/20/2010

      For years, Steven Winogradsky, Esq. has taught music publishing at UCLA Extension.  If you need to brush-up on the music publishing business, sign up now for Winogradsky's Fall 2010 class, which starts Sept. 20, 2010.  Here are the details per Mr. Winogradsky:

      • 4-Unit Course: Music Publishing: Law and Business (Course # X 448.17; Reg. # V8824)                   
      • Day/Time: Monday, 7-10pm 
      • Dates: September 20 - December 6 
      • Location: UCLA Dodd Hall, room 161 
      • Instructor contact:
      • Course Description: This overview is designed for those interested in a career in music publishing as well as for business and personal managers and attorneys who desire a working knowledge of the music publishing industry. Topics include copyright basics; songwriter agreements; setting up domestic licensing for records, motion pictures, television, print, commercials, and other areas; and dealing with ASCAP, BMI, and SESAC. Discussion also includes aspects of foreign subpublishing, including negotiating agreements, and collection societies. Additional topics also include, new media, social networking, digital royalty collection, and  progressive internet search engine tools and techniques to promote band and grow royalties.  Guest speakers include music industry executives and attorneys. Prerequisite: Practical experience in music publishing or music business; CPAs and Bar Association members automatically qualify.
      • Cost of the class is $550, plus $40 for the course reader.  For attorneys, there is 34 hours of MCLE credit available.
      • If you or your staff is interested in signing up for this class, please go to: for further instructions.

      If you aren't in Los Angeles, check out the music publishing book by Winogradsky's business partner, attorney Ron Sobel, who knows much more about performance royalties than the average music lawyer: 

      Wednesday, August 25, 2010

      A Well Kept Secret of Powerful Attorneys

      Attention attorneys:

      Are you regarded as one of the most powerful attorneys in your field? For example, did the Hollywood Reporter feature you in its 2010 Power Lawyers list?

      If you answered “no,” consider a well-kept-secret from many of the Hollywood Reporter’s 2010 Power Lawyers:

      What do so many powerful attorneys have in common? They know that:
      1. It isn’t enough to know everything about intellectual property law, or the be a suave litigator
      2. To be a power attorney, you must build a reputation of getting your clients a bigger piece of the pie
      3. The most powerful attorneys seek the most help - getting lots of clients a bigger piece of the pie is not something you can do alone
      To whom do powerful attorneys turn to gain leverage? The well-kept secret is a trusted auditor.

      I know, since I am the auditor trusted by attorneys on many a “Power" list, including The Hollywood Reporter's:

      However, few attorneys besides the upper echelon understand the power of knowledge that an auditor can provide. Those attorneys who appreciate the value of a compliance inspection typically have no idea that the decision to advise a client to audit rests squarely on their shoulders. (Often, if an attorney does not suggest an audit, nobody will - not even a business manager, unless the business manager happens to do audits... which presents a conflict of interest, incidentally.) Finally, when an attorney does realize that the decision to audit is largely hers, she may hesitate to advise a client to audit due to a fear of the unknown – unknown costs, unknown impact on business relationships and unknown recoveries.

      This is why, if you represent someone who receives contingent compensation, it is crucial that you find at least one auditor you trust, who will:
      · Help you figure out which cases require audits and which do not
      · Advise you during negotiations of accounting clauses and definitions
      · Take the stand and testify in the event of a royalty dispute that enters a litigation phase
      · Perform due diligence and valuations of intellectual property
      · Consult on bankruptcy and divorce cases that involve intellectual property
      · Prepare royalty statements
      · Conduct audits to:
      o Recover your client's unpaid royalties or profits
      o Ascertain compliance with marketing restrictions
      o Identify breaches of contract
      o Gain leverage for negotiation purposes
      Building your team of experts now will give you the power to secure your clients royalty and profit entitlements and lay the foundation for your rise to powerful deal making and victories. Don't delay!

      Saturday, June 19, 2010

      Join me 6/24/10 for Lunch with Google and Disney @ The BHBA: Targeted Marketing and Privacy

      Are your actions tracked by digital media companies? Who accesses this information and how is it used? Will legislation in the pipeline change our experience of the Internet? Is your company or client compliant?

      Join me next Thursday for a very special "Targeted Internet Marketing and Privacy" panel discussion at the Beverly Hills Bar Association's June 24 luncheon at Lawry's. Please reserve your meal at if you would like to attend in-person, or sign up for the webcast here.

      • Halimah DeLaine Prado, Esq., Sr. Product Counsel, Google Inc.
      • Jonathan Avila, Esq., Chief Privacy Officer, The Walt Disney Co.
      • David D. Johnson, Esq., Sr. Attorney, Epstein Becker & Green, P.C.
      Cedar Boschan, Compliance Auditor, Hurewitz, Boschan & Co. LLP

      Thursday, June 24, 2010
      Registration & Lunch: 12:00 p.m.
      Program: 12:30 - 2:00 p.m.

      100 N. La Cienega Blvd.
      Beverly Hills, CA
      (1/2 block North of Wilshire)
      Free underground parking

      $65.00 for BHBA Intellectual Property Section members who pay in advance*
      $85.00 for BHBA members who pay in advance*
      $40.00 for Law Students who pay in advance*
      $105.00 for non BHBA members who pay in advance*
      (Additional $20.00 more at door for all)
      This event is FREE for members of The Order of Distinguished Attorneys
      *Refund with 48 hours notice, raincheck with 24 hours notice

      MCLE Credit: This activity has been approved for Minimum Continuing Legal Education credit by the State Bar of California in the amount of 1.5 hours and the Beverly Hills Bar Association certifies that this activity conforms to the standards for approved education activities prescribed by the rules and regulations of the State Bar of California governing minimum continuing legal education.

      Wednesday, May 12, 2010

      Musicians: Claim Your Unpaid AFTRA and AFM Royalties

      Non-featured vocalists & musicians -

      Check now to see if a musicians' union fund owes you a payment:

      The AFM & AFTRA Intellectual Property Rights Distribution Fund distrbutes the following sound recording royalties:

      • Japan - Rental & private copying
      • Netherlands - Private copying & broadcast
      • USA - Private copying & digital performance

      Tell me what you find!

      Wednesday, April 14, 2010

      Music Rights: A Global View - April 20, 2010 Panel Discussion at The California Copyright Conference

      Teri Nelson Carpenter and I will co-moderate on April 20, 2010 a panel of top music executives from France, The Netherlands and Canada. We will discuss:

      • Pan-European Licensing
      • Legislation
      • Neighboring Rights
      • Emerging Markets

      The panel of your international music business partners will feature:

      • Claude Gaillard - Deputy Director, Member Relations - SACEM
      • Christian Sarrazin - Vice President - Industry Relations and Strategic Intelligence - SOCAN
      • Wim van Limpt - International Account Manager Member Services BUMA/STEMRA
      • Gino Olivieri - President, Premier Muzik International Corporation NEIGHBORING RIGHTS / ROYALTY RECOVERY


      Tuesday, April 20, 2010
      6:15 PM Check-In * 6:30 PM Cocktails * 7:00 PM Dinner

      COURTYARD BY MARRIOTT, 15433 Ventura Blvd, Sherman Oaks, CA 91403 (Near Sepulveda & Ventura Blvd., just west of the 405 freeway)
      Parking entrance on Orion Avenue
      Free parking with validation. For map and directions, Click Here

      Appetizer: California Mixed Green Salad
      Entrée: Chicken Marsala, Beef Stroganoff or Vegetarian Pasta
      Dessert: Chef's Choice

      CCC Members $40 per person / Non-members $50 per person

      10:00 AM FRIDAY, April 16, 2010

      Please help us make this an enjoyable experience for everyone by using the reservation system. A failure to reserve by the deadline may result in not receiving your preferred choice of dinner entree.

      Register online with your credit card at

      Or use our voicemail system (818-379-3312)
      Dinners payable at the door by cash or check only. No credit cards.