Entertainment & Technology Law Conference
As the music industry continues to shift due to rapidly changing technology, legislation and consumer habits, artists and legal professionals must learn to work with these new realities. Mondo and the Music Business Association have partnered to help advance ideas, ignite fruitful discussion and empower artists and professionals to successfully navigate the shifting music business landscape.
The all-day MCLE program will feature panels and speakers focused on critically important and timely topics relating to business and legal issues at the intersection of music and technology.
Doors Open & Registration
Welcome & Introductions
9 – 10:20 AM
The DOJ Consent Decree Determination: What Does It Mean for Congress and Stakeholders?
In 2014, the nation’s largest performing rights organizations (PROs) for musical compositions, ASCAP and BMI, asked the US Department of Justice (DOJ) to review their governing consent decrees, with a request that they be modified to give copyright owners the choice to license their works to digital services directly in the marketplace, known as a “partial withdrawal” of rights. On August 4, 2016, DOJ issued its review. The government decided not to modify the consent decrees as the PROs requested, stating it would not promote competition, and in addition, declared that the consent decrees do not allow ASCAP and BMI’s current practice of offering “fractional” licenses that convey only rights to the shares of a work that each PRO owns. Soon thereafter, the PROs announced they would seek judicial and legislative relief from DOJ’s determination. This panel will examine the effect on the stakeholders of the DOJ review and steps Congress may consider in response.
10:30 – 11:50 AM
Platform Parity: Is it Time for New and Old Technologies to Be Treated the Same Way?
Currently, over-the-air radio in the U.S. is exempt from paying a public performance right for the use of music. Satellite radio is required to pay such a royalty, though the Copyright Royalty Board has stated that it is “below market,” and internet radio also pays under a rate standard that looks to market-based indicators. Many have argued that these platforms compete vigorously with each other today and that they should be treated the same. However, others argue that the varying reach and benefits of each service, including increased publicity for the artists featured, justify the discrepancies. U.S. Representatives Jerrold Nadler and Darrell Issa have introduced legislation entitled the “Fair Pay Fair Play Act” that would require all platforms, regardless of the technology used, to pay based on market-based indicators. This panel will gather experts on both sides of the issue to debate the best path forward.
NOON – 1:20 PM
Lunch co-sponsored by Michelman & Robinson, LLP
1:30 – 2:30 PM
Remaster and Recreate?
The implications of the ABS Entertainment v. CBS Corp. ruling, which granted copyright to remastered versions of old songs, are incredibly far reaching and could completely upend much of the legal thinking relating to ownership and creation of sound recordings, who the “author” of a work is, termination rights, and more. In this session, a panel of experts will discuss the ruling and its impact on the music industry.
2:40 – 3:40 PM
Slipping Through the Cracks: How Artists and Rightsholders Are Missing Out on Digital Royalties
The panel will focus on ways in which artists and rights holders are not collecting on certain digital royalties, either because they are not actively trying to collect the payments, or the rights are not being properly licensed (and thus paid) or other inefficiencies in the licensing system which result in non-payment. The panel is not about whether digital royalties are fair, or whether streaming services should be paying more, etc., but more of a practical discussion of where money is being left on the table.
3:50 – 4:50 PM
“This Could Break Up The Band!” Avoiding Ethical Dilemmas Raised by Representation of Multiple Clients in the Music Business
Representing multiple parties, whether as parties to a litigation or as members of a partnership, band or co-owners of a business, requires special care. Failure to recognize conflicting interests can result in scrutiny of your actions as a lawyer. What are your ethical obligations when your clients’ previously (or seemingly) aligned positions diverge? Can you continue advising the band (or the label) when someone wants to leave and “go solo”? (This panel has been submitted to receive ethics credits.)