Music Biz 2017 Entertainment & Technology Law Conference to Be Held May 15 in Nashville

U.S. Congressman Marsha Blackburn, industry experts, and top attorneys to discuss Trump-era policies, DMCA, and other key legal issues

March 2, 2017 – The Music Business Association (Music Biz) will bring its popular Entertainment & Technology Law Conference series back to Nashville on Monday, May 15, during the Music Biz 2017 convention at the Renaissance Nashville Hotel.

The event will feature speakers including U.S. Congressman Marsha Blackburn; industry experts from BMI, DiMA, NSAI, SESAC, and SoundExchange; and top attorneys from Fox Rothschild LLP, Leavens Strand & Glover LLC, Ritholz Levy Sanders Chidekel & Fields LLP, and Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati. They will tackle a variety of hot-button legal topics that have powerful ramifications for artists, songwriters, labels, publishers, and all in the entertainment and technology industries, including evaluating record deals, the impact of the DMCA on digital music providers, the effect of President Trump’s policies on the music world, copyright reclamation laws, and an examination of the biggest changes in copyright law over the last year.

Six continuing legal education credits have been applied for through the Tennessee Commission on Continuing Legal Education. Lawyers based outside of Tennessee can apply for credits according to their state’s regulations and guidelines.

The full agenda for the Entertainment & Technology Law Conference can be found below or at this link.

Admission to the Law Conference is included in a full Music Biz 2017 badge purchase. Full Music Biz 2017 badges can be purchased at Those wanting to attend the CLE portion of the event only can purchase tickets for $299 at

9 – 9:10 AM
Law Conference Opening Remarks

  • Nicole Hennessey, VP of Communications, Music Business Association

9:10 – 10:40 AM
Weighing the Options: A Mock Negotiation Evaluating and Comparing Modern Record Deals

With so many different types of innovative deals emerging with respect to master rights, how do you know what’s the best option for you or your artist? This panel plays out the scenario of an artist considering two different offers for their latest EP: a net profit split / joint venture vs. a master rights administration / license agreement.

From the initial meeting between the artist’s manager and attorney to the artist’s attorney negotiating and evaluating the deal terms with each of the companies offering the deals, this presentation will give an in depth look into the pros and cons of different types of modern record deals and explore how these agreements have innovated and pivoted from traditional models. Learn what to look for in different types of agreements, understand what deal terms and business offerings matter most, and get a better sense of what modern record deals can look like.

  • Adam Ritholz, Founding and Managing Partner, Ritholz Levy Sanders Chidekel & Fields LLP
  • Jennifer Newman Sharpe, Principal Attorney, Law Offices of Jennifer Newman Sharpe PLLC
  • Monika A. Tashman, Partner, Fox Rothschild LLP

10:50 – 11:50 AM
The DMCA, YouTube & You: Charting the Future of Music Online

YouTube recently announced that it has issued more than $1 billion in advertising payments to record labels and artists for the use of music over the past twelve months. At the same time, however, numerous industry observers continue to question whether YouTube is doing enough to compensate the rightsholders for the use of their content and to protect copyright holders from piracy. Just a few months ago, more than 200 recording artists and key industry figures, including Irving Azoff, Taylor Swift and U2, signed an open letter to Congress to decry the rampant exploitation of their work for profit by entities such as YouTube and to call for a re-examination of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), the 1998 law that governs infringement liability for internet service providers.

This panel will examine the history of the DMCA, the operation of its safe-harbor, takedown and liability regime and the critiques of its operation from the point of view of content creators, owners, users and internet service providers. In the process, the panel seeks to provide direction on navigating the DMCA’s murky waters, an understanding of various problems with the current law and an overview of the debate surrounding its reform. The panel will be of particular interest to artists and entities whose works are distributed and infringed upon online and will also provide guidance on digital rights management issues and best practices for developers and operators of online entities making use of “user-generated content.”

  • Moderator: John Tehranian, Founding Partner, One LLP
  • Gregory Alan Barnes, General Counsel, ‎Digital Media Association (DiMA)
  • Don Nottingham, Entertainment Attorney and Member of Straight No Chaser
  • Additional panelist to be added

12 – 1 PM
Music Policies During the Trump Era

Considering that the positions of the Trump administration on copyright and royalty issues are largely unknown as he takes the highest office, this discussion between PROs, politicians and industry professionals will shed some light on what the industry might look for from them moving forward. The panel would address the possible Trump perspective on hot button issues such as the status of the PRO consent decrees, streaming royalty rates and the royalty courts, Fair Play Fair Pay, copyright act revisions, and more.

    • Moderator: John Beiter, Partner, Leavens, Strand & Glover LLC
    • Marsha Blackburn, U.S. Congressman, 7th District of Tennessee
    • Jacqueline Charlesworth, Of Counsel, Covington & Burling LLP
    • Dennis Lord, Exec. VP of Creative and Business Affairs, SESAC, Inc.
    • Julia Massimino, VP of Global Public Policy, SoundExchange
    • Additional panelist to be added

2 – 3:30 PM
Reclaim Your Copyright!

Reclaim Your Copyright: After 35 years, if you follow the rules, copyrights you’ve signed away can be returned to you or your family. This panel will simplify otherwise complex issues, as experts explain away uncertainty about the process. All sides will be explored, including how to deal with such requests when you receive one. Everyone involved with copyright needs to know how to handle terminations, recaptures, and reversions.

  • Moderator: Jim Griffin, OneHouse
  • Bart Herbison, Executive Director, Nashville Songwriters Association International (NSAI)
  • Linda Howard, Partner, Adams and Reese, LLP
  • Daniel Novick, Esquire, Savur Threadgold, LLP

3:40 – 4:40 PM
Developments in Copyright: The Year in Review

We will examine key court decisions and other related developments with respect to copyright law in 2016, with a particular focus on those which involve music.

  • Moderator: Serona Elton, Assoc. Professor & Chair, Assoc. Professor & Chair, Music Media & Industry, University of Miami
  • Joe Dimona, VP of Legal Affairs, BMI
  • Gary Greenstein, Partner, Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati
  • John Simson, Executive-in-Residence/Program Director, American University/Fox Rothschild

Music Biz 2017, which will return to Nashville from May 15-18, is the music industry’s premier event, giving the commerce and content sectors a place to meet with trading partners, network with new companies, and learn about new trends and products impacting the music business. This year’s event will feature keynotes from Atlantic Records Group Chairman and COO Julie Greenwald, Spotify’s Global Head of Creator Services Troy Carter, Creative Artists Agency (CAA) Music Agents Jeff Krones and Hunter Williams, and more to be announced. The eclectic program will cover topics including Touring, Live Streaming, Vinyl, Messaging, International, D2F, Crowdfunding, Tweens & Tech, e-Commerce, Playlisting, A&R, Social Media, Licensing, Publishing, Hi-Res, VR, Management, and Professional Development. Returning favorite sessions will include the Metadata Summit, Brand & Strategic Partnership Summit, and Entertainment & Technology Law Conference, as well as an encore for Music’s Leading Ladies Speak Out and various special interest programs and breakout sessions.

In addition, the convention will include a variety of Live Music Showcases, including the second annual Industry Jam, in which music business execs join big-name musicians onstage for an evening of live music. Music Biz will also present Breakthrough Artist Awards to Maren Morris and Lukas Graham; the Harry Chapin Memorial Humanitarian Award to Paula Abdul; the Presidential Award for Outstanding Executive Achievement to Mike Dungan, Chairman and CEO of Universal Music Group Nashville; and the Independent Spirit Award to Terry Currier, Owner of the iconic Portland, OR-based record store Music Millennium. Additional award recipients will be announced in the coming weeks. Discounted early bird registration is now open at, and for a full list of currently confirmed programming, visit

About the Music Business Association

The Music Business Association (Music Biz) is a membership organization that advances and promotes music commerce — a community committed to the full spectrum of monetization models in the industry. It provides common ground by offering thought leadership, resources and unparalleled networking opportunities, all geared to the specific needs of its membership. Music Biz brings a unique perspective and valuable insight into the trends and changes that innovation brings. Today, we put our collective experience to work across all delivery models: physical, digital, mobile, and more. Music Biz and its members are committed to building the future of music commerce — together.

Music Biz Media Contact

Laurie Jakobsen, Jaybird Communications —, 646.484.6764