7:30 AM: Registration and Breakfast
9:00 – 10:00 AM: Panel 1
Litigation Strategies and Current Cases That Affect the Music Business
2014 has seen many exciting copyright and entertainment cases enter the litigation arena. This panel will examine some of the high profile cases (e.g., the Google Books decision, Beastie Boys v. Goldieblox, Spirit v. Led Zeppelin, the Supreme Court’s holding in Petrella a/k/a the “Raging Bull” case, etc.), not just for their results but more importantly to highlight the parties’ litigation strategies. From fair use defenses and declaratory judgments to class action certification to the interaction of injunction practice and the age-old defense of laches, this panel will spotlight new weapons to deploy from today’s litigation arsenal.
Todd McCormick, Esq., Sedgwick, LLP
Edward H. Rosenthal, Esq., Frankfurt, Kurnit, Klein & Selz, P.C.
Carla Miller, Esq., Universal Music Group
10:10 – 11:10 AM: (Choose one of two simultaneous panels)
Panel 2a – The Descent of the Major Labels and the Ascent of the Self-Distributed Artist
Every new musical artist who walks into your office is eager to learn how to make money and become successful in this digital age. Industry experts will explore the best response to this question that plagues new artists in this new world where labels are tight on the purse strings, and not so quick to dish out advances or to provide tour support. Lawyers are faced with a challenging environment with many variables:
should the artist take a complete Do It Yourself approach,
what is the anatomy of an agreement with investors and what does that mean for the artist,
how does the artist derive revenue from publishing, how does the artist make money from records and merchandising, and
how can an artist maximize results through promotion teams and social media plus what those results really mean.
Daniel M. Shulman, Esq., Tavel & Shulman, P.C.
Marc Jacobson, Esq., Marc Jacobson, P.C.
Gerald M. Stern, WOW Production Services, LLC
Joseph L. Serling, Esq., Serling Rooks Ferrara McKoy & Worob LLP
Panel 2b – The Value of an Intern: Controversy, Law Suits and Best Practices for Internship Programs
An internship working on a movie set, at a record label, or in the fashion closets of a major magazine publisher may seem useful on a resume or as an opportunity to develop industry contacts. For many entertainment industry professionals, their first “professional” experience was as an intern. Yet, despite the competition for internship positions, a rash of recent lawsuits have claimed that internships are really a way for companies to get free labor to perform menial tasks with very little “learning” involved. This panel will examine the recent flood of lawsuits brought by unpaid interns and their effects on federal and state laws, and discuss the best practices for companies seeking to maintain or establish internship programs.
Kenneth Anaud, Esq., Vandenberg & Feliu LLP
Alfred Feliu, Esq., Vandenberg & Feliu LLP
Rachel Bien, Esq., Outten & Golden LLP
11:20 – 12:20 PM: (Choose one of two simultaneous panels)
Panel 3a – Masters on the Market: The Return of a Marketplace for Master Recordings
For the past several years, music publishing assets have been the preferred asset class for strategic and financial investors. However, while the available inventory of prime publishing assets has diminished, the competition for deals is as fierce as ever. At the same time, the expansion of digital streaming and synch revenue has led some investors to take a fresh look at master recordings. This panel will discuss the rationale behind investing in masters, how masters are being valued and the legal issues associated with acquiring masters, including the potential exercise (or threatened exercise) of termination rights.
Michael Poster, Esq., Vandenberg & Feliu LLP
Nari Matsuura, Esq., Massarsky Consulting
Brian Caplan, Esq., Caplan & Ross LLP
Mark Robinson, Esq., Senior VP and General Counsel BMG Rights Management (US)
Panel 3b – Counseling the New Film Maker Client
By the time the new filmmaker reaches your office, the business of filmmaking has come into focus for him or her and financing, film distribution and making a profit are in the spotlight. Crowdfunding, the perceived panacea, continues to evolve, and in many ways marketing and distribution have become part of the independent filmmakers’ business. The old adage know your audience rings ever true, but in the era of multiple screen platforms, it is just as important is knowing where to find your audience and structuring not just one, but several deals to offer the film on a variety of platforms. While the traditional model of securing a single major distributor for the long term is the typical filmmaker’s dream, it is rare in both occurrence and resulting profits for the filmmaker. The alternative of splitting the rights may be a viable path to distribution if the filmmaker is up for the hands-on adventure. In this session our experts will provide an overview of film financing and discuss the array of distribution paths and deals open to the independent filmmaker and guidance on what works (and what does not).
Thomas A. Crowell, Esq., Director, Indie Film Clinic – Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law
Paul Brennan, Esq., Bruns Brennan Berry PLLC
W. Wilder Knight II, Esq., Pryor Cashman, LLP
12:20 – 1:20 PM: Lunch (Keynote Speaker TBA)
1:30 – 2:30 PM:
Panel 4 – Legislative Fix for Copyright Woes: Reality or Pipe Dream
Recently, we have seen a flurry of activity regarding potential legislative copyright reform. The Copyright Office solicited comments, commissioned roundtables and published reports on a variety of important copyright topics, including a “making available” right, orphan works, mass digitization and generally, the “music licensing marketplace.” Meanwhile, Congress has held equally varied hearings addressing similar issues relating to copyright reform. Music-focused legislation has also been introduced by Congress, including The Songwriter Equity Act, which seeks to reform rate-setting standards and rules for both public performance and reproduction rights. Courts and legislatures in New York, California and Tennessee continue to grapple with the proper treatment of pre-1972 sound recordings. Our distinguished panel of practitioners will guide you through this labyrinthine series of developments while also providing a global perspective.
Professor Justin Hughes, William H. Hannon Professor of Law, Loyola Law School
John Beiter, Esq., Partner, Shackelford, Melton, McKinley & Norton, LLP
Colin Rushing, Esq., SVP and General Counsel, SoundExchange, Inc.
Lee Knife, Esq., Executive Director, DiMA
2:40 – 3:40 PM: (Choose one of two simultaneous panels)
5a – Cross Border Digital Rights: The Long and Winding Road to Clearing Cross Border Digital Rights Abroad
Navigating the digital rights landscape in Europe is daunting and proposed changes to streamline the process may ultimately further complicate it. Learn from lawyers who have successfully mapped a path for Cross Border Digital Rights clearance of music for a variety of uses, and gain insight on what the future might look like under a pan-European licensing scheme (and if a single-source licensing model is even feasible). Then, just when you think you’ve got Europe figured out, we’ll explore Cross Border Digital Rights in Asia and Latin America. Join us on this tour of multi-market clearance on the grand global scale; who knows where we will land.
Jeffrey Liebenson, Esq., Liebenson Law, President of the International Association of Entertainment Lawyers
Panel 5b – Curation & Aggregation in Entertainment
3:50 – 4:50 PM: Panel 6
Blurred Lines: CPA and Attorney Ethics Issues in Entertainment
Accountants and attorneys work closely with other advisors comprising a management team that collectively serves their Artist clients. While CPAs are frequently engaged to provide tax and accounting services, their involvement as a trusted advisor to the Artist can sometimes lead to an evolving role in which they assume responsibilities outside the scope of their engagement leaving them at risk to professional liability. Attorneys similarly assume responsibilities and decision making that often expand outside functioning merely as a legal advisor. Both professionals, in New York as well as California, are often paid on a percentage of an Artist’s gross earnings, which raises other issues of conflict of interest and fiduciary responsibility. This panel of leading experts in professional liability will discuss recent cases of accountant and attorney liability in the entertainment industry and address other matters such as conflict of interest among professionals jointly serving Artist Clients.
J. Christopher Hull, CPA, Partner, Prager Metis CPAs, LLC
Nicole I. Hyland, Esq.,
Partner, Frankfurt Kurnit Klein & Selz, PC
Christopher J. Marino, Esq., Giordano, Halleran & Ciesla P.C.
Bruce R. Braun, Esq., Partner, Winston & Strawn LLP