Monday, January 28, 2013

California Lawyers for the Arts Music Business Seminar

photo by Lindsey Rallo
While music product manufactures and lovers flocked to NAMM in LA and midem drew global music tech leaders to France, I spent much of a day with California Lawyers for the Arts at the University of California at Berkeley for their annual — in this case 30th annual — CLA Music Business Seminar. While there weren't any product or platform demos at Boalt Hall, there was discussion of the legal details of music streaming, music licensing and artist management. Most of the conversation was colored by the fact of the rapidly changing process and means of music discovery. Namely "access to music has replaced ownership," said keynote speaker Jay Cooper.  This has had huge ramifications on music copyright enforcement and of course money. Cooper pointed out that while until 2000 the music business was a 40 billion dollar per year industry,  now it accounts for 17-18 billion dollars. What does this mean for a musician? In the context of the event,  this means it pays to be that scrupulous about your agreements and contracts and include a lawyer on your team. New technology necessitates contract revisions. Which is why The California Lawyers for the Arts is such an invaluable organization to know about if you're not, say, Lionel Ritchie (one of Cooper's star clients), as it makes legal education, representation and dispute resolution accessible to the arts community.

3 comments:

Jess Holmes said...

California business lawyers probably experience a wide range of the legal problems musicians face today. I feel like by finding creative ways to embrace downloading, and the collaboration with legal professionals that your post describes, musicians can gain more control of their assets.

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