November 16, 2018: Music Business and Law Conference

Music Business and Law Conference 

New York Law School | 185 West Broadway | New York, NY 10013

Cost to Attend:
EASL Section Members
: $249 after  | NYSBA Members: $289 (Join EASL Today for only $35 and save $40 on your registration) | Non-NYSBA Members: $339 | Law Students: $149 |
Accountants receiving CPE Credits: $299 

6.0 MCLE Credits / 7.0 CPE Credits: This program is not transitional and therefore does not qualify for newly admitted attorneys The majority of this course is approved for credit for experienced attorneys only. This course is not transitional and therefore will not qualify for credit for newly admitted attorneys (admitted to the New York Bar for less than two years). 
The Music Business and Law Conference will feature a variety of speakers from law, finance, business, and technology, with several panels focusing on global perspectives of representation, tax, and practical concerns for music artists and businesses alike. This year we’ve added a lunchtime panel discussing The Future of the Music Business, featuring speakers from various disciplines sharing their thoughts on what the future holds.



8:00 - 8:45 am             Registration and Breakfast

8:45 -9:00 am              Opening Remarks / Overview of the Day

Plenary Session

9:00 -10:30 am            01.  Music Business Basics and Beyond
Joseph L. Serling, Esq., Serling Rooks (Moderator)
Hanna Grzeszczyk, Founder & Director, Media IP Rights, Ltd.
Alisa Coleman, COO, ABKCO Music & Records Inc.
Janine Small, Esq., Janine Small, PLLC
Robert A. Celestin, Esq., The Law Offices of Robert A. Celestin
Elizabeth Schechtman, Esq., Director, Business Affairs, Paradigm Talent Agency

Breakouts – Choose One of Two Panels

10:40 -11:40 am          02.  Empires of Their Own (DIY)

Empires of Their Own:  The potential financial rewards for artists who own their own repertoire and control their careers is almost limitless, but those benefits require planning and investment and come with costs.  This panel will discuss legal and financial issues that artists and artist-owned companies must consider to make sure they maximize and keep the profits from their creations. 

Gil Aronow, Esq. (Moderator)
Maria Lopez, CPA, Prager Metis
Laurie L. Soriano, Esq., King Holmes
Stephanie Scamardo, Hard Head Management

10:40 -11:40 am          03.  Diversity in Business and Music

What do you need to know to support diversity in your law practice and your business?  It’s much more than you think.  Comprised of speakers who are leaders in the field of ethics and diversity, this panel will explore the underpinnings of implicit bias and offer pathways for education in the workplace to promote diversity and all its benefits.

Michael Zaremski, Human Capital Solutions/Prager Metis
Deborah Scalise, Esq., Scalise & Hamilton, LLP
Ronald E. Taylor, CPA, Federal Reserve Bank of New York

Breakouts – Choose One of Two Panels

11:50am-12:50 pm      04.  Music Modernization Act (US) / International Developments

The Music Modernization Act could be the most consequential copyright legislation in a generation. This panel will describe what it does, what it doesn’t do, how it affects current business and legal practices, and its effect on domestic and international copyright holders.  Bring your questions.

Marc Jacobson, Esq. (Moderator)
Chris Castle, Esq. – CC Legal Firm and Music Tech Solutions Blog
Charlie Sanders, Esq. - Counsel-Songwriters Guild of America, Inc.
Alexander Ross, Esq. – Wiggin LLP (UK)
Christine Pepe, Esq. (IP, Music, and Digital Law Consultant)

11:50am-12:50 pm      05.  Broadway Music Licensing II

We follow up on the excellent panel from last year with a review of the key legal issues to consider when clearing rights for using third party music in a stage musical or play.  We then put our panel of long-suffering theater lawyers through their paces in a “deeper dive” into the area of using music on stage, including:  grand vs small rights, using compositions from various composers (e.g., jukebox musical, bio-musical, concept musical), live-to-tape performances (e.g., Jesus Christ Superstar), and music clearance associated with life story rights.

Stephen B. Rodner, Esq., Pryor Cashman (Moderator)
Robert C. Harris, Esq., Lazarus & Harris
Victoria Traube, Esq., SVP, Business Affairs & General Counsel, Concord Music
Daniel M. Wasser, Esq., Franklin, Weinrib, Ruddell & Vassallo, P.C.
Carter Anne McGowan, Esq., Sendroff & Baruch, LLP

12:50 - 2:10 pm           LUNCHEON and THE FUTURE OF THE MUSIC BUSINESS

This year, EASL presents an informal lunchtime panel featuring speakers from various disciplines discussing perspectives on the future of the music business.

Marc Jacobson, Esq., Marc Jacobson, P.C. (Moderator)
Joe Mohen,
CEO, Chimes Music
Alexander Ross, Esq.
, Wiggin LLP (UK)
Laurie L. Soriano, Esq.
, King Holmes
Victoria Traube, Esq.
, SVP, Business Affairs &  General Counsel, Concord Music

Breakouts – Choose One of Two Panels

2:20 - 3:20 pm             06.  Blockchain for Music:  AI and Smart Contracts

Aaron Wright, Esq., Assoc. Prof. Cardozo Law
Russ Safirstein, CPA, Prager Metis
Ken Umezaki, CEO/Co-Founder, dotBlockchain Media Project
Joe Mohen, CEO, Chimes Music

 2:20-3:20 pm              07.  Battle of the Band Members:  Band Agreements and Break-Ups

A Manager, Transactional Attorney, and a Litigator, will discuss Band Partnerships from inception to breakup, each offering a unique perspective of the life and transitions of a Band. Among the topics are:  1) pros and cons of having a written partnership agreement, 2) lawyer compensation issues, 3) hiring a manager, 4) use of loan-out corporations, 5) co-authorship issues, 6) record and publishing deals, 7) touring and merchandising, 8) rights in the band’s name, and 9) litigation issues that may arise when the party (the partnership) is over, including conflict of interest issues.            

Joyce Sydnee Dollinger, Esq. (Moderator)
Brian D. Caplan, Esq., Reitler, Kailas, Rosenblatt
Richard Grabel, Esq., Davis Shapiro
Vaughn Lewis, Manager, Strong Management

Plenary Session

3:30-5:00 pm               08.  Litigation Update on the Music Front

The last year has seen many exciting copyright and entertainment developments in the litigation arena. Five experienced panelists who have litigated extensively in the music industry will examine some of the high profile cases (e.g., the “Stairway to Heaven” case, the proceedings by the NMPA before the Copyright Royalty Board, etc.), both for their legal impact and to highlight the parties' litigation strategies. From infringement issues, developments in the "fair use" defense in music sampling cases, to the setting of industry-wide rates for music streaming, the panel will also look at the practical effects and implications of these cases and trends for the industry going forward.

Paul LiCalsi, Esq., Robins Kaplan LLP (Moderator)
Christine Lepera, Esq., Mitchell Silberberg & Knupp LLP
Benjamin Semel, Esq. Pryor Cashman LLP
Helene M. Freeman, Esq., Phillips Nizer LLP
Brian D. Caplan, Esq., Reitler, Kailas, Rosenblatt LLC


Questions? Contact Kristina [email protected]


Discounts and Scholarships: New York State Bar Association members and non-members may apply for a discount or scholarship to attend this program, based on financial hardship. This discount applies to the educational portion of the program only. Under that policy, any member of our Association or non-member who has a genuine basis of his/her hardship, if approved, can receive a discount or scholarship, depending on the circumstances. To apply for a discount or scholarship, please send your request in writing to Kristina Maldonado at: New York State Bar Association, One Elk Street, Albany, New York 12207 or [email protected].

Accommodations for Persons with Disabilities: NYSBA welcomes participation by individuals with disabilities. NYSBA is committed to complying with all applicable laws that prohibit discrimina¬tion against individuals on the basis of disability in the full and equal enjoyment of its goods, services, programs, activities, facilities, privileges, advantages, or accommodations. To request auxiliary aids or services or if you have any questions regarding accessibility, please contact Stephanie Bugos at (518) 487.5588 or [email protected].