The music business conference hosted by the Music, Entertainment, Sports, and Art Law Association at New York Law School was excellent.
The first panel was a group of managers and agents who have all worked with top flight talent in the digital age, and they gave a very insightful talk on how the internet has changed the music industry for good, and how the old line record companies are basically history. They talked about the differences in how music is now marketed directly to the public, how the artists can have a much more direct relationship with their listeners, how the old fashioned "record deals" are now totally irrelevant, and how the record companies are no longer the "curators" of what music people can listen to.
There was consensus that the opportunities for giant, 10-milliion-album, "success stories", are now over, but the number of opportunities for artists to actually make a living being artists are greater.
They also said that although the old record labels are dying, the music industry taken as a whole is thriving and growing. One manager said that for a lawyer starting out in the entertainment business now, it's probably better never to have even seen an old fashioned recording agreement, because the way deals are being done today has no connection to those at all. He said the premium today is on creativity in lawyering.
The second panel, consisted of music industry pros, litigation lawyers, and transactional lawyers working in digital music. We discussed what the record industry was like before, how it reacted to Napster and to p2p file sharing, what the lawsuits have been like, where they are headed, and what the future holds in the music industry, what new licensing arrangements are being discussed, and their pros and cons.
Our only problem was we didn't have enough time.
The panels consisted of the following participants:
PANEL 1 6-7 p.m.: Led by Adam Shore (Daily Swarm)
The Changing Roles of the Manager and Booking Agent
That Have Taken Place in the Last 5 Years
(1) David Bason, Stay Gold Records
(2) Andrew Goodfriend, TKO
(3) Veronica Gretton, Kurfirst Blackwell Entertainment*Freedom In Exile
(4) Marty Diamond, Paradigm
(5) Dawn Barger, Post Hoc Management
(6) Jeremy Holgersen, The Agency Group
(7) Brandon Schmidt, B23 Management
PANEL 2 7:15–8:15 p.m.: Led by Mason Weisz, Esq.
The Enforcement Regime Employed by the RIAA
to Crack Down on Infringers
(1) David Mazur, Esq., MasurLaw
(2) Steve Gordon, Steve Gordon, Esq.
(3) Ray Beckerman, Ray Beckerman, P.C.
(4) Maia Spilman, Maia Spilman, Esq.
(5) Adam Farrell, Beggars Group
(6) Adam Shore, Daily Swarm
(7) Mason Weisz, Esq., Hunton & Williams
(8) Richard A. Altman, Richard A. Altman, Esq.
For information on further events hosted by MESLA at New York Law School, contact Brian Daitzman President of MESLA Vice President of the Student Bar Association J.D. Candidate, 2010 firstname.lastname@example.org. (Interestingly, Brian -- in addition to being a law student -- is also the booking manager for Club NME at 152 Orchard Street, in Manhattan.... so he knows a thing or two about indie music.)
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