Demystifying Music Copyrights

Streams live on: Thursday, October 25, 2018 at 01:30pm EDT

Course Format Webcast

Taught by


Course Description

Estimated Duration 60 Minutes
Difficulty Intermediate

Copyright protects the tangible expression of an idea. In the context of music, there is a life cycle that involves many different individuals and businesses, from the lyricist and composer to the vocalist, recording studios and production studios. Accordingly, there are many different types of copyright registrations that may be owned by these different interests. In the licensing context, performing rights organizations manage the use of recorded music in restaurants, bars, elevators, and other physical locations.

The Music Modernization Act of 2018 has been introduced to update the licensing system, particularly the statutorily prescribed rates and fees in the online world. In the litigation context, the situation is fractured, with the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruling, 2-1, on March 21, 2018,  affirming the district court’s decision that the song Blurred Lines by Pharrell Williams and Robin Thicke infringed Marvin Gaye’s Got To Give It Up. In this case, the issues involved the 1909 Act and the extent of the sheet music copyright, access to Marvin Gaye’s music, and how similarities between the music should be assessed. The Ninth is reviewing the jury’s decision against Spirit in its lawsuit against Stairway to Heaven by Led Zeppelin. Other cases involve Taylor Swift and the protection of short phrases. Join attorney Amy B. Goldsmith as she delves into the complex world of music copyrights. 

Learning Objectives:
  1. Appreciate the many types of music copyrights and the relationships between the various parties involved in the music industry
  2. Address the function of performing rights organizations
  3. Dissect the Music Modernization Act of 2018 and the CLASSICS Act
  4. Identify how different courts analyze music infringement


Amy Goldsmith

Tarter Krinsky & Drogin LLP

Amy Goldsmith

Successful, profitable businesses share certain characteristics: immediately recognizable brands, desirable products or services, and a strategic plan which minimizes legal risks. Amy B. Goldsmith, a Partner at Tarter Krinsky & Drogin LLP, provides practical legal advice and connections to grow clients’ businesses with an emphasis on intellectual property.  She will advise you whether your trademark is available in the US and globally, if patents should be a part of your strategy, and if your design team’s new product shares too many features of the competition’s copyrighted bestseller. She will design contracts that make sense. If a dispute is on the horizon, she will be by your side until a fair resolution is reached.

Ms. Goldsmith protects the global interests of national and international clients in a variety of industries, including pet products, fashion, financial services, marketing automation, publishing, medical devices, and consumer and designer goods.

She is a director of the New York Women's Bar Association. She is also a member of the New York City and American Bar associations, a Superlawyer and is on the Board of Directors of Savvy Ladies, a non-profit whose mission is to educate women to be financially savvy.

She is a frequent lecturer on intellectual property topics for Lawline, and she is the author of several articles pertaining to intellectual property for Tableware Today magazine.

Ms. Goldsmith received her B.S. from Cornell University in 1982 and her J.D. from Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law in 1985.

Before joining Tarter Krinsky & Drogin, Ms. Goldsmith was a Partner at Gottlieb, Rackman & Reisman, P.C.


$ 59 Intellectual Property Law and Patent Law In Stock


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