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Demystifying Music Copyrights

(710 reviews)

Produced on October 25, 2018

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$ 89 Intellectual Property and Patent In Stock
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Course Information

Time 61 minutes
Difficulty Intermediate

Course Description

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

Credit Information

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Amy Goldsmith

Tarter Krinsky & Drogin LLP

Successful, profitable businesses share certain characteristics: immediately recognizable brands, desirable products or services, and a strategic plan which minimizes legal risks. As co-chair of the Intellectual Property Group at Tarter Krinsky & Drogin, Amy B. Goldsmith partners with clients to provide practical legal advice and connections to grow their businesses. A strategic advisor, she guides clients in all stages of their development from idea conception and protection, to funding, manufacturing and enforcement.

She will advise you whether your trademark is available in the United States 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. Amy will also guide you through the clearance process, whether the subject matter is books, movies or live action. If a dispute is on the horizon, she will be by your side until a fair resolution is reached. If knock-offs are all over social media platforms, Amy will help you take them down.

Amy protects the global interests of national and international clients in a wide variety of industries, including fashion, jewelry, cosmetics, food and nutraceuticals, pet products, publishing, medical devices, exercise equipment, web-based business applications and telecommunications platforms, and consumer and designer goods. Amy will help you design privacy policies and terms of use that make sense in the global world in which you operate.

She has been a Vice President of the New York Women's Bar Association and currently is Co-Chair of the CLE Committee. She is also a member of the American Bar Association and the International Trademark Association (INTA) and is on the Board of Directors of Savvy Ladies, a non-profit whose mission is to educate women to be financially savvy. Amy also was a speaker at and served on the Advisory Board for TedxTimesSquare.

Before joining Tarter Krinsky & Drogin, Amy was a partner at Gottlieb, Rackman & Reisman, P.C.


Antonious P.

One of the best ever explanations of music copyrights!

Jay W.

Well presented & very interesting subject matter.

Afsaneh Lynne K.

This was an interesting lecture. It was just out of my practice area, but I enjoyed it.

Thomas T.


Deborah H.

A clear and comprehensive look at a complicated area of copyright..

Malcolm D.

I really enjoyed the current case law and explanation on issues involved in similar sounding songs. Very informative and helpful.

william f b.

I would recommend only to an attorney in the music business.

John M.

very detailed by an obviously knowledgeable lawyer.

Cynthia B.

This was a really interesting presentation!

Robert B.

Great Stuff!

john b.

nice to have some current jurisprudence

Beth Florence D.

Excellent, thoughtful, thank you

Ann W.

Very interesting area of law.

Eva A.

Very informative up to date presentation

Stephanie M.


Aubrey F.


Jennie W.

very good course

Mary Jo S.

This course was so interesting. Thanks for offering it.

Shena D.

Excellent presenter

R. Christopher R.

Fantastic and highly informative!

Christopher R. C.

Super presentation. Thank you.

Mark L.

Nice presentation

Erin M.

very informative. enjoyed learning about an area of law I have little experience in.

Rebecca L.

I really enjoyed listening to the speaker. This is not my normal substantive area of law, but I am an avid music listener and appreciated knowing this information presented in an interesting and informative format.

Kristina U.

Speaker really knows her subject and taught it well

Robert N.

interesting material

Earl B.

good update on VERY recent holdings

Jessica B.

Interesting course.

Megan B.

Very interesting!

Tony O.

Ms. Goldsmith is always very good.

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