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Key Points in Record Label Contracts, Music Publishing Deals, & Digital Music Performance Licenses (Update)

(345 reviews)

Produced on March 12, 2019

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Course Information

Time 1h
Difficulty Intermediate
Topics covered in this course: Arts & Entertainment

Course Description

In this program, attorneys Joel Schoenfeld and Dima Budron from Mitchell Silberberg & Knupp will discuss key points in record label, music publishing, and digital music distribution deals. In addition, they will discuss the recently passed Music Modernization Act. The program will begin with a discussion of key deal points in record label contracts, including items such as royalties, ownership of master recordings, uplift provisions, and group artist issues. Schoenfeld and Budron will then provide a quick overview of the various types of music publishing agreements and essential issues to consider in negotiating music publishing contracts.

The program will also cover the publishing rights associated with blanket music performance licenses for performance online and within mobile applications, wrapping up with a brief look at performance rights societies both at home and abroad.

Finally, it will outline key issues addressed in the recently passed Music Modernization Act which makes significant changes in the way music is treated in the digital marketplace.

Learning Objectives:
  1. Review essential terms to consider when negotiating record label, music publishing, and digital music distribution deals
  2. Discern the distinction between different types of music publishing agreements
  3. Identify the various issues implicated in blanket music performance licenses
  4. Discuss performance rights societies that exist both domestically and abroad
  5. Examine the key issues addressed in the Music Modernization Act (“MMA”) and understand how the MMA changes the way music is treated in the digital marketplace

Credit Information

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Joel Schoenfeld

Mitchell Silberberg & Knupp LLP

Joel Schoenfeld, partner at Mitchell Silberberg & Knupp LLP, specializes in licensing and protecting digital rights globally, negotiating and drafting various music industry label, artist, publishing and songwriter contracts, international intellectual property, and mergers & acquisitions.

Before joining MSK, Joel spent several years operating businesses in the music industry, making him a valuable asset to his clients because of his appreciation for the challenges they face in running their businesses every day.

Representative Matters

  • Provides copyright policy advice to a major international music publisher
  • Represents several young singer/songwriters looking to have careers at a major level in the entertainment world
  • Represented Major Music Publisher in complex acquisition agreements.
  • Represents Major Record Label on digital and copyright issues
  • Represents a major online entertainment company in acquisition and intellectual property matters
  • Represented major cable television network in transactional matters
  • Represented two of the largest venture capital funds and one of the largest investment banks in digital music investments
  • Represents start-up websites and app developers

Professional, Business, and Civic Affiliations

  • Adjunct Professor of Law, New York Law School

Dima Budron

Mitchell Silberberg & Knupp LLP

Drive two miles southwest of Chicago’s beautiful Millennium Park and you’ll find yourself where it all started: a small fabric store on Roosevelt Road, where Dima Budron’s passion for fashion design began to take shape. It was here where Dima discovered her love for designing clothing and embarked on her journey as a protector of creativity.

Dima’s love for finding interesting and unique fabrics was developed through her early college years, as she shopped through various fabric stores in the Chicago area. She dabbled in designing women’s clothing and later found her niche in making men’s ties and redesigning vintage apparel. Little did she know, she would later have her own design lab at home, equipped with the tools and sewing machines she needed to explore her skills and create special, one-of-a-kind items for her friends and loved ones. She even started a men’s tie and accessory line, cut short only by her need to focus on her graduate studies at DePaul University.

But most importantly, it was through this first-hand experience that Dima discovered the importance of protecting the creative journey. With the investment in fabric and tools, not to mention time, it can be very expensive to turn creative imagination into something tangible. It’s a risky journey with no guarantee of a successful outcome. How awful to contemplate the disaster of any idea being stolen or inadequately valued. This is why Dima left fashion design and went to law school – she wanted to help protect creative ideas. While she still designs in her free time, Dima now focuses on helping clients attain adequate protection of their intellectual property. In the end, Dima has stitched together a seamless understanding of how important it is to protect the creatives.


Stephen N.

It would be interesting to get an updated version of this to see what happened since 2019

Maria B.

To the point, clear and informative. Thank you.

Elise M.

Good presentation

Marian B.

Nice clarity, breadth and overview.

gerard m.

Great course and speakers

Shaun S.

Effective speakers!

James A.

Clear and well-organized. I found it interesting and useful even though it’s somewhat outside my practice area as an example of how thoroughly contracts and regulations can address every possible contingency.

Matthew A.

Very informative.

Chris B.

Really good.

F. Kim C.

Great program!

Andrew C.

very insightful

Wendy M.


Catherine D.

Exciting emerging area of contract law. Presenters bring material to life!

Emmanuel N.


Erin S.

I liked the back-and-forth format a lot, and both presenters were great!

B.A. S.

I especially enjoyed the presenters!

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