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Copyright and Publishing Agreements for Musicians

  • Wednesday, July 11, 2012
  • 7:30 PM - 9:00 PM
  • Ken Edwards Center, 1527 4th St., Santa Monica, CA 90401. (Parking in any space - including metered and permit-requiring spaces - is free after 6pm on weekdays.)


  • $15 at the door
  • $10 at the door
    Student ID and Drivers License Required at Sign-In.
  • $25 at the door

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Copyright and Publishing Agreements for Musicians
with Dean Sheldon Serwin, Esq.

No one concept in the music industry is as satisfying, confusing, and potentially income generating as songwriting and music publishing. As the music industry continues to undergo once-in-a-lifetime changes, music publishing remains one of the most important means of making money over the long term.

This workshop will focus on the core elements of copyright law as it applies to sound recordings and musical compositions, the sources of income for both, and how to monetize them effectively. We will discuss what copyright is and is not, how to protect your own copyrights, and how to go about using someone else’s copyright, including when you need to secure a license. We will discuss not only the types of publishing agreements that exist, but the importance of timing relating to when to enter into one, and how to protect yourself when you do.

Additional topics include how to determine and confirm songwriter splits, the mysterious role of the performance rights organization, the impact of the 360 deal, how to collect money from other countries, how to approach licensing your music to TV & film, “alternative titles” and as other topics, as time permits.

Dean Sheldon Serwin is a graduate of UCLA Law School who began his practice of law in 1990, and works primarily in the entertainment industry. Prior to establishing his own firm in 1994, Dean worked for a firm representing several platinum artists, served as Vice President of Legal Affairs for a film and TV production and distribution company, and held positions at the Director's Guild of America, BMI, and Capitol Records. Dean's Hollywood-based solo law practice serves a wide range of clients in all areas of the music, film, video game, TV, Internet, and distribution businesses, including small and medium size publishing companies. Dean also specializes in copyright and trademark prosecution and dispute resolution.

These workshops are made possible, in part, from the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors through the Los Angeles County Arts Commission; The City of Los Angeles, Department of Cultural Affairs; and the California Community Foundation.  Additional support provided by the California Arts Council.  



California Lawyers for the Arts is a tax exempt 501(c)(3) nonprofit and your donation is tax deductible as a charitable contribution to the fullest extent of the law.  State Bar LRS Certificate #0021.

MCLE Provider # 1248.

The information provided on this website is not legal advice. You should consult with an attorney for individual advice regarding your legal matters.

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