Music Publishing Catalog Administration

January 24, 2008by Tamera H. Bennett

I would like to take a few blog entries over the next week to highlight how we work with clients to protect and leverage their intellectual property.

On the entertainment side of our practice, our primary focus is administration of music publishing and master recording catalogs. Because of my extensive background in music publishing and specifically in working with the 1909 Copyright Act, we focus this practice on “estate” catalogs.

Typically we work with the surviving heir or heirs to a music publishing catalog or master catalog. Depending on the need of the client, we may be the point person for any and all licensing issues as well as investigating possible unlicensed uses, ie, infringements. For songs written before January 1, 1978 we also work closely with the client to terminate grants made under the 1909 copyright act and reclaim works for the heirs. We may also work with the client to investigate other revenue sources for the songs/masters in the catalog through song placement.

I have a real passion for educating folks on how the music publishing business works and how to protect their creative endeavors. I lecture on the topic of music publishing frequently. Please feel free to contact me if you feel your group might benefit from a Music Publishing 101 lecture or an advanced music publishing presentation.

My article, “2003 = The New Millennium for Copyright” on the topic of termination of transfers under the 1909 and 1976 Copyright Acts has been published in four resources: the materials for the 2003 and 2004 Legal & Business Aspects of the Film & Music Industries CLE; teaching materials for the UCLA Music Business course; and the September 2003 California Copyright Conference Newsletter. In October 2006 I was honored to make a joint presentation with attorneys Kenneth W. Pajak and Katherine A. Kinser on “The Intersection of Estate Issues and Copyright Law: A Long and Winding Road.”

Remember, every hit record starts with a great song!