Music Business Law - Is There Still a Market?

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Music Business Law - Is There Still a Market?

Postby shaps6 » Thu Apr 01, 2010 7:16 am

We all know that labels are collapsing. Is there still money to be made for someone who wants to practice Entertainment Law with an eye towards music?


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Re: Music Business Law - Is There Still a Market?

Postby shaps6 » Fri Apr 02, 2010 4:52 am

bumpy bump

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Re: Music Business Law - Is There Still a Market?

Postby HungryHippo » Fri Apr 02, 2010 7:26 am

You need to be a little more specific. Music Business Law is actually a broad field. As to your questions, it depends on what you want to focus on.... criminal, patent, contracts, or even pirating.

There will always be a market as long as musicians continue to disregard the law.
XXL Magazine - August 2008 (T.I. on the cover) had an interesting article about the lawyers of hip-hop.
I.E. Joseph Tacopina (Cardozo), Robert Kalina (Brooklyn) Murray Richman (NYLS PT) are some of the more famous ones.

On the top of my head (from top stars) Lady Gaga and her ex-manager/bf. We also see a lot of musicians trying to get out of bad contracts.

An interesting aspect of music business law would be plagiarism. There are a lot of foreign stars who have been accused of plagiarizing American musicians. However, they get away with it because the American musicians fail to take action or are even unaware of it.

If it's what you are interested in, by all means, go for it.


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Re: Music Business Law - Is There Still a Market?

Postby 270910 » Fri Apr 02, 2010 8:30 am

Like most 'glamorous' professions, it will be very hard to get your foot in the door to do something like this. That being said, it'll never happen if you don't try... talk to your career services office and they might be able to put you in touch with some alums in the proper places to at least take a crack at it.


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Re: Music Business Law - Is There Still a Market?

Postby nax425 » Fri Apr 02, 2010 9:47 am

Having graduated Belmont U in Nashville with a BBA in Music Biz, I can say that it is incredibly difficult to break into any facet of the music industry. There are too many people willing to work for free and everyone is willing to take advantage of it. Unless you have bottomless pockets of financial assistance (via parents or trust fund or... who knows what else...), you will be forced to make financial sacrifices upfront, and then really roll the dice as to whether you will receive any gain from those sacrifices. Additionally, in such a specialized market, you'd need to establish your own practice OR work for little for someone who has their own. There are only a few cities in the country where this would be feasible...NYC, LA, Nashville, and Miami. You'd need to ask yourself if you are OK with living in any of these places for a long period of time. Also, are you willing to work for next-to-nothing for an unspecified amount of time...possibly without any of these expensive cities? Even Nashville isn't cheap when you're making 20 grand a year and no benefits.

This all said, the industry can be very interesting and rewarding if you do break it. If you really want to get into Music Biz Law, of any kind, I would suggest picking a location and sticking to it. Make as many connections with lawyers as you can while getting your law degree. And intern with those lawyers. Get them to like you. Same as with any job, but in this industry more-so than any others, relationships are much more important than what may or may not be on your resume. Jobs are rarely, if ever, advertised. And they are very easy to fill. Openings are word-of-mouth, and you will need people that like you to get the word to you.

Nashville is easier to break because the community is smaller. (And the country artists tend to be trash, so there is a lot of drama behind the scenes). But the market is larger in NYC and LA, obviously.

If you would be comfortable working in a small world with the same people, then go for it. You will really have to LOVE it to make it work. Or else just get lucky, which could always happen, too. The good news is a top 14 law degree isn't necessary...connections ARE. So you could get a cheaper degree as long as you have the connections to get in. Good luck.

EDIT: AND I didn't even answer your question. YES, YES and YES. There is most definitely ALWAYS going to be a lucrative market for music business law. In fact, with the collapse of labels, I would assume it is only growing as things become even messier. A lot of artists are taking alternate routes to get developed and break the industry, and so there is a lot of pioneering, so to speak. I would imagine new legal ground will be broken; the music industry is rife with legal issues. Throw a bunch of desperate, young, naive, 20-something wannabe artists/bands/whatevers in front of artist managers, record labels, music publishers, etc. - all will take advantage of the desperate, young, naive, 20-somethings...make them sign contracts they will need to get out of...lawyers are needed at EVERY step of the process. There is no want for work. You just need to get people to trust you enough to work for them.

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