Music Law Conference serves entertainment and legal professions
One wouldn’t immediately think of musicians and lawyers as having much in common. However, when it comes to navigating a course through the high-stakes terrain of the music industry, two professional heads are definitely better than one.
Finding common ground between music and the law is the goal of “From the Suits to the Stage,” the University of Florida Levin College of Law’s Seventh Annual Music Law Conference, to be held Feb. 20 – 21. Attorneys, musicians, band managers and anyone interested or involved in the music industry should make plans to attend the event, which will feature live performances from local bands on Feb. 20, and an educational conference on Feb. 21.
Keynote speaker Martin Atkins, an author and record label owner who has toured with Public Image Ltd., Killing Joke, Ministry and Nine Inch Nails, said he is looking forward to the exchange of ideas he anticipates will happen at the conference.
“It’s been my experience that ideas circulated amongst any group of interested people create more ideas,” said Atkins. “I like the games of mental ping-pong that happen with any gathering of switched-on, open-brained people.”
The Feb. 20 band showcase offers an exciting slate of live performances by young, up-and-coming, local bands — including Bang Bang Boom, The Duppies, SuperFish, and Vernon — from 9 p.m. to 1:30 a.m. at Common Grounds, located at 210 S.W. 2nd Ave. in downtown Gainesville.
Conference sessions will begin at 9 a.m. on Feb. 21 in the Chesterfield Smith Ceremonial Classroom (180) on the UF College of Law campus. Legal and music-industry experts will discuss topics ranging from licensing and copyrights to management and musician’s rights. A new addition, the Breakout Session, will give the attendees a chance to get into small groups with one of the panelists for either a Q&A or a workshop. Notable confirmed panelists include Gary Roth, assistant vice president of Legal Affairs for BMI records, and Ravi, a musician and advocate for artistic integrity.
The conference is free to UF faculty and students. Registration for non-UF students and faculty is $20. Registration for attorneys is $75, which includes seven Continuing Legal Education (CLE) credits.
“Last year’s Sixth Annual Music Law Conference explored new forms of music distribution, commercial markets, and the ethical issues faced by attorneys trying to protect the fruits of musicians’ creative endeavors,” said Kevin E. Leary, a 1986 graduate of UF Law, member of the Entertainment & Sports Law and Business Law sections of The Florida Bar, and panelist at last year’s conference. “I firmly believe that this year’s Music Law Conference will again be a valuable experience for attorneys, law students, and musicians seeking to successfully navigate the often murky waters of the music business.”
Sondra Randon, third-year law student and executive director of the music conference, said the conference was developed to bring musicians, lawyers and business professionals together to discuss current trends and issues in the music industry.
“The theme of this year’s conference is actually two-fold,” said Randon. “On one hand, the conference is geared towards helping and educating the musician through every step of the process. On the other hand, it is aimed at professional and to-be professionals to help them create new ideas, learn and discuss the most current issues and to network with other members of the industry.”
For more information or to register, visit the Music Law Conference Web site.