Artists Rights Symposium II : May-June Panels

The University of Georgia Terry College of Business Artists’ Rights Symposium brings together Artists; Academics; Accountants; Activists; Attorneys; Entertainment Industry Executives; Intellectual Property Experts; Local, State, Federal Government; and  Union and Trade Groups.   The focus is on how various commercial, legal,  public policy, and technological developments affect artists’ rights, freedom of expression, and revenues.  Due to the effects of the COVID-19 crisis, the symposium has been shifted to an ongoing online format.  Panels are conducted weekly or bi-monthly in front of a limited online audience.  These panels are then archived on this website and eventually summarized in a downloadable document.


Here is a description of this months panels, panelists and future panels:


May 14th, 2:00 PM. The National Emergency Library: Altruistic effort to aid public or an opportunistic attempt to undermine copyright laws?

In the face of the COVID-19 Pandemic, the Internet Archive recently announced the launch of a “National Emergency Library.” Specifically, they announced they would “suspend waitlists”  essentially allowing multiple copies of a book to be electronically lent at the same time. In a statement on their website Brewster Kahle Digital Librarian at the Internet Archive stated:

“The library system, because of our national emergency, is coming to aid those that are forced to learn at home. This was our dream for the original Internet coming to life: the Library at everyone’s fingertips.”

Authors and publishers were quick to push back noting that many of these books were already freely available through licensed e-lending libraries or for a fee on commercial websites. Many questioned whether this was, in fact, an opportunistic attempt to roll back copyright protection for authors.  The panel will attempt to answer some of the following questions.

What is the National Emergency Library?

What is now different about The Internet Archive digital lending program?

What is CDL?

Is CDL supported by Copyright LawWere authors given an opportunity to opt-in or opt-out?

How does NEL “lawfully” acquire copies of its works to digitize?

Does IA have a plausible “digital first sale” argument that protects them?

How is distance learning defined?  Is IA engaged in distance learning with NEL?

Is NEL just a litigation magnet to allow Kahle to have another go at the Copyright Act?

Is NEL just a stalking horse for extending Google Books beyond snippets?

One thought leader of the library group seems to be Kyle Courtney at Harvard  Courtney claims librarians have a fair use “superpower” that allows librarians extraordinary powers including a safe harbor for intentional infringement under 504(c)(2).  What do we think of his argument?  Could it be trumped by notice, for example to state AG?

What exposure do state librarians have for intentional infringement?  Could state attorneys general instruct the state librarians to stop participating in the Internet Archive?  The state libraries involved that we know of are in Illinois, Kansas, Michigan, Virginia, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, California, Washington, New York, Indiana, Massachusetts, Florida, Minnesota, Texas, and Idaho.


Moderator  Terrica Carrington Copyright Alliance

Anonymous Librarian.  Major Research University (She/Her)
John Degen:  Writer, Head of Writers Union Canada.
Jon Taplin:  Author, Producer, Filmmaker, Artist Manager
Robert Levine: Author, Assistant Editor Billboard Magazine



May 21, 2:00 PM. Get in Line: Bankruptcy and Artist Compensation- Postponed

The effective bankruptcy of Pledge Music LTD left a trail of wreckage through the independent music ecosystem. Pandemic related shutdowns are expected to create a wave of bankruptcies in the music business. The panelists will examine the Pledge Music liquidation and discuss what it might tell us about the plight of artists over the next couple years.


Chris Castle (Moderator)


June 4th, 2:00PM Discussion of Music Canada’s Study of Public Attitude to Live Music Post COVID-19

The panel will discuss the current state of live music illustrated with personal experiences.  There will be a discussion of the groundbreaking study by Music Canada of public attitudes toward live music and other proposals for opening up venues.  The most critical aspect of opening live music that is often overlooked is the safety of touring artists who will be at the mercy of the judgment of venues and a patchwork of local authorities.

Panelists are performing artists Miranda Mulholland, Blake Morgan, and David Lowery with Music Canada CEO Graham Henderson and moderated by Austin music lawyer Chris Castle.


Chris Castle, Christian L. Castle Attorneys and editor of MusicTechPolicy and MusicTechSolutions, Austin, Texas (Moderator)

David Lowery (Cracker/Camper Van Beethoven). David has 37 years of experience in the music business as the lead singer/songwriter of Camper Van Beethoven and Cracker.  He is a Senior Lecturer at the University of Georgia Terry College of Business Music Business Certificate Program.  He is also co-author of Music Publishing: The Complete Guide  2nd Edition (Alfred Music 2019).

Miranda Mullholland, Performer, Advocate, Roaring Girl Records.

Blake Morgan Performer, East Coast Music Label CEO.  And founder of the #IRespectMusic, the largest grassroots artists rights movement in the world.

Graham Henderson  Chairman and CEO of Music Canada.

Please leave comment to get invite link if you would like to attend.


Artist Rights Symposium II: Artist Rights In the Time of the Virus, April, 2020

Here’s the tentative schedule for Artist Rights Symposium II: Artist Rights in the Time of the Virus! We will be doing the panels virtually and weekly. At present, we are planning on the four panels that are listed below but may extend to other topics beyond this core group. UGA students will be able to access as part of their academic materials. We will be updating this on the fly.

We would like to live stream to the public, but that may be a bit ambitious at this point. We will be posting Zoom recordings of each panel on this blog and through other channels like The Trichordist and Artist Rights Watch, so it will be pretty nearly live. (If you’re interested in getting an invitation, we may be able to accommodate a limited number, so leave a comment with your contact as those invitations will be limited.)

Like last time, the panels are part of class materials at the University of Georgia Music Business Program at Terry College of Business

Here’s the line up for April:

April 2: “Kafka Meets the Accountants:  Metadata, Licensing and Money”
(MBUS 4300 Music Publishing, MBUS 3000 Business Fundamentals Music Industry)  

The panel will discuss the connection between accurate metadata, licensing (especially collective licensing) and royalty payments.

Panelists are:

Moderator: Dr. David C. Lowery, University of Georgia, Athens

David Lowery is the founder of the bands Cracker and Camper Van Beethoven. He is a Lecturer in the Music Business Certificate Program at the Terry College of Business, University of Georgia at Athens. He is the founder and the editor of the Trichordist, a leading artist rights blog and is a frequently lecturer on artist rights issues and copyright. He has testified before the U.S. House of Representatives, Subcommittee on the Courts, Intellectual Property and the Internet.

Keith Bernstein of Crunch Digital and Royalty Review Council, Los Angeles

Keith Bernstein is responsible for extending Crunch’s partnerships and spearheading growth in international business segments, including music, film & television, publishing and games. Keith is known in the entertainment industry for his acute financial prowess and knowledge of the complexities of music copyrights, royalty accounting, reporting requirements, label operations, and digital service operations. With over 25 years of experience, he has a unique blend of music industry and business development experience, and is recognized for his strategic insight and personal integrity.

Chris Castle, Christian L. Castle Attorneys and editor of MusicTechPolicy and MusicTechSolutions, Austin, Texas

Chris Castle is founder of Christian L. Castle, Attorneys in Austin, Texas and is admitted in Texas and California. He divides his practice between music industry clients, music tech startups and public policy matters relating to copyright and artist rights. Before founding the firm in Los Angeles and San Francisco, Chris was Of Counsel to Wilson Sonsini in Palo Alto, General Counsel at SNOCAP in San Francisco, Senior Vice President Business Affairs at Sony Music in New York, and Vice President Business & Legal Affairs at A&M Records in Hollywood. He moved the firm to Austin in 2011.

He has testified at the UK Parliament, spoken at Congressional seminars and lectured at universities and law schools in the US and Canada including American University, Osgoode Hall, UCLA, USC and the University of Texas. Chris is a frequent speaker at professional events such as the National Association of Attorneys General, SXSW, the Texas Entertainment Law Institute and the New York State Bar Association Music Business and Law Conference. Chris graduated from UCLA with MBA, JD and BA degrees. Chris received the 2016 Texas Star Award from the State Bar of Texas.

Michelle Lewis of Songwriters of North America, Los Angeles

Ali Lieberman of SoundExchange, Washington, DC

Ali Lieberman is Director of Business Process and Product Management at SoundExchange.  In this role, she serves as the product manager of Music Data Exchange (MDX), which is used by all major record labels and music publishers to exchange sound recording and musical work data. She has helped lead the organization through a major platform transition and is currently working on executing new royalty and data solutions for sound recordings and music publishing. Prior to joining SoundExchange in 2011, Ali managed the US ISRC Agency within the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). Ali is an MBA graduate of the Georgetown McDonough School of Business and has over 10 years of experience in the music industry.

Helienne Lindvall of the Ivors Academy, London, England

Helienne Lindvall is an award-winning professional songwriter, musician and columnist. She is Chair of the Songwriter Committee & Board Director, Ivors Academy of Music Creators (formerly British Academy of Songwriters, Composers & Authors BASCA) and Chairs the esteemed Ivor Novello Awards. She also writes the Guardian music industry columns Behind the Music and Plugged In and has contributed to a variety of publications and broadcasts discussing songwriters’ rights, copyright and other music industry issues.

Panel Video

Suggested Reading

David Lowery, Simplify Registration and Costs for the MLC

Chris Castle, MLC Metadata Showdown: What’s in a Name? Your money.

Chris Castle, Meet the New Boss:  Tech Giants Rely on Loopholes to Avoid Paying Statutory Royalties with Mass Filings of NOIs at the Copyright Office

Abby North, Ex Parte Letter to Copyright Office On MLC Metadata Format

Charles Sanders, Comments of Songwriters Guild of America on Proposed MMA Rulemaking

April 9th That Thing You Do, a Fair Use Update: YouTube, Google v Oracle,
The so-called National Emergency Library and more.
(MBUS 4300)

The panel will discuss the importance of fair use and the need to strike a balance in the rights of creators and users.

Panelists are:

Leslie Burns

Visual artist advocate and litigator. Leslie grew up in a house full of creatives and has worked in the creative industries since the 90s. She was a studio manager, photographers’ rep, and producer before becoming a marketing consultant to photographers. She’s lectured across the USA and even written a couple of books on the business of being a commercial photographer.

Colleen Doran
Colleen Doran is a New York Times bestselling cartoonist. Her published works number in the hundreds with clients such as The Walt Disney Company, Marvel Entertainment, DC Comics, Image Comics, Lucasfilm, Dark Horse Comics, Harper Collins, Houghton Mifflin, Sony, and Scholastic. Her credits include Amazing Spiderman, Guardians of the Galaxy, Sandman, Captain America, Wonder Woman, The Legion of Superheroes, The Teen Titans, Walt Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, Anne Rice’s The Master of Rampling Gate, Clive Barker’s Hellraiser, Clive Barker’s Nightbreed, A Distant Soil, The Silver Surfer, Lucifer, and many others.

Ellen Seidler

Ellen Seidler is co-founder of Fast Girl Films.  She also blogs at exploring issues that impact indie artists including piracy, online copyright, and content creation. She also works as an anti-piracy consultant, assisting independent film distributors with IP protection, DMCA takedown, and Content ID management and monetization. Seidler is a member of the Advisory Board for the Digital Citizens Alliance and given presentations on piracy and copyright issues at Canadian Music Week, Stanford, UC Davis Law schools and George Mason’s (CPIP) Center for the Protection of Intellectual Property. In 2011 she was a speaker at Canadian Music Week’s Global Forum and her ongoing anti-piracy efforts have been covered by a variety of news outlets including NPR, Fortune Magazine, and Backstage.

Ken Doroshow

Ken Doroshow is Chief Legal Officer, Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). Doroshow is responsible for all of the RIAA’s legal affairs, including litigation, intellectual property enforcement, and regulatory matters on behalf of the RIAA and its member companies. Doroshow is an experienced litigator and counselor with an extensive background in the major entertainment sectors. Before joining the RIAA as its Chief Legal Officer, Doroshow was a partner in the law firm of Jenner & Block LLP, where he represented a broad range of media and entertainment clients, including the RIAA and its members, with a particular focus on content protection, intellectual property enforcement, and the First Amendment.

Terry Hart (Moderator) 

Terry is currently an assistant general counsel at the U.S. Copyright Office. He was previously VP of legal policy and copyright counsel at the Copyright Alliance. Terry Hart also writes Copyhype, a blog he started in 2010 devoted to the analysis of copyright law, policy, and history. In 2011, the site was named by the ABA Journal as one of the top 100 law blogs in the U.S. and has been cited in legal publications and online news outlets. This blog is written in his personal capacity, and no views expressed on it should be attributed to any current or past employers. He earned his J.D. from Chicago-Kent College of Law with a certificate in Intellectual Property and is admitted to the Pennsylvania Bar.

Panel Video

Suggested Reading:


Brewster Kahle v. Gonzales (9th Circuit opinion)

Chris Castle, Superpowers In River City: Anti-Artist Activist Brewster Kahle’s Revealing “National Emergency Library,” the Faux Triumph of Privilege

U.S. Supreme Court Amicus Brief in Google v. Oracle, Helienne Lindvall, David Lowery, Blake Morgan and Songwriters Guild of America

Pierre N. Level, Toward a Fair Use Standard

Twelve Questions For Boston Public Library President

GoldieBlox Fair Use and the Beastie Boys

Bogus Fair Use Claims Hurt Creators.

Copyright Office Fair Use Index


April 16th Music in the Time of the Virus: Agents, Performers, Promoters, Venues and SBA Perspective.

This is pretty straightforward.  The Live Music Business is shut down.  It is an unparalleled economic disaster for most performers and venues.  Our team of experts will give their perspectives on what happened; how they are adapting; what help is available; and what the future holds. Some advanced topics we are likely to touch upon will be the Small Business Administration loans and aid, ticket refunds, force majeure contracts and event cancellation insurance. 


Jerry Lima

(Madison-House Agency):  Jerry is an agent at Madison House Agency.  Jerry has a wide range of music business experiences and has been an agent since 1997.  Previously he worked at Paradigm Agency, Monterey International and Pollstar. 

David Lowery

(Cracker/Camper Van Beethoven). David has 37 years of experience in the music business as the lead singer/songwriter of Camper Van Beethoven and Cracker.  He is a Senior Lecturer at the University of Georgia Terry College of Business Music Business Certificate Program.  He is also co-author of Music Publishing: The Complete Guide  2nd Edition (Alfred Music 2019). 

Julie Watson

Julie Watson is the Executive Producer of Live from Cain’s, a syndicated public radio program broadcast from the historic Cain’s Ballroom in Tulsa OK.

Mike Jones

Mike Jones is a concert promoter, artist manager, middle agent and festival organizer.  He is co-owner of More Music Group in Virginia Beach.  He claims to be 59.  This means he was 11 when he started playing in bands and was a partner at the legendary Cellar Door Concerts in his mid-twenties (Cellar Door is one of the companies that evolved into what is now Live Nation). He’s probably booked a show for pretty much any band you can name. Normally quiet and reserved he’s finally agreed to speak publicly about the live music business. 

Chris Castle (Moderator)

Chris Castle is the founder of Christian L. Castle, Attorneys in Austin, Texas and is admitted in Texas and California. He divides his practice between music industry clients, music tech startups and public policy matters relating to copyright and artist rights. Before founding the firm in Los Angeles and San Francisco, Chris was Of Counsel to Wilson Sonsini in Palo Alto, General Counsel at SNOCAP in San Francisco, Senior Vice President Business Affairs at Sony Music in New York, and Vice President Business & Legal Affairs at A&M Records in Hollywood. 


Suggested Reading:

Pandemic: Force Majeure Contracts and Insurance in the Music Business

Pandemic: Should Government Ordered Shut Downs Be Government Backed “Business Interruptions”?

April 23rd Recorded Music in the Time of the Virus: Record Labels,  Recording Studios, Artists, Producers and Streaming Service Perspective
(All Classes)

Recorded Music Industry experts discuss how COVID-19 Pandemic is changing the recorded music business.  Is there a silver lining in this cloud? Like everything in the music business, there is not a simple and straightforward answer.

David Barbe

Bass Player, Producer, Engineer, Chase Park Transduction Recording Studio, and Director of the Terry College Music Business Certificate Program

Theresa Kereakes

Famed first wave punk rock photographer and attorney, Theresa Kereakes has a long and storied music business career that has taken her from punk dives to highest levels of the music industry.  

Josh Friedlander

Josh is Senior VP for Strategic Data Analysis at the Recording Industry Association of America.  Nobody knows the data on recorded music better than Josh.  

Martin Goldschmidt

In 1986 Martin Goldschmidt started an indie label called Cooking Vinyl because he liked a band that couldn’t get a record deal.  34 year’s later it’s one of the biggest indie labels in the world. 

Michael Nash is Executive Vice President of Digital Strategy and oversees UMG’s digital business development activities around the world. Nash has worked at the forefront of media and technology convergence for his entire career as an executive, entrepreneur, and producer. 

Moderator: Chris Castle, Christian L. Castle Attorneys and editor of MusicTechPolicy and MusicTechSolutions, Austin, Texas

Chris Castle is founder of Christian L. Castle, Attorneys in Austin, Texas and is admitted in Texas and California. He divides his practice between music industry clients, music tech startups and public policy matters relating to copyright and artist rights. Before founding the firm in Los Angeles and San Francisco, Chris was Of Counsel to Wilson Sonsini in Palo Alto, General Counsel at SNOCAP in San Francisco, Senior Vice President Business Affairs at Sony Music in New York, and Vice President Business & Legal Affairs at A&M Records in Hollywood. He moved the firm to Austin in 2011.


A power outage caused the video to stop for approximately 8 minutes. We’ve posted it in two parts.

Part I

Part II


Who You Gonna Call? Artists’ Rights Symposium Jan 22-23 2018

Artists Rights Symposium
Music Business Certificate Program
Terry College of Business
University of Georgia
Athens GA 30602

Jan 22-23
Stelling Family Study
200 Moore-Rooker Hall
600 Lumpkin Ave
Athens GA 30602
Contact David Barbe
David Lowery




An examination of resources available to music creators beyond copyright infringement lawsuits

The rapid change in the digital music industry has left music creators and music industry rights holders confused, unaware of the extent of their intellectual property rights, and often unable to enforce those rights. Traditionally music creators and rights holders have resorted to federal copyright infringement lawsuits to rectify these problems.  Unfortunately, these lawsuits are expensive, time consuming and inefficient.  The purpose of this symposium is to examine other tools that are available to enforce music creators’ rights beyond federal copyright infringement lawsuits.

For the inaugural symposium, the organizers have five main panels and areas of discussion:

What Would Satchmo Do?  Cultural Diplomacy and Importance of Artists’ Rights

Jay Raman, Director Cultural Programs, US Department of State
Dean Cheng, Senior Research Fellow, Heritage Foundation
Chris Castle, Attorney, Editor MusicTechPolicy
David Lowery,
Artist Advocate, Music Business Certificate Program Terry College UGA
9:30 to 10:30 AM 

In 1965, Louis “Satchmo” Armstrong embarked on a historic tour behind the Iron Curtain on behalf of the U.S. State Department, following in the footsteps of other jazz greats like Dizzy Gillespie and Dave Brubeck.  The program was so popular that the New Yorker ran a cartoon showing a State Department meeting: “This is a diplomatic mission of the utmost delicacy.  The question is, who’s the best man for it — John Foster Dulles or Satchmo?”  Although times have changed (along with musical tastes) the State Department is still sending American artists overseas as cultural ambassadors through programs like Arts Envoy, American Music Abroad, and the hip-hop focused Next Level.

Back in the 1960s none of Armstrong’s records were available in the Soviet Bloc – at least not legally.  But when today’s arts ambassadors travel overseas, in many cases their recordings are available locally through pirate sites and counterfeit CDs.  U.S. cultural envoys are often called upon to talk about human rights and freedom of speech, but should they also talk about the rights of artists to protect their intellectual property?  Do U.S. artists have standing to advance intellectual property rights overseas, and how do they square this with their desire to share their work in countries that limit the availability of cultural products?  How can U.S. artists and diplomats work together to protect the rights of all content creators?

Does the Antitrust Status Quo Harm Artists?

Sandra Aistars, Senior Scholar and Director of Copyright Research and Policy, Center for the Protection of Intellectual Property, Scalia School of Law, George Mason University
Kevin Erickson, Future of Music Coalition
Jonathan Taplin, Author, Manager, Producer, USC Annenberg Innovation Lab Director Emeritus
Joseph Miller, UGA Law School, Former Department of Justice Antitrust Department
10:45- 11:45 AM

Songwriters are generally unaware that most licensing of public performance rights is conducted under supervision of the DOJ antitrust department and federal courts. This supervision is commonly referred to as “The consent decrees.”   The very nature of songwriter performing rights organizations (collectively setting prices) comes into conflict with rules designed to prevent producers from fixing prices. The consent decrees were initially set up more than half a century ago when media ownership landscape in the US was very different. Specifically, ownership of radio and television stations was highly fragmented, and songwriter performing rights organizations possessed significant leverage.

With the advent of the digital age the landscape is very different. Some observers have noted that the internet “wants only one of everything” (Buskirk, 2012). Indeed Google (YouTube), Apple, Amazon and Spotify each enjoy market dominance in their respective sectors. Songwriters argue they are at a significant disadvantage in negotiating fair market rates under the consent decrees when those on the other side have escaped serious antitrust scrutiny. Songwriters are especially agitated because the DOJ recently tightened regulations on songwriters by suggesting the consent decrees require songwriter organizations issue “100% licenses” even when songwriters outside their organization are involved. This appears to be a departure from decades of fractional licensing under the consent decrees and imposes an additional administrative burden on songwriters.

From a macro perspective, antitrust enforcement exhibits a disturbing trend. The last several decades have seen US antitrust law shift from discouraging market dominance by large companies to tolerating market dominance as long as the consumer does not suffer higher prices. In view of the organizers of this conference this status quo is shortsighted and does not address the full picture, especially for music. The organizers of the conference ask these questions: Does this antitrust status quo still produce pro-competitive results? Or does it instead result in powerful monopsonies that drive down prices to song producers, putting small publishers and niche songwriters out of business or forcing them to assign their catalogues to large publishers? Certainly, in the last few years we see evidence of increased concentration of song catalogues.

There is also anecdotal evidence that popular music is becoming more uniform as songwriters have become risk averse. See 6 #1 Country Songs Played at Once and Measuring the Evolution of Contemporary Western Popular Music (Serrà, Corral, Boguñá, Haro, & Arcos, 2012). It’s not clear these trends are related, but neither of these developments would seem to be in the long-term interest of songwriter, consumers or the services that distribute music.

Lunch Keynote From Jonathan Taplin:  How Artists Can Fight the Internet Monopolies 

11:45- 1:00 PM

Jonathan Taplin’s areas of specialization are in International Communication Management and the field of digital media entertainment. He is director emeritus of the Annenberg Innovation Lab based at USC. Taplin began his entertainment career in 1969 as Tour Manager for Bob Dylan and The Band. In 1973 he produced Martin Scorsese’s first feature film, Mean Streets, which was selected for the Cannes Film Festival. Between 1974 and 1996, Taplin produced 26 hours of television documentaries (including The Prize and Cadillac Desert for PBS) and 12 feature films including The Last Waltz, Until The End of the World, Under Fire and To Die For. His films were nominated for Oscar and Golden Globe awards and chosen for The Cannes Film Festival seven times.  Taplin’s latest book Move Fast and Break Things is a stinging polemic that traces the destructive monopolization of the internet by Google, Facebook and Amazon, and proposes a new future for musicians, journalists, authors and filmmakers in the digital age.

Stay tuned for more information on this keynote..

Who you Gonna Call? Law Enforcement and Artists’ Rights

Amanda Williams, Songwriter, Songwriter Advocate
Detective Superintendent Peter Ratcliffe, Police IP Crime Unit City of London Police
Carlos Linares, VP Anti-Piracy Legal Affairs RIAA
Ellen Seidler, Filmmaker, Writer, Producer, Digital Citizens Alliance
Kevin Phelan,  Senior Supervisory Agent, FBI Palo Alto CA

1:15- 2:15 PM

Chris Castle of MusicTech Policy once remarked, “If someone is stealing your musical gear, it’s clear you call the police. If someone is stealing your musical catalogue, who do you call?” Most of the time the answer is “call a lawyer and file a federal copyright infringement lawsuit.” However, this presents several problems. An artist would have to track down the culprit, not an easy task when operators of website may be located in foreign countries or ownership masked by shell registrations. Second, a plaintiff must have hundreds of thousands of dollars to proceed in federal court. This is not a practical solution for most independent songwriters and musicians.

There are however other actions that artists may initiate. The federal government has several units that deal with criminal intellectual property theft that can often help. In addition, it’s entirely possible that these websites may be committing other crimes such as fraud, tax evasion and/or money laundering. Other federal units may be activated to investigate these suspicions. Similarly, these crimes may also violate state laws. Many states also have their own copyright laws, rights of publicity, false advertising and consumer protection statutes that may come into play. Some of the most surprising and effective anti-piracy law enforcement operations in recent years have come from the City of London’s Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit. Is it possible an artist in the US could one day call the local police?

An Overview of the State of Grassroots Artists’ Rights Advocacy

Mala Sharma, Georgia Music Partners
Blake Morgan, Performer, #IRespectMusic
Miranda Mullholland, Performer, Advocate, Roaring Girl Records
Doria Roberts, Performer, Activist
Rick Carnes, Songwriter, Songwriters Guild
2:30-3:30 PM

In addition to the organization of the grass roots advocacy groups, the panelists will discuss; messaging; effective use of social media; consumer education; constructively interacting with federal, state and local government representatives; lobbying for legislation; and discouraging companies from doing business with royalty deadbeats. Grassroots artists organizations were able to defeat the so-called Internet Radio Fairness Act as well as force major online advertising networks to stop doing business with pirate sites. Panelist may also discuss lessons learned from these successful campaigns and map them onto current problems.

State And Federal Legislation

Rep. Doug Collins, US House of Representatives
Rep. Spencer Frye, Georgia House of Representatives
David Lowery,  Artist, Lecturer, Terry College Music Business Certificate Program, University of Georgia

4:00-5:00 PM

David Lowery leads an informal discussion on potential state and federal legislation to strengthen the rights of artists. Likely to be discussed is The Music Modernization Act recently introduced to the US House by Rep. Doug Collins (R-Ga.) and Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.). Georgia State Representative Spencer Frye also brings his considerable expertise and background advocating on behalf of Georgia musicians at the state level.


Confirmed Guests

Jonathan Taplin, author, film producer and Director of the Annenberg Innovation Lab at University of Southern California has agreed to keynote the discussion and help moderate panels. Sandra Aistars directs the Arts & Entertainment Advocacy Program at George Mason’s Antonin Scalia School of Law and has also agreed moderate a panel on antitrust issues.  Sandra will be joined by Melvin Gibbs of Content Creators Coalition, Kevin Erickson, Future of Music Coalition, Joe Miller from UGA Law school.  Blake Morgan who started the #IRespectMusic campaign along with Rick Carnes of Songwriters Guild of America will discuss grassroots advocacy on a panel moderated by Mala Sharma former director of Georgia Music Partners. Noted songwriter Rick Carnes, and songwriter/performer Doria Roberts have also agreed to participate. Jay Raman, Director of Cultural Programs Division, Bureau of Educational & Cultural Affairs, U.S. Department of State has agreed to discuss Artists’ Rights and cultural diplomacy with Chris Castle and Dean Cheng. In addition Kevin Phelan, Senior Supervisory Resident Agent at Federal Bureau of Investigation Palo Alto will moderate a panel on piracy and intellectual property theft. Joining him on this panel will be independent filmmaker Ellen Seidler,  Carlos Linares from the RIAA anti-piracy unit, Songwriter Amanda Williams and Peter Ratcliffe Detective Superintendent Economic Crime Unit City of London Police.  US Representative and GOP Conference Vice Chair Doug Collins and Georgia State Representative Spencer Frye are tentatively scheduled to speak on the prospects for state and federal legislation that would address issues facing songwriters and performers.

The Symposium will take place over two days Jan 22-23, 2018. Jan 22th will be an evening reception 7-9pm, January 23 will consist of 4 discussion sessions beginning at 9:30 AM. The symposium will take place at the Terry College of Business, University of Georgia, Athens GA 30602

Schedule Jan 22

Reception 7-9pm
40 Watt Club
285 W. Washington St
Athens GA 30601

A few blocks walk from conference hotels and University of Georgia.

Food and non-alcohol beverages
Cash bar for grown-up beverages

Schedule Jan 23

A200 Stelling Family Study
Moore-Rooker Hall
Terry College of Business
University of Georgia
610 South Lumpkin Street
Athens, GA 30602

(See map. The conference is in a series of interconnected buildings. Depending on where you are coming from access maybe easier from Amos or Correll hall).

Tentative Schedule and Panels

8:15- 9:15 AM            Conference Registration and light breakfast

9:15- 9:25 AM            Brief opening remarks David Barbe and David Lowery

9:30- 10:30 AM          Panel: What Would Satchmo Do? Cultural Diplomacy and Artists’ Rights

10:45- 11:45 AM        Panel: Does the Antitrust Status Quo Harm Artists?

11:45- 1:00 PM           Lunch and Keynote by Jonathan Taplin: How Artists Can Fight The Internet Monopolies

1:15- 2:15 PM             Panel: Who you Gonna Call? Law Enforcement and Artists’ Rights

2:30-3:30 PM             Panel: An Overview of the State of Grassroots Artists’ Rights Advocacy

4:00-5:00  PM            Panel: State and Federal Legislation.

Travel to and from Atlanta Airport

ATL to Athens can be a little bit of a bear.

If you want your own car, it’s pretty easy to hop on the train that goes to the rental car center (not MARTA train, but inter terminal train).  I would recommend using your premium rental car membership program as lines can often get long. If you arrive at ATL between 3-6:30PM I recommend taking I-285E to I-20E to Conyers GA, 138 to Monroe GA, 78 to Athens GA. Otherwise Google Maps, Apple Maps and Waze are pretty accurate.

Most people who travel regularly from ATL to Athens book the Groome Shuttle Athens.   Choose the Downtown Holiday Inn Athens (not Holiday Inn Express) as your destination. Ask anyone working at the airport where to get Groome shuttle buses. There are many different Groome shuttles. Don’t end up at Fort Benning or Chattanooga!  It’s a 75-90 minute trip.  You must book in advance.   You don’t really need a car once you get to Athens.


Closest Hotel

Holiday Inn Athens-University Area
197 East Broad St
Athens, Georgia

Other Hotels


40 Watt Club
285 W Washington St
Athens GA


Stelling Family Study
200 Moore-Rooker Hall
600 Lumpkin Ave
Athens GA 30602

Directions: This is a little confusing so pay attention!  The new Terry College campus consists of four connected buildings around an open quad. It also slopes downhill so if you enter the complex from Lumpkin street you will be on the second floor. If you enter from Hull street, going thru the arch puts you on the 1st floor. Going up the steps from Hull Street puts you on the 2nd floor. Moore-Rooker Hall is the west side of the complex (adjacent to Hull Street.) The Stelling Family Study is only accessible from the outdoor balcony/walkway on the 2nd floor. Finally the terrain is hilly, so you might consider the shoes you wear.