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.


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