Music Updates

Billboard Pro Spotlight Live Virtual Event: Creators and Copyright

The event will air at 9 a.m. EST on Friday May 14, 2021 with panel videos living here afterwards. If you’re a Billboard Pro member, you already have access. If you’re not a member, visit to subscribe today.

Keynote Interview: “Song Righting”
Björn Ulvaeus, president, CISAC; co-founder of ABBA
Gadi Oron, director general, CISAC Moderated by Billboard deputy editorial director Robert Levine

Panel: “Mind the (Value) Gap”
For most of the last decade, the music industry’s public policy priority has been reforming the “safe harbor” laws that allow some online companies to license music for a market rate paid by Spotify and other streaming services. The 2019 EU Copyright Directive was intended to address that — but its implementation in Germany, the world’s fourth-largest music market, could create even bigger problems when it comes to licensing new online platforms.

Dr. Florian Drücke, chairman/CEO, BVMI
John Phelan, director general, ICMP
Helga Trüpel, former German Green Party member of European Parliament
Ama Walton, senior vp, business and legal affairs, music, SoundCloud
Moderated by Billboard deputy editorial director Robert Levine

Sponsor Interview: “Intellectual Property Doesn’t Have to Feel Like a Buzzkill”
Andrea Yankovsky, founder, Yankovsky Law
Moderated by Billboard deputy editorial director Robert Levine

Creator Interview: “If You Like It, Put a © on It”
JaQuel Knight, CEO, J.K. Creatives, Inc.; director, choreographer
David Hecht, founding partner, Hecht Partners
Moderated by Billboard executive features editor Rebecca Milzoff

Panel: “The Terminators”
The 1976 Copyright Act lets creators reclaim the rights to their work in the United States after 35 years — a provision of U.S. law that’s both profoundly important and extremely complicated. So far, publishers have generally given songwriters their works back, while labels seem to be reaching compromises with artists that let labels retain some rights in exchange for better terms. But Gang of Four, among other acts, has recovered the rights to its recordings in the United States, and some current lawsuits could offer more legal clarity — if they don’t lead to further litigation.

Lisa A. Alter, partner, Alter, Kendrick & Baron
Hugo Burnham, founder and drummer of Gang of Four; assistant professor at Endicott College
Donald Zakarin, co-chairman of the litigation department, Pryor Cashman
Moderated by Billboard deputy editorial director Robert Levine

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