I have been listening lately to a lot of my fellow attorneys rant about the death of the music business lately. It is manifestly true that I no longer see the same kind of deals coming from record companies and publishing companies. But I keep feeling that I am, in fact, busy doing entertainment law work. Therefore, as a kind of practice management exercise (or maybe it was just therapy) one day, earlier this week, I kept a list of all the items that I worked on from morning till I broke for lunch.
Here’s what I came up with:
1. A telephone call with a client regarding advising his independent label on publishing and distribution issues.
2. Wrote a letter for a publisher client to someone who owed them money.
3. Wrote a letter for a client regarding a theatrical production he was involved with.
4. Wrote a letter to a client regarding several disputes regarding his Christian music project.
5. Responded to an e-mail from a client regarding a problem with their UK distribution deal.
6. Reviewed a re-draft of a Chinese licensing agreement.
7. Wrote a formal notice letter for a client to their publisher who is in breach of contract.
8. Reviewed a royalty statement for a producer client and forwarded it to him with his royalty check (clients love to receive checks).
9. Wrote a letter to SoundExchange to ascertain if certain Letters of Direction were in place.
10. Drafted an Amendment to a License with an independent record company.
11. Corresponded with opposing counsel on a litigation matter (regarding a band’s leaving member).
12. Corresponded with a client regarding a copyright infringement litigation matter.
Thus, not only did I end up having a very productive morning, I was pleased to note that all of the matters were squarely entertainment related. Plus, there was a global reach extending from Nashville to London to Hong Kong. Perhaps this is anecdotal evidence of the health of the entertainment business, even while the traditional music business suffers through its difficult current transformation.