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Mondo.NYC 2020 CLE

October 16, 2020


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Mondo.NYC 2020 CLE Program: Business as Unusual

Just when the roller-coaster ride that is the music industry seemed like it was on stable ground, we are forced to adapt to a new reality.  Join top music lawyers and thought leaders for an all day entertainment law webinar on some of the biggest legal developments affecting the music industry, including recent court decisions upending fundamental issues, the re-imagining of key policy matters and how multiple aspects of the industry are being affected by – and forced to adapt to – a post-COVID world.

Pivoting from Live to Virtual: Navigating the Legal Challenges

10:00 – 10:50 am (All times are US Eastern Daylight Time)


The COVID-19 pandemic had an immediate and devastating impact on the live entertainment sector. After SXSW was canceled in early March, other festivals quickly followed suit, first postponing and then canceling their 2020 live events. Many festival presenters are pivoting to a virtual model, which presents its own set of legal issues for festival organizers, including, but not limited to, the licenses required for performing music virtually, navigating restrictions imposed by platforms such as Facebook and Instagram Live and challenges to monetization posed by music label blocking rights. This panel will discuss evolving strategies for addressing these issues.

Moderator: Lisa E. Davis, Esq., Partner, Frankfurt Kurnit Klein & Selz PC


  • Mechelle Evans, Senior Corporate Counsel, Essence Communications

  • Alex Grout, Vice President of Business & Legal Affairs, ASCAP

  • Dan M. Shulman, Esq., Partner Eisner LLP 

Fixing Digital Infrastructure:  Do the DMCA “Safe Harbors” Need Repair? 

11:00 – 11:50 am


The Copyright Office’s investigation into the immunities provided by s. 512 of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act prompts a highly topical discussion of the latest caselaw and practice.   We’ll hear how platforms and users deal with legal and business difficulties created by the current law.  And industry leaders will provide perspectives - including from outside the US - on where proposals for reform should go.

Moderator: Toby M.J. Butterfield, Esq., Partner, Moses & Singer, LLP


  • Erica Carter, Counsel, Legal and Business Affairs, Sesame Workshop

  • Michael Lewis, Chief Counsel, Intellectual Property Protection & Cyber Security, Entertainment Software Association (ESA)

The New Music Acquisitions Market

12:00 – 12:50 pm

The M&A market for music catalogs and companies has evolved significantly over the past few years. New buyers are entering the marketplace on a regular basis, with funding from a range of domestic and foreign investors. Writers and rights owners who had not considered selling are now rethinking those decisions as sale multiples continue to increase. As the economic impact of streaming continues to develop, valuation models continue to evolve in ways that are more favorable to sellers, especially of more recent material. All of this is complicated by the COVID-19 crisis and its current and predicted effect on licensing income and the consumer market. This panel will cover how the M&A market continues to develop and how it is likely to be impacted by these changes to industry economics.

Moderator: Michael Poster, Esq., Partner, Michelman & Robinson, LLP


  • Rob Amir, Partner & Head of Transaction Analytics, Vine Alternative Investments

  • Sherrese Clarke Soares, Founder & CEO, Tempo Music Investments

  • Richard Conlon, Founding Partner, Catch Point Rights Partners

  • Nari Matsuura, Partner, Massarsky Consulting

High Anxiety:  The New Law and Practice of Musical Composition Copyright Litigation 

2:00 – 2:50 pm

New music copyright infringement cases increase almost daily.  Now that vast catalogs of music are constantly available for listening and musicological analysis worldwide, the Ninth Circuit has discarded the “inverse ratio” rule as outdated.  But how will the law continue to evolve, and how will musicians go about proving cases of plagiarism?  We’ll hear from established litigators and clients, as well as technologists and musicologists in high profile music cases.

Moderator: Toby M.J. Butterfield, Esq., Partner, Moses & Singer, LLP


  • Judith Finell, President, Judith Finell MusicServices Inc.

Exploring the Convergence of Music, Video Games and Esports: Novel Issues in an Emerging Virtual World

3:00 – 3:50 pm

Creative partnerships and integrations are proliferating between the music, video game and esports worlds, a trend more dramatic in the pandemic world. The music industry continues to look for new ways to distribute music and promote artists, particularly in a virtual environment. And video game companies and esports leagues/teams continue to look for ways to promote themselves and drive user participation and viewership. Virtual events, concerts and tours, artist partnerships and other integrations with the gaming world will only continue to grow. This panel will explore the novel issues this convergence presents, including the latest developments in the use and licensing of intellectual property and likeness rights, considerations around technology integration, and data collection.

Moderator: Adrian J. Perry, Esq., Partner, Covington & Burling LLP


  • Jim Cooperman, SVP Legal & Business Affairs, MSG Entertainment

  • Simon Frankel, Esq., Partner, Covington & Burling LLP

  • Ben Golant, Esq., Chief Counsel for Intellectual Property Policy, Entertainment Software Association

  • Oscar Pelaez, Esq., Vice President, Business & Legal Affairs/Global Digital Partnerships, Kobalt Music

Riddles, Risks and the Road Back to Live:  Legal Issues in Live Entertainment

4:00 – 4:50 pm

What is the only thing that the medical experts, government officials, big thinkers, entrepreneurs, and most of the general public can agree on? That an indoor live show will be the signal that things have returned to pre-pandemic normal.  The riddle that we will puzzle out is how do we get there and what will it take? We will explore COVID-19 transmission risks and liability associated with live events, the success or failure of the latest mitigation and containment efforts, the challenges of routing tours through ever shifting government mandates, shutdowns, and hotspots, the privacy issues associated with various risk mitigation measures, the changing economics for all stake holders, the use of technology in venues and the evolving role of virtual reality, and the possibilities and pitfalls of re-imagining the venue, the performance and the live experience.

Moderator: Monika A. Tashman, Esq., Partner, Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, LLP


  • Dr. Emily Carrier, Senior Manager, Manatt Health

  • Jim Digby, CEO, Show Makers Inc.

  • Natalia Nastaskin, Esq., General Manager, Global Music Group, UTA

  • Bill Silva, Founder/CEO, Bill Silva Entertainment

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