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The Music Biz And The Law

Brian Corber By Brian Corber

2007-2008, Brian Lee Corber. All Rights Reserved. Used By Permission (Please do not reprint without asking permission!)

Hi, there.  My guess is that if you're reading this message, you want to create music.  Perhaps you are a songwriter, a composer, a lyricist or performer.  Someone once told me that a great film composer has once told him:  "You're not in the music business, you are a music business."  And that's what I'll be focusing on here.  Many of you are artists, but this is the music BUSINESS.  And unless you take care of the business part or get someone to do that for you, you may as well do your music on a street corner for quarters from the bystanders. 

The music business is evolving constantly, 24/7 and keeping up with all of that evolution is nearly impossible.  And the music business isn't just writing songs - it's also composing music for films, TV shows, cable shows, video games, and it's still about composing for the concert hall, or musical theater, or even opera (although that is very rare these days).  Some music creators cross-over from one genre to another--and if you want to make a business out of this so that your passion also pays your bills and feeds your family, you can't box yourself in to only one genre.

So, what I'll speak of will pertain to the business part of things and I won't stay inside the box as to any part of that business.  You need peripheral vision to see all of it--and also keep an eye on technology, and the entertainment business as a whole.

I hope to use this column to help you with that.

A short bio

Articles:

A short bio:
Brian Lee Corber is an attorney in Los Angeles, California.  He's been practicing law for nearly 30 years but got enlisted in the music law area in the late 20th century when he was told about an organization called ASCAP and how it operated.  Since then he has been focusing on such organizations but expanded his focus to include everything that goes on in the music biz, from new technology to webcasting to financial core status issues vs. the American Federation of Musicians and more developing on a daily basis.  Corber tries to keep track of everything going on because he believes that even the smallest, most irrelevant detail could matter. 

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