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This Law Goes To 11

Duff Berschback By Duff Berschback

2001, Duff Berschback. All Rights Reserved. Used By Permission.

**PLEASE NOTE: Like any good lawyer, Duff has become incredibly busy! This means that unfortunately, he's no longer able to write articles for The Muse's Muse. Meanwhile, his previous articles and Q&A's are still available for viewing. And The Muse's Muse is extremely grateful for all of the time Duff has already spent on our behalf. Thanks, Duff!

Greetings. I'm Duff Berschback, an entertainment lawyer, and this column is devoted to the legal aspects of our business, with the primary goal of education. My aims are to inform and stimulate discussion about common music-related legal considerations, with an emphasis on songwriting and publishing. Everyone has heard horror stories about creative types drawing the short straw in this business, and hopefully this column will help on that score. I know most readers don't write songs to make money, and I'm not here to convince anyone to treat the craft "like a business". However, to the extent that knowledge is power, hopefully you'll find a few tidbits to help protect yourself. One final and important thought: as they say on radio, "This is a test, this is only a test", i.e. don't take anything in this column as actual legal advice. Please, please consult a lawyer (preferably a competent one) for such advice.

As this Column is a public resource of general information, no information in it or in response to questions is intended to be legal advice or create an attorney-client relationship. If you want legal advice, seek the advice of competent counsel. The author does not wish to represent anyone desiring representation based upon viewing this site in a jurisdiction where this Web site fails to comply with all laws and ethical rules of that jurisdiction. Really important: do NOT disclose any confidential information in any question submitted or other inquiry as if the author was your attorney. The author consults individually with potential clients and enters into a written engagement agreement before representing any client. Lastly, certification as an entertainment law specialist is not currently available in Tennessee. Whew.

A short bio


  • MOCA: An Overview - Information about the proposed Music Online Competition Act, a bill that would affect songwriters and their interests if it is passed into law in the future. Read on to find out how!
  • Napster: Now Or Never? - Current affairs in the world of Napster. Will the judges' decision spell the end of this popular file sharing program or will Napster find a way to persist? Drop a line with your opinion, and please include your thoughts on what songwriters should do in response to all this change.
  • Future of Music Coalition - Conference Report - This first article is designed to summarize a few of the conference issues discussed at the recent Future of Music Coalition conference that took place in Washington, D.C., and to serve as a springboard for future columns based on questions about these topics.


A short bio:
Duff Berschback is an entertainment lawyer in Nashville, TN. He represents singers, songwriters, publishers, and other assorted industry types, with a particular focus on digital entertainment and new media. He spends spare time hanging with his family, playing with his Lab, reading, and, of course, listening to music. A bit scattershot in his musical taste, at any given time he can be found listening to Bach or Martina McBride, Wagner or Robert Johnson, Muddy Waters or (old) U2, Dire Straits or Dwight Yoakum, The Rolling Stones or Frank Sinatra, and (old) Van Halen or George Winston, among others.

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