“The most fun I have ever had at a CLE presentation in more than 30 years of practice.”
“This was by far the best CLE class that I ever attended."
“I have attended other seminars on copyright law and your webinar was far and away superior to any of them.”
"This is not your average, boring CLE!"
"It’s not 'regular' CLE ... I’m inspired."
"It was engaging, entertaining, and enlightening. I highly recommend it."
"Jim’s CLE presentations are the best I have ever attended in over 40 years of practicing law."
CLE courses

Rock N' Roll Law offers a variety of entertaining and educational courses for lawyers and musicians interested in a deeper understanding of music copyright law.

upcoming courses

Rock N' Roll CLE Courses

GA-MT-TX: The Zeppelin CLE--The Essentials of Music Copyright Law with Ethics

We will cover everything you need to know about music copyright law with an hour of ethics, all based on Zeppelin's career. 

CAROLINAS: The Zeppelin CLE--The Essentials of Music Copyright Law with Ethics

We will cover everything you need to know about music copyright law with an hour of ethics, all based on Zeppelin's career. 

course Descriptions

The basic course is offered using either The Beatles or Eagles career as a case study, including an hour of ethics.

3-8 hours

The basic course is meant to give attendees an overview of music copyright law concepts, but drilling down when necessary to discuss the sources of revenue songs can generate and other pertinent areas.

Introduction to Music Copyright Law covers the basics of music copyright law, including how to establish and register a copyright for your music, and what is a copyright and how to get one. Attendees will also explore the exclusive rights you get when you have a copyright and what those basic rights mean under federal law. We’ll explore how the music industry has changed over the years and how that affects the law. All the while, we listen to music and audio clips to elaborate on the law.

We will also focus on some of the most famous copyright cases and listen to the songs in question. Webinar attendees can listen on their own computer during the class. We will also explore some current copyright cases in the news. You will learn the basic rules regarding proving a copyright infringement case, along with defenses such as fair use, and damages in a copyright action.

Lastly, we will delve into future issues of music streaming, sampling. The course will also explore user-generated content; performing rights organizations role in music; and, the future of copyright lawsuits ad how songs are built could lead to future controversies.

Ethics Portion

The ethics portion of the Music Copyright CLE focuses in on the unique issues faced when representing an organization. The presenter has first-hand experience in this area as a former General Counsel to a company. The one-hour ethics portion focuses even more particularly on representing a band or artist and uses the final few years of The Beatles or The Eagles as a case study. Specific emphasis is placed on the ABA’s Model Rules of Professional Conduct (MRPC) 1.7 (conflict of interest—current client); 1.13 (Organization as a client); 1.14 (Client with Diminished Capacity); and 2.1 (Role as Advocate). Further, we review the ethical issues in the “My Sweet Lord” copyright infringement case.

3-5 hours

Intro to Music Copyright Law Through a Song: The Story of “Hallelujah”

If you are interested in taking one of our music copyright CLE courses, but are unable to attend a live event, you are in luck. In addition to live CLE courses, Rock N' Roll Law offers a number of on demand CLE options.

Use the button below to learn more about on demand Rock N' Roll Law CLE courses.

2-3 hours

The Exclusive Rights you Get with a Copyright

This course focuses on the rights any songwriter gets under Federal law once they write a song, such as reproduction, distribution, public performance, digital distribution, derivatives, and public display. We will focus on the multiple revenue streams that songs generate and how musicians can take advantage of those.

Further, we will discuss how each right affects each particular copyright in a song. Particular emphasis is focused on mechanical royalties, performance royalties, licensing, and publishing.

1-2 hours

The Top 10 Music Copyright Cases of All Time

A review of the legal standards in copyright cases, defenses, and potential damages before moving on the countdown of the Top Ten Music Copyright Cases of All-Time from George Harrison to Sam Smith; from Led Zeppelin to Robin Thicke; from John Fogarty to Coldplay.

1-2 hours

The Two Copyrights in a Song: The looming battle over Sound Recordings

An in-depth look at the two copyrights in a song and the looming battle over termination rights and why it’s important to own both copyrights if you’re a musician. This more advanced course examines whether sound recordings constitute “works-made-for-hire” and the issue surrounding that.

1-2 hours

How Songs Are Built and Copyright Infringement Cases

This course discusses how songs are built (and why they all seem to sound alike) and how this effects music copyright standards and cases. We will listen to lots of examples of songs sounding alike and common ways songs are written.

1 hour

Introduction to Music Copyright Concepts

This course focuses on basic music copyright concepts such as record labels, the two “worlds” of music, and music publishing. We will discuss the origins of copyright law, why have copyrights and what is a copyright. We will focus on registering your work and why it is important to do so, along with step-by-step instructions on how to fill out the proper forms.

1-2 hours

Music Sampling, Derivative Works in a Digital Age

With the increasing prevalence of sampling in pop music, hip hop, and DJ culture, what are the legal parameters and consequences, and where does fair use fit into this growing area of law.

fans rave

Praise For Rock N' Roll Law

Clara Diaz

Florida Attorney

“Outstanding class. A fascinating review of music history combined with the legal mechanics of the music business. The most fun I have ever had at a CLE presentation in more than 30 years of practice.”

5 of 5 stars
Greg J. Winsky

New Jersey Attorney

“Great program! I have attended other seminars on copyright law, including one by a law firm that represents clients in the music industry, and your webinar was far and away superior to any of them.”

5 of 5 stars
Kenneth R. Pyle

Pennsylvania Attorney

“I have been suffering through CLE classes for the past 20 years.  This was by far the best CLE class that I ever attended.  I stayed awake, paid attention, and greatly enjoyed your CLE.  I learned some stuff along the way as well.”

5 of 5 stars
Bradley Pistotnik

Wichita, KS

“I attended this CLE to assist my daughter who is a new and aspiring artist. I was impressed by the amount of new intellectual information I learned. Great presentation!

5 of 5 stars
Colleen Schaller

Philadelphia, PA

“Least boring CLE ever! Any CLE that plays clips and music from Seinfeld and the Big Lebowski is ok by me.”

5 of 5 stars
Lamar Oxford

Orlando, FL

“I’ve been to over a hundred CLE Seminars in my 40 years of practice, but never enjoyed one as much as yesterday’s in Orlando. Thank you for the smart and hilarious presentation, esp. about The Beatles.  John, Paul & George are heroes of mine.”

5 of 5 stars
Christine Mason

Portland, OR

“If all CLEs were this good, lawyers would spend all their time in auditoriums. ”

5 of 5 stars
Susan Loy

Wichita, KS

“Excellent and extremely interesting. Best CLE I’ve ever attended.”

5 of 5 stars
Julianne Dunn-Herzog

Omaha, NE

“I really enjoyed the seminar.  It took me out of my routine of criminal law and put me into another world.”

5 of 5 stars

"One of the best seminars I have attended in the last 40 years. Interesting, entertaining, and jam-packed with the material you really need. Great value! "

Tom Korbee, Louisville attorney
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