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Copyright Corner


July 19, 2012

Time: 11:30 a.m. - 1:45 p.m.

The State of Copyright in 2012 - Assaults and Opportunities

For copyright owners and songwriters it is the best of times and the worst of times. With the 35 year reversion period upon us (for post – 1978 copyrights) many writers are exercising new found freedom and recent court cases, like the Eminem and Village People cases, are bolstering their positions. On the other hand copyright itself is under increasing attack from the powerful digital industry as evidenced by the death of the recent SOPA and PIPA legislation and Wikipedia boycott. Please join our esteemed panelists who will examine all sides of the current legal and legislative climate for copyright owners.


Sandra Aistars
Executive Director, Copyright Alliance

Richard S. Busch, Esq.
Partner, King & Ballow

Steven R. Lowy, Esq.
Partner, Isaacman, Kaufman & Painter

'East Bay' Ray
Songwriter, Dead Kennedys


Richard Feldman
President, Artists First Music/AIMP President

David Hirshland
EVP Client Services, BMG Chrysalis/AIMP Vice President

AIMP Panel

Place: View Map
Lawry's The Prime Rib
100 North La Cienega Blvd. (near Wilshire)
Beverly Hills, CA 90211

From left, David Hirshland, 'East Bay' Ray, Richard Feldman, Sandra Aistars, Steven Lowy and Richard Busch.

Photos by Liz Redwing, courtesy of Lawry's The Prime Rib, Beverly Hills. 

Additional Speaker Information

Sandra Aistars is the Executive Director of the Copyright Alliance, a non-profit, non-partisan educational organization of artists, producers and distributors from across the copyright spectrum. She is also the chairman of the Copyright Alliance Education Foundation, which provides copyright resources for K-12 educators and classrooms. She is a frequent speaker on intellectual property and new media topics at a variety of venues. Prior to joining the Alliance, Sandra served as Vice President and Associate General Counsel at Time Warner Inc. In her role at Time Warner Aistars coordinated the company’s intellectual property strategies; served as an expert to the U.S. Congress, the Copyright Office, and various departments and agencies; and represented the company in cross-industry coalitions and technology standards efforts. Aistars has also worked as a lawyer and lobbyist on intellectual property and technology issues at Weil, Gotshal & Manges, LLP, and served as the head of public relations and government affairs for a non-profit organization.

Richard S. Busch is a partner in the litigation section of King & Ballow, and has represented the prevailing party in many of the most high profile music cases of the last five years. In the action styled F.B.T. Productions, LLC v. Aftermath Records, et al., Mr. Busch represented the plaintiff in the landmark case in which the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit entered judgment in favor of F.B.T., finding that the agreements between record label Universal and digital download providers like iTunes, are licenses, and Eminem’s recording agreement entitles him and F.B.T. to 50% of Universal’s net receipts for sales by iTunes and others of Eminem songs. The full decision may be found at 2010 U.S. App. LEXIS 18450 (9th Cir. Sept. 3, 2010). On Monday, March 21, 2011, The United States Supreme Court entered an Order refusing to hear Universal’s appeal of that decision. Mr. Busch represented Bridgeport Music, Inc., and Westbound Records, Inc., in a copyright infringement action against Bad Boy Records, the record label owned by Sean “Diddy” Combs, and Universal Music in a trial that resulted in a $4.4 million jury award in favor of Bridgeport and Westbound, including a finding of willful copyright infringement against the defendants, all arising from the "sampling" of Bridgeport and Westbound's music in the Notorious B.I.G. song Ready To Die. This is one of the few cases where a punitive damage award was entered in a copyright infringement action.

Steven Lowy represents a wide range of clients in the music, film, television, multimedia, fine art and related areas. This broad spectrum includes the estates of jazz legends, musical instrument manufactures, independent record labels, award winning artists, composers and producers in almost every musical genre, as well as numerous independent filmmakers, film producers, distributors, financiers, screenwriters, actors, personal managers, talent and literary agencies, software developers, motivational speakers, clothing designers, fine artists and an organic gourmet food manufacturer. Mr. Lowy participates in many community oriented causes such as past director of Southern California Students of Performing Arts Foundation, participation in the Southwestern Law School and UCLA Mentor Programs, Senior Arbitrator for the Los Angeles County Bar Association Attorney/Client Relations Committee, and Judge Pro Tem, Beverly Hills Municipal Court. He was on the Board of Advisors to the California Institute for the Preservations of Jazz and a Director and President of The Strawberry Creek Music Festival and Wild Ginger Philharmonic Orchestra.

East Bay Ray is the guitarist of Dead Kennedys in addition to being a major songwriter for the band. The group specialized in such scalding-yet-witty political/social commentary classics as "California Uber Alles," "Holiday in Cambodia," "Police Truck," and "Moon Over Marin." He was also instrumental in setting up and running the band's independent business from the beginning and they still function with an independent ethic to this day. In a monumental achievement, considering the recording was released on independent labels, "Give Me Convenience or Give Me Death" is a certified Gold Record in both the United States and the United Kingdom. East Bay Ray is currently ranked #1 on Rankopedia.com's Greatest Punk Guitar Players Ever.

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