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Copyright Corner


February 24, 2020

Time: 2:00pm - 3:30pm

Inspiration vs. Plagiarism: The State of Music Composition Copyright Infringements

Join us for this afternoon panel with music lawyers Ken Abdo, Derek Crownover, Lauren Kilgore, Philip Kirkpatrick, and Tim Warnock.

This panel of infringement litigation music lawyers will discuss the statutes and cases that form the foundations and current state of music composition infringement law. Legal information will be augmented with observations, opinions and predictions from these exceptionally experienced advocates.


Kenneth Abdo
Partner, Fox Rothschild LLP

Derek Crownover
Partner, Loeb & Loeb, LLP

Lauren Kilgore
Partner, Shackelford, Bowen, McKinley & Norton, LLP

Philip Kirkpatrick
Special Counsel, Adams and Reese, LLC

Tim Warnock
Partner, Riley Warnock & Jacobson, PLC


Kenneth Abdo
Partner, Fox Rothschild LLP

AIMP Panel

Place: View Map
CMA Event Space
35 Music Square E
Nashville, TN 37203



Additional Speaker Information

KENNETH ABDO - For more than 30 years, Ken has served as legal counsel to artists, creators and businesses in music, film, TV, theater, media and publishing. His clients include prominent individuals, collaborators and businesses in the creative and commercial arts, including multiple Grammy® award recipients, gold and platinum recording artists, Emmy® and other award winners. His commitment to advocacy has vaulted him to national leadership positions with The Recording Academy, the American Bar Association and other organizations. Ken's practice spans across all media and entertainment platforms. Harnessing his years of experience as a musician and entertainer, Ken has extensive experience working with developing, established and legacy artists as well as their estates. Prior to joining Fox, Ken was the founder and chair of the Entertainment Law Department of Minneapolis-based Lommen Abdo, P.A. He was also an adjunct professor of Entertainment Law at Mitchell Hamline School of Law in Saint Paul, Minnesota.

DEREK CROWNOVER is a recognized leader in the music, entertainment, sports and media industries, counseling publishing companies, independent record labels, singers and songwriters who own their copyrights, and music publishing administration companies on licensing, liability matters and related litigation. He also counsels clients on recording agreements, employment agreements, LLC funding deals, real estate deals, asset purchase agreements and trusts and estates matters. In addition to his work as a metaphorical “primary care physician” for his music, corporate and tech clients, Derek also advises several sports-related businesses and athletes. With strong ties to the local Nashville community, Crownover is national counsel for the T.J. Martell Foundation, pro bono counsel for the New Children First Montessori Community School, and a former adjunct professor of entertainment law at the Curb Music Business School at Belmont University.

LAUREN KILGORE - Lauren is an experienced entertainment and business litigation attorney. Lauren’s practice is focused on entertainment law, intellectual property, and commercial litigation in both state and federal courts. Lauren also handles a wide variety of transactional entertainment matters on behalf of both artists and corporate entities. Lauren has successfully tried jury and non-jury cases in state and federal court, and excels at handling a variety of complex litigation matters and sophisticated entertainment and business issues, regularly representing both individuals and corporations. In addition, Lauren routinely drafts, reviews, and negotiates agreements concerning variety of intellectual property matters, including license agreements, trademarks, copyrights, rights of publicity, general releases, distribution agreements, publishing agreements, recording agreements, artist development agreements, and management agreements, among others. Lauren also handles online media issues and crisis management for individuals and corporate clients. Lauren has conducted numerous depositions, hearings, mediations, and other litigation/dispute resolution proceedings. Lauren and her husband live in the Cherokee Park neighborhood of Nashville with their three daughters, Josephine, Scarlett, and Arabella. Lauren enjoys playing the fiddle in her spare time, and is an avid bluegrass fan.

PHILIP KIRKPATRICK - A federal court litigator for almost 40 years, Phil Kirkpatrick focuses on cases related to entertainment, intellectual property/technology, products liability and commercial matters. He is also a Tennessee Supreme Court Rule 31-listed general civil mediator. With a great deal of experience handling legal issues encountered by individuals and entities in the music industry, Phil has represented artists, songwriters, producers, musicians, managers and major music groups including labels, publishers and merchandisers. He and Linda Howard in the firm’s Music Row office also handle copyright termination and recapture litigation, which is a fast growing and very significant practice area in a songwriter town like Nashville. As a former 7-to-midnight rock ‘n roll disc jockey and drummer in two bands, Phil draws on his own experience in the music industry to help artists and others with their legal issues. Phil counsels clients in a broad range of commercial disputes, including restrictive covenants and numerous other contractual matters, as well as soft intellectual property (copyright and trademark) and trade secret cases. In products liability work Phil represents manufacturers, sellers and others dealing with issues stemming from fires, explosions and other accidents. In addition, Phil defends leading small appliance manufacturers, power tool manufacturers, and numerous other product manufacturers. With his wide ranging and blended practice areas, Phil gets satisfaction from handling both litigation involving intellectual properties in the music and entertainment industries, as well as the science-driven litigation on the products liability side involving engineering, design, materials and failure analysis—more the world of linear thinkers and the scientific method. In the community, Phil serves as an active voting member of the Country Music Association, and participated for six years as a Board of Trustees member and as General Counsel to Harding Academy, a K-8 Independent School in Nashville. Phil has also served on the Board of Directors of the Tennessee Art League in Nashville.

TIM WARNOCK is a member of Riley Warnock & Jacobson, PLC. He is licensed to practice in Tennessee, Florida and New York. He is a former Chair of the Tennessee Bar Association’s Sports & Entertainment Law Section and of the Nashville Bar Association’s Intellectual Property Law and Sports & Entertainment Law Committees. He is an alumnus of Leadership Music. He is a member of The American Board of Trial Advocates and a former President of the Tennessee Chapter. Tim, who has practiced law since 1987, has represented music publishers, record labels, recording artists and others in cases involving allegations of copyright infringement, trademark infringement, breach of contract and various business torts rising in the entertainment industry.

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