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In this video, Berklee Online instructor E. Michael Harrington discusses the roles of lawyers and judges in copyright law cases. Before you even begin this process though, if you’re the plaintiff, you’ll want to examine whether or not it would even be possible that the person that you think may have infringed upon your copyright would have been able to have had access to your composition. If so, then you’ll want to lawyer up! Choosing the right lawyer is crucial: You’ll want to ask yourself if the lawyer is in a practice that has been involved in a lot of copyright cases. When an artist accuses another artist of stealing their song, the lawyer first has to take a good listen to the two songs in question. You then have to have all your facts straight in the case in order for the lawyer to move forward. The lawyers will also often be in charge of hiring expert witnesses. Since this is a federal issue, the judge is the one who has the final say in these cases, so you’ll need to act with the appropriate amount of respect.
About E. Michael Harrington:
Dr. E. Michael Harrington is a professor in music copyright and intellectual property matters. He has lectured at many law schools, organizations, and music conferences throughout North America, including Harvard Law, George Washington University Law, Hollywood Bar Association, Texas Bar, Minnesota Bar, Houston Law Center, Brooklyn Law, BC Law, Loyola Law, NYU, McGill, Eastman, Emory, the Experience Music Project, Future of Music Coalition, Pop Montreal, and others. He has worked as a consultant and expert witness in hundreds of music copyright matters including efforts to return “We Shall Overcome” and “This Land Is Your Land” to the public domain, and has worked with director Steven Spielberg, producer Mark Burnett, the Dixie Chicks, Steve Perry, Busta Rhymes, Samsung, Keith Urban, HBO, T-Pain, T. I., Snoop Dogg, Collin Raye, Tupac Shakur, Lady Gaga, George Clinton, Mariah Carey, and others. He sits on the editorial board of the Journal of Popular Culture, advisory board of the Future of Music Coalition and the Creators Freedom Project, and is a member of Leadership Music. Michael has been interviewed by the New York Times, CNN, Bloomberg Law, Wall Street Journal, Time, Huffington Post, Billboard, USA Today, Rolling Stone, Money Magazine, Investor’s Business Daily, People Magazine, Life Magazine, and Washington Post, in addition to BRAVO, PBS, ABC News, NBC’s “Today Show,” the Biography Channel, NPR, CBC and others. He teaches Music Business Capstone and Music Licensing courses at Berklee Online, and is the course author and instructor for Music Business Law, part of the curriculum for Berklee Online’s Master of Art in Music Business degree.
About Berklee Online:
Berklee Online is the continuing education division of Berklee College of Music, delivering online access to Berklee’s acclaimed curriculum from anywhere in the world, offering online courses, certificate programs, and degree programs. Contact an Academic Advisor today:
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