Ron Mendelsohn, CEO and co-founder of Megatrax Production Music and secretary and co-founder of the Production Music Association (PMA), will be moderating a panel on legal considerations for music libraries at the upcoming Production Music Conference (PMC). The PMC “gathers movers and shakers from across the broad spectrum of our industry for a day full of learning and networking opportunities! Informative panels and presentations have been designed to equip stakeholders across the production music supply chain with tools and techniques for advancing their business and creative aspirations.”
Leading the pack of “informative panels” is Ron Mendelsohn’s “Blurred Lines: Legal Considerations for Music Libraries,” which asks: “Production music libraries are often asked for sound-alikes- but is it legal? What are the legal ramifications of re-titling? To what extent can loops and samples be incorporated into a library cue?” and will explore potential legal risks and pitfalls that all successful production music libraries must navigate in order to survive and thrive.
The Blurred Lines panel boasts an all-star lineup, featuring
- John Houlihan, music supervisor, President Guild of Music Supervisors
- David Helfant, attorney, Arpeggio Entertainment
- Cary Ginell, musicologist, Sound Thinking Music Research
- John Graham, composer
- Ron Mendelsohn, President & CEO, Megatrax (moderator)
Responding, in part, to the recent “Blurred Lines” case, Ron conceived of this panel to arm his peers with an awareness of the legal boundaries of inspiration and sampling when creating new work, respectful of the role inspiration plays in the creative process. In his recent article for the Megatrax Blog, “Will the Blurred Lines Decision ‘Stifle Creativity’?”, he said:
“Finding inspiration is not the same thing as plagiarism. Of course we must respect and enforce copyright law and protect creators from the threat of blatant infringement. For example, if a new work in toto appropriates an existing theme, melody, lyric or hook, a case for infringement may well be warranted. However creating a song with a similar ‘feel’ or ‘groove’ or using similar instrumentation or chords is simply not grounds for infringement since such elements are not protectable. Musical works are not created ‘out of the blue’; they do not appear out of nothingness like the big bang. Virtually nothing in music can be truly said to be 100% new and original. Every new work is sparked by inspiration and builds on what came before. We need to be vigilant about giving creators the freedom to find inspiration anywhere and thereby allowing the arts to flourish for future generations.”
The Production Music Conference will be held at the Directors Guild of America Theater Complex in Hollywood on September 9, 2015. The PMC is open to the public, and may be of special interest to composers, music publishers and music users including music supervisors and clients who license music for film, television and other media. Tickets are available now at pmamusic.com.
“Blurred Lines: Legal Considerations for Music Libraries,” will convene at 2pm the day of the conference.