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Music Law Research Guide

This guide provides resources relevant to legal issues commonly faced by artists and the music industry, such as copyright, licensing, and antitrust law.


Public Policy Research & Analysis

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Other Resources

The following is a collection of Web sites maintained by music industry, artist, and advocacy organizations. Some are designed to be neutral and educational, while others may have a specific bias or agenda.

  • American Bar Association, Forum on the Entertainment and Sports Industries
    The Forum describes itself as ,the largest national organization in the entertainment and sports law area. It has ten divisions devoted to specialty areas, including a Music & Personal Appearances division, and a Motion Pictures, Television, Cable, and Radio division.
  • American Federation of Musicians (AFM)
    Labor union representing the interests of professional musicians in the United States and Canada.
  • American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP)
    ASCAP is a "membership association of more than 300,000 U.S. composers, songwriters, lyricists, and music publishers of every kind of music. ASCAP is the only U.S. performing rights organization created and controlled by composers, songwriters and music publishers, with a Board of Directors elected by and from the membership."
  • Broadcast Music, Inc. (BMI)
    Like ASCAP, BMI is a performance rights organization that collects music performance royalties on behalf of recording artists, songwriters and performers.
  • Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF)
    EFF is a non-profit advocacy group involved in litigation and lobbying for the public interest and civil liberties in the digital world.
  • Future of Music Coalition
    "Future of Music Coalition is a national nonprofit organization that works to ensure a diverse musical culture where artists flourish, are compensated fairly for their work, and where fans can find the music they want."
  • Music Publishers Association
    Industry association representing the interests of sheet music publishers.
  • Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA)
    Provides information on the issues affecting the recording industry and access to results of research by the RIAA.
  • Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA)
    Labor union representing performers, journalists, and artists in entertainment and news media.
  • Society of European Stage Authors and Composers (SESAC)
    Although it is smaller than both ASCAP and BMI, SESAC is a third music performance rights organization in the United States.
  • SoundExchange
    SoundExchange is similar to ASCAP and other performance rights organizations, and collects royalties for digital performances on satellite radio, Internet radio, and cable television.
  • Music Copyright Infringement Resource (GW Law & Columbia Law School)
    Provides information about music copyright infringement cases from the mid-nineteenth century​ forward in the U.S. and, to an increasing extent, in foreign jurisdictions.