On Saturday the 23rd of September, I headed to the prestigious Wigmore Hall (cue the chandeliers) for the Music Law Seminar.

The title of this post is just one of the many humorous lines from this incredibly insightful event, courtesy of Ian Penman.

For those who don’t know, I am a Law graduate who is interested in Entertainment, Intellectual Property and Media Law. This event was, as you might have guessed, right up my alley. It is extremely rare to find events that cater to this niche so you could imagine my surprise when I found out it was free.

The Music Law Seminar offered an opportunity to gain insight into the music industry covering a wide variety of topics including:

• Contracts (Management, Recording and Publishing)
• Copyrights
• Trademarks
• Collecting societies
• Running your own label and releasing your own music
• Independent distributors and aggregators

Additionally, there was a chance to network with industry professionals and the other attendees. For me, this led to what I hope will be the beginning of many amazing relationships and hopefully a few more reviews for you guys (wink wink nudge nudge ).

So now it boils down to the all-important question – what exactly did I do?

Let me break it down for you.

Session 1

During this interview by Funmi Olutoye, we really got to know Abi Lufadeju who is a qualfied solicitor, artist and the organiser of the event. We found out some of her motivations for putting the event together and gained a little bit of an insight of her journey so far.

Session 2

This was the first of the panel sessions on Music Recording, in which I got a brief Intellectual property refresher, learned why Stormzy is the poster boy for independent artists, and got no further on learning exactly what was covered in Stefflon Don’s deal. At this point it would be safe to assume that everyone in the industry is sworn to secrecy – I will be sure to update you if anything changes!

On the panel, we had Ryan J Bruce, Paul Stewart, Leeza Panayiotou and Emily Moxton. Discussion ranged from the types of deal available to an artist the different types of record label. Insightful indeed.

Session 3

Next up was the session on music publishing. Here we got the lowdown on collecting societies, copyright and key terms in a contract. We even had a brief discussion on Brexit! Let’s face it a lot of the laws concerning the music industry in the UK are centred around EU law so this was bound to come up sooner or later. On the panel, we had Ian Penman, Dorothea Thompson, Ally McCrae and Ebony Reid, who not only eloquently answered our questions but also made us laugh quite a bit too.

Session 4

Our final session was on music management. This session was specifically aimed at artists/Musicians covering the different types of managerial contracts, the difference between management and artist development and the qualities managers look for in artists. On the panel, we had Pete Bott, Amedeo Cappuccio, Ally Carballal and Daniel “unkle-d” Lewis.

Each session offered brilliant insight into the respective parts of the music industry. What I really appreciated is the transparency of the panelists. I genuninely felt honoured to be in a room filled with so many intellegent and likeminded individuals.

Special thanks to Abi Lufadeju, Afrotown Records, Wired4Music and all the panellists for making this an incredible learning experience.

Unkle-d, Abi Jenae and fellow panellists at the Music Law Seminar in wigmore Hall