The Production Music Conference (PMC) will be held at the Directors Guild of America Theater Complex in Hollywood on September 9. 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.
Ron Mendelsohn, CEO/co-founder of Megatrax Production Music and secretary/co-founder of the Production Music Association, will be moderating a panel on legal considerations for music libraries at the event. Mendelsohn’s “Blurred Lines: Legal Considerations for Music Libraries,” asks: “Production music libraries are often asked for sound-a-likes, 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?” It will also cover potential legal risks and pitfalls that all successful production music libraries must navigate in order to survive and thrive.
The Blurred Lines panel features John Houlihan, music supervisor/ president of Guild of Music Supervisors; David Helfant, attorney, Arpeggio Entertainment; Cary Ginell, musicologist, Sound Thinking Music Research; and John Graham, composer.
Mendelsohn conceived of this panel to arm his peers with an awareness of the legal boundaries of inspiration and sampling when creating new work, while remaining 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.”