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Entertainment Law 2020: Sound Recordings and Music Publishing

Speaker(s): Bob Donnelly, Julie Swidler, Linda A. Newmark, Madhavi Tandon Batliboi, Michael Abitbol, Michael Guido
Recorded on: Feb. 24, 2020
PLI Program #: 277588

Julie Swidler is Executive Vice President, Business Affairs and General Counsel for Sony Music Entertainment, where she oversees business, legal and governmental affairs for the company globally.

Julie has been a multiple recipient of Billboard’s Top Women in Music honor, Billboard’s Power 100 in Music list, and honored by the ELI Grammy Foundation and at the T.J. Martell Foundation’s New York Honors.  She serves on the board of the T.J. Martell Foundation, Board of Trustees of Union College, and is a frequent speaker on Entertainment Industry issues. 

Julie started her career in the music business in 1988 at PolyGram Records as Senior Attorney, rising to Assistant General Counsel and Vice President-Assistant General Counsel, North America, and Head of Business Affairs for Mercury Records before leaving to join Clive Davis at Arista and later J Records. 

Julie holds a B.A. in Political Science from Union College and a J.D. from Cardozo Law School, where she was a member of the Cardozo Law review.  She is married with three children and resides in New York City.        

Linda A. Newmark is Executive Vice President – Head of Acquisitions and Strategic Projects for Universal Music Publishing Group.  Linda obtains opportunities for Universal Music Publishing Group to acquire rights to musical compositions and music publishing catalogues, evaluates and negotiates acquisition, administration and subpublishing agreements, and promotes the general business development of the company.  Linda is based in Universal Music Publishing Group’s Los Angeles offices.

Before joining Universal, Linda was Vice President, Business Affairs for PolyGram Music Publishing and handled the drafting and negotiation of songwriter and co-publishing agreements, as well as other legal and business affairs matters for PolyGram.  Previously, Linda was a music attorney with the law firm of Cooper, Epstein & Hurewitz in Beverly Hills.  She received her law degree from Stanford Law School.

Linda serves on the Music and Entertainment Industry Executive Committee for the City of Hope Medical Center, and is a member of the Board of Directors of the Association of Independent Music Publishers (AIMP).  Linda is also a member of the Board of Managers of Associated Production Music LLC (APM), and the Board of Managers of The Leonard Bernstein Music Publishing Company, LLC, and was a member of the Board of Visitors of Stanford Law School (2007 - 2010).  Linda has been recognized in Billboard’s Women in Music feature as one of the top 25 female executives in the music industry (2009 – 2013).

Michael Guido is a Senior Partner with Carroll Guido Groffman Cohen Bar & Karalian, LLP, a New York and Los Angeles based entertainment law firm specializing in the music industry

Michael has been practicing entertainment law since he graduated from the New York Law School in 1980. He has shared his experience publicly numerous times throughout the years and was featured on the PBS Frontline special “The Day the Music Died” in 2005.  That same year, he was awarded the Spirit of Liberty Award by People for the American Way along with his partners, Rosemary Carroll and Elliot Groffman, for the firm’s advocacy of artists’ rights.

Carroll Guido Groffman Cohen Bar & Karalian, LLP is considered to be one of the preeminent law firm in the music industry.

For more than forty years, Bob has represented music industry clients, including artists, managers, record companies, music publishers, producers, studios, concert promotors and venues, as well as, media and technology companies.

During this time, he has counseled an eclectic group of artists and managers of artists who have collectively sold more than 250 million albums.  Several of Bob’s clients have been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the Jazz Hall of Fame, while others have won awards such as the Pulitzer Prize and MacArthur Foundation “Genius” grants.

Early in his career Bob served as in-house counsel for Leber-Krebs which launched the careers of Aerosmith, AC/DC, Def Leppard, Parliament-Funkadelic and many other well-known recording artists.

In his home county of Westchester, NY, Bob has served as a Justice of the Peace.  He’s also a trained mediator and has been an arbitrator on more than 100 entertainment law related disputes.

In 2005, Bob formed a music publishing company with composer, Dan Coleman, called Modern Works Music.  Today, Modern Works is the 25th largest music publisher in the United States and one of the top three companies devoted exclusively to music publishing administration.

During his career, Bob has won numerous awards and was named to Billboard Magazine’s very first list of the top attorneys in the music industry. Bob frequently speaks at law schools and music industry conferences, such as “SXSW”.  He is often quoted on music law issues in The New York Times, Rolling Stone and other publications.

Bob is famous for his New York wise guy sense of humor exemplified by the desk plaques he has given to many of his colleagues that read: “Become An Entertainment Lawyer.  Touch Paper Touched By Superstars.”

Maddy heads up the North America (and India) commercial music legal team at Facebook.  In this role, she and her team work on music deals for Facebook, including with labels, publishers, collection societies and distribution partners. 

Maddy has a JD from Columbia Law School and a bachelor’s degree in Economics from Brandeis University. Prior to Facebook, Maddy was a commercial counsel on the music legal team at Google.  Maddy started her career as an associate at Morrison & Foerster LLP, specializing in technology and content deals.

Michael Abitbol is currently Senior Vice President, Business & Legal Affairs, Digital for Sony/ATV Music Publishing. In this role, Michael is involved in managing Sony/ATV Music Publishing's digital business, which includes negotiating license agreements with digital services for the exploitation of Sony/ATV's catalog of compositions in various digital formats. Michael is also involved in various issues related to Section 115 rate setting and public performance rights.

Prior to joining Sony/ATV, Michael worked at EMI Music Publishing for five years overseeing its digital business.  Prior to working at EMI, Michael was an associate at Davis & Gilbert LLP for seven years, where he drafted and negotiated various entertainment and advertising-related agreements.

Prior to practicing law, Michael worked for 21st Century Artists, a music management company based in New York City, where he handled the day-to-day management of various music groups including Maxi Priest, Third World and Big Mountain, and where he oversaw all aspects of the production of various live tours. Michael has also been a drummer in several bands, and he was a DJ for the George Washington University’s student-run radio station for 4 years during college.