Veteran music attorney Dina LaPolt discusses advocating for songwriters’ rights and working on historic Music Modernization Act
Dina LaPolt sheds the light on her approach to business, the importance of independence to be trusted and influential, as well as the need for artists to stay true to themselves to succeed and have an impact in our world.
Dina LaPolt is a top music attorney who owns her own law firm representing numerous high-profile artists. Dina is an expert at strategizing and solving complex and sophisticated legal and business issues relating to contracts, copyrights, trademarks, rights of publicity, and litigation. She is also intimately involved in legislative advocacy on behalf of music creators, serving as the attorney advisor to the Songwriters of North America (SONA), an organization for which she was a catalyst, and as one of the advisors to the GRAMMY Creators Alliance. Most recently, Dina LaPolt was recognized on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives for her role in spearheading the Orrin G. Hatch-Bob Goodlatte Music Modernization Act, a copyright bill which was signed into law on October 11, 2018. This marks just another honor in her illustrious career championing for the rights of songwriters and creators – a career highlighted by the orchestration of SONA’s lawsuit against the Department of Justice for its 100% licensing mandate and resulting in the DOJ halting its assertions and ultimately deciding not to pursue its claims. Dina even presented a TED Talk on the importance of standing up for songwriters.
For the 18th consecutive year, Dina LaPolt taught her UCLA Extension class, “Legal and Practical Aspects of the Music Business.” Billboard called the class an “industry must-attend” and a “breeding ground for some of the music industry’s best and brightest.”
Dina LaPolt has been honored with numerous industry accolades including Billboard’s Power 100, Women in Music, and Music’s Most Powerful Attorneys; the Hollywood Reporter’s Top Music Business Attorneys; and Variety’s Legal Impact Report and Women’s Impact Report. Notably, Dina earned recognition for her work on the MMA as Midem’s as 2018 Top Lawyer, one the 2018 Executives of the Year for Billboard’s Women in Music, and the Recording Academy’s 2019 Entertainment Law Initiative’s Service Award recipient.
LaPolt Law, P.C. is a boutique law firm specializing in intellectual property and entertainment law. Our attorneys address the needs of clients, both domestically and internationally and offer a broad array of experience in music and the arts. LaPolt Law focuses on personalized service, quick response time, and a creative billing practice that always considers the objective of the client and the results that need to be achieved.
The business mission of LaPolt Law is to create a reputable, artistic, resourceful, and dynamic law firm that is focused on assisting our clients in running their entertainment related businesses as well as being a conduit, on their behalf, to the entertainment industry at large.
The attorneys and staff at LaPolt Law enjoy a stimulating and creative environment that, combined with passion for music and the arts, result in long lasting and beneficial business relationships with our clients. Our flexible approach to representing our clients enables us to create quality solutions and profitable business opportunities that are mutually beneficial to all.
Both professional and relaxed, the creative culture of LaPolt Law strives to embrace all its members equally. There is an inherent understanding of each person’s role and contribution within the firm. Respect for the different experiences of each member is paramount to the firm’s ability to be of service to a diverse client roster. The firm encourages all its members to step forward with new ideas so that the firm can stand out among the rest.
What is Midem Music Talks about?
Midem Music Talks helps you face the main challenges and key trends shaping the future of the international music business via exclusive content from the Midem conference programme.
Every month, our conference team presents visionary conversations with the most respected decision makers of the global music industry to share insightful business tips, case studies, and technical solutions.
Listen to this Midem Music Talks on Deezer, Spotify and Apple Podcasts!
Here’s a selection of the most insightful quotes or anecdotes from her talk:
“I was the bully. I would do my best Claire Underwood and fly in to Washington and would talk to both sides of the isle. And because I was free, I had a lot of influence on the politicians so they would always say “Get Dina on the phone and check that, see if someone’s telling the truth”, because they all knew that I was free. I figured out that because all of my efforts were pro-bono, even though it was a hardship on me personally, and I spent over $200.000 of my own money over the past few years doing this.”
“We all have to work together, because it doesn’t matter if you’re YouTube or you’re Spotify or you’re the record companies, everybody values music. And the bottom line is that they all built their companies on the backs of music creators. Let’s be real. And nobody wants the music creators to run out of existence. But at the end of the day, everybody has to work together to come up with solutions to be able to pay creators a fair wage in today’s digital marketplace. And you know, all of the music business now is governed by metadata and algorithms so it now even more important that we work together to achieve common goals and what we’re going to do to build on that.”
“For the artists in the room, the most important thing is to be true to yourself. I mean, look at Billie Eilish: she is true to herself! Look at this girl! Has she compromised on one thing? Hells no! Did Lady Gaga compromise anything when she started? No way! Did Steven Tyler? No way! We are about the music and the music changes the world, and it makes people think. It’s like if Tupac came up here and started talking about things that were irrelevant, rap music would’ve never crossed-over. He came up and started talking about underage pregnancy and “will we ever see a black president?” and people started listening to what he had to say and, guess what, it created a movement! If anything is going to change the world, it’s music! So for every artist in the room: never compromise yourself and keep going!”