The New Orleans Business Alliance and the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Foundation teamed up to present a workshop on the mechanics – and the importance – of properly registering music copyrights at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Foundation on Jan. 23, 2019. Bounce artist Big Freedia, film composer Jay Weigel, and music manager Robin Burgess were among the presenters at this Sync Up workshop on licensing music to film and TV projects.
This workshop was the first step in a multi-phase effort to help more New Orleans artists get their music into film and TV productions. By watching this workshop, musicians and songwriters will have the opportunity to learn why it’s important to register copyrights and how to do it. And they’ll get access to free help in getting copyrights registered, steep discounts on the cost of registering them plus help networking with those who are in a position to pay money for the use of those copyrighted songs.
“Nearly all New Orleans musicians and composers want to license their music for use in films, TV productions, commercials and videogames,” said Don Marshall, Executive Director of the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Foundation. “But films, video games, and the like won’t consider music that isn’t properly copyrighted, something many local artists neglect to do.”
The workshop features an interview with bounce rap star Big Freedia and her manager, Reid Martin of Midcitizen Entertainment, focusing on making a profitable business from a career as a musician – including licensing music to film and TV productions. It starts with a panel discussion that explains the proper steps for registering copyrights for music, along with an overview of how best to approach film and TV productions for licensing music to them.
Panelists include Robin Burgess, manager of Terence Blanchard and Quiana Lynell; film composer Jay Weigel; entertainment attorney Tim Kappel; and Victoria Adams Phipps of the New Orleans Business Alliance. Those who attended were able to sign up for free assistance sessions with the ELLA Project, a nonprofit that uses volunteer lawyers to help New Orleans artists protect their copyrights.
In these sessions, attorneys will help musicians and songwriters not only organize their catalogs, but also take the necessary steps to register their copyrights. In addition, the first 50 artists who registered for this workshop and attended an ELLA Project assistance session earned a grant from the New Orleans Business Alliance to substantially offset the fees for registering copyrights.
“Economic development only matters because people matter. For too long, local musicians who are important parts of making New Orleans known across the globe have not been fully able to realize the financial fruits of their artistry. We want to help change that,” said Quentin L. Messer, Jr. president and CEO of the New Orleans Business Alliance. “When we increase the earnings of local musicians, we not only begin to recognize their value to our economy but also we position our city to be more economically competitive for everyone.”