Legal services in music and entertainment
I can help you with the negotiation of recording contracts, including artist contracts, licences, distribution, artistic production and sponsoring agreements, etc., as well as resolving problems or negotiating a release from your contract. Who can negotiate a recording contract? This is something no manager should ever do without the help of a lawyer! At the very most, managers are capable of understanding what contracts say but not what they don’t say: to be able to do that, they would need training in the world of contracts, undertakings and obligations, as well as copyright, something they normally don’t have. Indeed, not even a lawyer without specific knowledge of the music business and its usual standards, practices, rates and profit margins is in a position to provide a truly comprehensive service. Here are just some of the artists with whom I’ve worked: Amaia, Amaral, CantaJuego, Delorean, Dover, Extremoduro, Nathy Peluso, Natalia Lacunza, Los Secretos, etc.
The growing trend in self-management by artists seeking to develop their careers has given managers a far richer and more active role in guiding their clients’ careers. Normally, the manager is the person closest to the artist, enjoys his/her trust, and should repay this by loyally and effectively providing a service whose complexity calls for the help of other professionals, particularly when it comes to the tasks of negotiating and concluding agreements of all types.
RECORD COMPANIES AND RIGHTS MANAGEMENT SOCIETIES
The fact that it’s small means that the music industry in Spain provides opportunities to work for -as well as against- the majors, independent labels, and digital distributors. Possessing a thorough knowledge of and insight into the industry’s standard practices and approach is therefore an invaluable work tool.
Court actions tend to be long and costly, and so they’re almost always the least advisable alternative. It goes without saying, however, that in certain situations there may be no other course available, and it then becomes essential to place oneself in the hands of lawyers who have a proven track record in court procedure and can act with the necessary rigour, resolve and firmness. I have wide-ranging experience in conducting legal actions, in which I’ve represented record companies, artists, authors, composers, and performing and mechanical rights management societies.
Copyright and unfair competition
I can help you with in-depth experience gained through giving legal advice and formal opinions, conducting contract negotiations, and bringing court actions on behalf of performing artists, authors and composers, producers, rights management societies and copyright users.
I’ve acted as legal counsel in well-known cases of plagiarism, unauthorised transformation, sampling, rights management societies’ claims against copyright users, internet piracy, and actions against service providers in the information society, etc. The digital setting has multiplied the number of possible instances in which disputes can arise.
Similarly, I’ve taken part in unfair-competition actions to respond to the different types of unlawful conduct envisaged by law (imitation, inducement to breach of contract, wrongful, improper and deceptive use or misappropriation of others’ efforts, trade libel/slander or rumour-mongering, trade dress violation, misrepresentation and passing off, acts intentionally causing confusion, etc.), and in cases involving issues of good name and image.
Publications and teaching
“La desprotección de la música grabada en el ámbito de las nuevas tecnologías”, in G+C, Revista de Gestión y Cultura no. 2. (November-December 2009)
“Medidas cautelares en propiedad intelectual: requisitos, cuestiones procesales y particularidades en la gestión colectiva”, in Pe. I., Revista de Propiedad Intelectual, no. 25. (Jan-April 2007, pp. 81-121)
“Opá ¿ze puede o no imitá?”, comentario al Auto del Juzgado de lo Mercantil no. 1 de Madrid of 26 July 2006 sobre un cover de imitación de “Opá, yo viazé un corrá”. Revista jurídica de deporte y entretenimiento: deportes, juegos de azar, entretenimiento y música, ISSN 1575-8923, no. 18. (2006, pp. 611-615)
Entidades de gestión, negociación colectiva y protección de la competencia en los derechos de remuneración en la propiedad intelectual: algunas ideas, in Aranzadi civil, ISSN 1133-0198, no 1. (pp. 2181-2204)
“Un fallo deja a salvo la defensa de las empresas de press clipping”, La Gaceta. (2 June 2008)
Lecturer: postgraduate course for a Master’s Degree in Copyright and Related Rights at the Autonomous University of Madrid (Universidad Autónoma de Madrid), since the 2006-2007 academic year.
Lecturer: postgraduate course for a Master’s Degree in Copyright and Related Rights at Madrid’s Carlos III University, since the 2014-2015 academic year.
In addition, I appear as a guest speaker at legal seminars and congresses linked to my practice areas.
I’ve been a practising attorney since the 1990s. For many years, I was a partner in the law firm of “Estudio Jurídico Bercovitz-Carvajal”, where I was tasked with managing and supervising a large proportion of the copyright work. The bulk of my work focuses on the entertainment industry, where I advise performing artists, managers, record companies and music publishers, performing and mechanical rights societies, and companies in the audiovisual and technological sector.
Over time my activity has spread to include other spheres of copyright and related rights (architecture, books, etc.), civil law (property and ownership), commercial law and competition law. In addition, I have long-standing experience of the procedural formalities involved in pursuing legal actions and am always ready to take on the challenge of court work. Since 2007, my work has been publicly acknowledged -for better or worse- by a number of international legal directories, such as CHAMBERS & PARTNERS, e.g., “Is held by interviewees to be a leader in terms of knowledge and understanding of the music industry” (CHAMBERS & PARTNERS, 2016) and “A very good music lawyer without a doubt” (CHAMBERS & PARTNERS, 2018). I’ve likewise been included in the rankings of the BEST LAWYERS directory.
MY PRACTICE AREAS
· Entertainment, copyright and related rights
· Unfair competition
· New technologies
· Civil law (property and ownership)
· Commercial law