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Music's Most Powerful Attorneys: From Litigation to Performing Rights, Radio to General Counsel

All it takes for a hit career is the right mix of melodies and lyrics -- and lawyers.

Never has the role of legal advisers in the music business been more crucial, as opportunities for the use of an artist's songs expands with new ­business models -- and complaints about the ­misuse of copyrights wind up in court.


Katz, whose client roster of stars across genres includes Pitbull, Gregg Allmanand George Strait, has added sovereign states: He now represents the Commonwealth of the Bahamas, for a venue management deal with AEG, and Gabon, where negotiations are underway with Berklee College of Music and the Grammy Museum to build Africa's first music university. Closer to home, for Scott Borchetta's Big Machine Records, Katz negotiated a renewal of a distribution pact with UMG. Of his negotiating style, the father of two (and grandfather of four) says, "I like people to feel that any transaction we did was good for both sides." Rosenbloum's client roster includes digital upstarts and big names like Slacker, Samsung, Deezer and GoPro. Recent success stories include negotiating on behalf of rapidly growing social network Flipagram and SoundCloud's new subscription service. The industry's next biggest challenge, he says, is keeping investors interested in services where the long-term profit is now squeezed tighter than ever: "We need to be more focused [on] the preservation of the [music] ecosystem. Distribution was pretty mundane [before]. Now, it's become the future."

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