In the latest edition of Entertainment Law: Music (Or, How to Roll in the Rock Industry), Stephen Wade Nebgen and Wendy Kemp Akbar celebrate nearly 10 years since the book’s original publication, returning with new developments in music law that are as useful as ever.
Entertainment Law: Music is a comprehensive guide to understanding intellectual property law as it relates to the constantly changing technological landscape of the music industry. Primarily, though not exclusively, targeted towards musicians looking to develop a career in the industry, the book covers a wide variety of topics such as contracts, how to decide what type of business arrangement may be best, how to monetize your efforts, and more, and offers a foundational understanding of relevant entertainment law pulled from the most recent developments in each specific area. Most sections of the book include relevant definitions and a very brief history of that particular topic in order to explore more deeply how that element of the music industry has recently changed in the wake of new technological developments and/or cultural trends. The authors then cite specific laws associated with the topic and explain what those laws mean to the reader. The Venn diagram between Nebgen and Akbar’s target audience and their ideal reader is a more or less narrow one, but they appear to embrace this actuality in such a way that affords them the comfort to lean into a singular voice that isn’t concerned with checking off the boxes of what you might expect from your typical nonfiction book. They are charmingly themselves, and the book reads as exactly what it is — a couple of law professionals doing a deep dive that is both informative and engaging. That said, amateur musicians seeking to understand the legal side of the music industry for practical purposes might find themselves at the very least intimidated by the formal conventions of legal writing. Although the information is presented straightforwardly enough and the authors do an impressive job of defining jargon and situating terms in a way that is accessible to all readers, the format of the book isn’t exactly tailored to those coming to it from outside of the legal community. In any case, the book’s sheer utility cannot be denied. Burgeoning artists who do not feel compelled to read the book front to back still stand to gain from keeping it on hand to do their research as necessary when they encounter particular situations that require guidance. It is especially in this case that readers yield the greatest benefit of the book: its contemporaneity. Nebgen and Akbar are committed to keeping artists in the know about how things work in a rapidly changing environment. They compile valuable information that is extremely difficult to find anywhere else, let alone in one place. As a result, they establish themselves as an authoritative voice in the realm of modern entertainment law. For musicians and legal professionals alike, Entertainment Law: Music (Or, How to Roll in the Rock Industry) is well worth the read!