“Goodbye Copyright? The Rise of Trademark and Publicity Rights in the Hip-Hop Music Space”

    • October 12, 2021
    150 150 The California Copyright Conference

    Date(s) -


    2:30 pm - 3:30 pm

    Zoom Webinar


    This presentation explores the increasing importance to artists of trademark and publicity rights in the hip-hop music arena.

    As the lopsided digital streaming model and “360”-style contracts in essence reduce copyright revenue sources for artists, the ancillary rights of TM and publicity have become more vital than ever for successful artists.

    Two dynamics result from this phenomenon. First, musical artistry becomes less important than marketing savvy, and second, hyper-aggressive litigation postures are becoming the norm in the hip-hop space.

    The model of commercialization through ancillary rights was pioneered by hip-hop artists from the inception of the art form, as illustrated by Run-DMC’s landmark Adidas deal in the 80’s.

    Today rap artists including Dr. Dre, Snoop Dog, Cardi B, RZA and Jay Z aggressively pursue ancillary revenue, and equally aggressively pursue litigation strategies for those who infringe on their brands.



    Garrett M. Johnson, Esq. | Attorney at Law


    Special Presenter:

    Professor Kevin J. Greene | John J. Schumacher Chair, Professor of Law, Southwestern Law School


    Advance Registration

    CCC Members $0 per person | Non-members $5 per person

    The registration deadline for this webinar is Tuesday, October 12th at 1:30pm PDT. 

    *** Please note: Zoom webinar links for this webinar will be emailed to you separately after registration.


    Register for this webinar below! 

    Questions? Email is at questions@theccc.org


    Kevin J. Greene, Esq. joined Southwestern’s faculty in 2020. Professor Greene is a nationally recognized entertainment and intellectual property law scholar and an expert witness consultant for copyright, trademark, publicity rights, and entertainment contract disputes. He is a highly committed, outstanding teacher as well as a passionate leader and an IP law influencer. He teaches Contracts and Copyright Law.

    Professor Greene was most recently a tenured Professor of Law at Thomas Jefferson School of Law in San Diego. He has also been a visiting professor at the University of San Diego School of Law. In addition to Contracts and Copyright, he has also taught IP, Entertainment Law, Music Law, Publicity Rights, International Entertainment Law, and IP in the Cannabis Industry.

    Before becoming a law professor, Professor Greene practiced law in New York at the premier law firm of Cravath, Swaine & Moore, where he represented high profile companies such as Time Warner and HBO in litigation matters. He later joined New York’s top entertainment law boutique firm, where he represented clients such as film production companies, including Director Spike Lee’s 40 Acres and a Mule film company, iconic music artists including Harry Connick, Jr., Bobby Brown, and the seminal rap group Public Enemy. Professor Greene was the first law professor voted a Top Ten attorney by the San Diego Bar in the field of IP in 2005.

    Professor Greene’s scholarship has garnered national and international recognition in the area of intellectual property (“IP”) law, particularly his pioneering work on African-American music and inequality in copyright law. His article on abusive trademark litigation, published in the Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy has been the centerpiece of law conferences at Syracuse Law School and NYU. Greene’s copyright scholarship is cited in numerous legal publications and has been cited in Congressional hearings. His current project explores intellectual property in the context of hip-hop music.

    Professor Greene has presented his work on IP issues and Contracts across the United States and abroad to organizations such as the American Bar Association’s section on IP, the International Trademark Association, the American Association of Law Schools, Law and Society, Practising Law Institute, the annual South-by-Southwest conference, the Beverly Hills Bar Association and at law schools and universities including Yale, Georgetown, UCLA, and many others.

    In addition to his academic pursuits, Professor Greene serves as an expert witness consultant in Contracts and IP cases, including for funk music legend George Clinton in a copyright case before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. Professor Greene has also worked as an expert in copyright matters in the Central District of California and the Southern District of New York. Professor Greene recently served as the lead IP expert in a landmark $9.5 million right of publicity case in California state court between the heirs of the Hansen Juice and Soda Company and Coca-Cola.

    In 2016, the Intellectual Property Institute of the State Bar of California selected Professor Greene as its Vanguard Award winner, the highest award given by the Bar, in the category of Academics. Also in 2016, the government of Taiwan hosted Professor Greene to present a seminar on copyright issues in the context of hip-hop music. In 2018, the American Bar Foundation selected Greene as a fellow. In 2020, Professor Greene was selected by the National Bar Association as a “top 100” attorney in California. Also in 2020, Professor Greene was named an Honorary Advisor/Law Scholar at USIA United Sigma Intelligence Association, an international think tank.


    Attention Attorneys: This virtual activity has been approved for Minimum Continuing Legal Education Credit by the State Bar of California in the amount of one (1) hour. The CCC certifies that this activity confirms to the standards for approved education activities prescribed by the rules and regulations of the State Bar of California governing minimum continuing legal education. Attorneys who wish to register for MCLE Credit must include their State Bar number with their reservation. Following this virtual webinar, we will verify your attendance via Zoom reporting and email your certificate of attendance to the email provided at registration. 


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    • Please note, Zoom webinar links for this webinar will be emailed to you separately after registration.


    Ticket TypePriceSpaces
    Non-Member Registration — October 12th CCC Webinar$5.00