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CLE 2: Royalties in the Digital Space: What, Where and How Much Are They?

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Identifying, following, and actually collecting essential money from a myriad of digital sources is a growing challenge. With the help of sophisticated music accountants, this panel will show what is at stake, and where and how to secure this income.


MODERATOR John Simson Attorney Lommen Abdo

John L. Simson has been in the music industry since his 1971 signing with Perception Records as a singer/songwriter. Simson was recently named a Special Consultant for Artist Relations and Business Development by Kobalt Music Publishing to assist them in building a "neighboring rights" business (collecting artists' royalties around the world). Simson has practiced entertainment law since 1980 and, in 2011, joined Lommen Abdo Law Firm in an "of counsel" role. From 2001 through 2010, Simson served as Executive Director of SoundExchange where he increased its membership to over 45,000 recording artists and 5,000 independent labels. Simson's career has also included managing country superstar Mary Chapin Carpenter, among others, as well as receiving an Emmy nomination for music supervision on the PBS "American Roots Music" television series. Over the past decade, Simson has became one of the leading spokespersons for the value of music and the importance of ensuring that artists receive fair pay for the use of their work by digital services.

Steven Ambers Steven H Ambers CPA

Steven H. Ambers, C.P.A. Steven has over 20 years of experience performing licensing and royalty compliance services worldwide on behalf of licensors of intellectual property, films, franchises and music recordings.

Steven worked for Gelfand Rennert and Feldman a division of Coopers & Lybrand in their Royalty Compliance Department and then left to start the Royalty Compliance Division of Moss Adams. In 1999, Steven co-founded, a royalty tracking solution for monies due from downloaded intellectual property and the Royalty Review Council where he was credited with being one of the first to attempt to collect data about online sales of items ranging from music to videos in order to help copyright and trademark holders collect the royalties due them.

Steven received his Bachelor of Science degree from the Kenneth Leventhal School of Accounting of the University of Southern California in 1987. Steven is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accounts and the California Society of Certified Public Accountants. Steven was the former President of T.J.’s Friends in Los Angeles, a division of the T.J. Martell Foundation and is currently the Treasurer of the Harold Pump Memorial Foundation. Steven has lectured at the University of Southern California and the Musicians Institute, spoke on panels on behalf of the California Copyright Society and the Motion Picture Television Fund. Steven has also testified as an expert witness in judicial proceedings.

Kurt Vitolo Pres KV Financial Group PC

Kurt Vitolo is the founder and President of the CPA/ Entertainment Business Management firm KV Financial Group in Nashville, TN. He has been working with music and entertainment related clients since the beginning of his career in 1987. His firm specializes in providing business management, tax, accounting, tour accounting, review and preparation of royalty statements and financial planning services to individuals and companies in the entertainment industry.

Gary Haber Haber Corporation

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