More recording artists bypass major record labels; Burns & Levinson …

More recording artists bypass major record labels; Burns & Levinson entertainment attorney George N. Tobia Jr. raises issues in the new music arena

BOSTON–LAWFUEL – Entertainment Law News -As a growing number of singers and other recording artists bypass major record labels in favor of distributing music via the Internet, questions persist regarding the financial future of the music industry, says George N. Tobia Jr., an entertainment and media lawyer for Boston-based Burns & Levinson.

“The good news is that, as with self-publishing, recording artists are able to distribute their music directly to an audience without using a record label,” said Tobia, chairman of Burns & Levinson’s Entertainment & Media Law Group. “But when these artists attain notoriety, how do they benefit financially with no backing from a record label? That will be a key question in the music industry, for artists and labels alike.”

With the 49th Annual Grammy Awards taking place this Sunday at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, the music industry faces many challenges. Tobia, who represents well known pop and rock artists and a crop of emerging hip-hop performers, noted that the music industry is the most radically changing field in the entertainment landscape today.

“Recording artists are going to continue to find ways to issue music on their own and without shopping their songs to a record label,” said Tobia, adding that many singers post their songs on Internet sites such as YouTube and other music venues.

Tobia noted that it will be critical for independent singers and bands to work with attorneys to find ways to monetize their talent. “Most members of the legal profession are not equipped to handle these issues just yet,” added Tobia.

Burns & Levinson’s Entertainment & Media Law Group enjoys a national reputation, representing clients in the fields of book publishing, film and television production, and music. The firm’s clients include authors, screenwriters, actors, producers and production companies, and book and music publishing companies. It represents them in all aspects of entertainment law, including contract negotiations and rights acquisitions.

About Burns & Levinson

Burns & Levinson, with more than 120 attorneys in four offices in New England, as well as one in Washington, D.C., is a full-service Boston-based business law firm. The firm has grown steadily and strategically throughout the years and has become a premier New England-based business law firm with regional, national and international clientele. The firm has expertise in corporate law, finance, venture capital, private equity, tax, bankruptcy, lending and leasing, real estate, intellectual property – including patent law, and business litigation. Burns & Levinson also has a large private clients group that services clients in the areas of estate planning, probate and trust litigation, divorce and other family law issues. In addition, the firm has a wholly-owned subsidiary office in Montreal, Quebec to service its Canadian clients. For more information, visit Burns & Levinson at

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