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Protect Athens Music

Time to lawyer up, Athens bands! If you are even thinking about making money with your music, signing a record deal or any other contract where your art is on the line, you need a lawyer in your corner. Thanks to the joint efforts of the UGA Music Business Program and the UGA School of Law’s Sports and Entertainment Law Society, you can get that legal advice for free this weekend.

Protect Athens Music Panel 2011

The second annual Protect Athens Music is a two-day event loaded with information for musicians and others interested in learning about the inner workings of the entertainment industry. On Thursday, there will be two informative panels. The first will focus on booking, contract issues and tour strategies. The second panel will focus on copyright and collaboration issues—from licensing your music to collecting royalty checks.

Eric Garber and Jessi Samford, both third-year UGA law students and co-chairs of the event, say that their goal was to book a diverse group of experts and to keep the schedule flexible.

“If you can only come for a little, don’t feel bad coming in and coming out,” says Garber. The panels will run from 3–6 p.m. followed by a performance by Emily Hearn and John French at the Melting Point—a great opportunity for continued networking.

Confirmed panelists include David Barbe (UGA Music Business Program), Bertis Downs (R.E.M.), Steve Lopez (Widespread Panic), Nikki Marshall (Red Clay Clearances), Lisa Moore (Georgia Lawyers for the Arts), Scott Orvold, (Georgia Theatre) David Prasse (Slushfund Recordings) and David Shipley (UGA law professor).

And for those who have specific legal questions or concerns, you can also sign-up for a free, one-on-one, 30-minute consultation with a local entertainment lawyer on Friday. To register for an appointment, or to submit questions for the panelists in advance, email