Publishing Hit Songs: Aczon, Austria, Wentz in SF

Publishing Hit Songs: Aczon, Austria, Wentz in SF




With major changes in the digital music licensing landscape, the need for a clear road map when making a deal is needed now more than ever.

Advantages of each type of deal are discussed at this NARIP program, and our experts  explain what you need to know. They then face off in a live mock negotiation of key deal points and contractual issues that affect a rights holder’s options and income.

Get the inside track on major deal points, what they mean and what leverage you have to negotiate the best possible deal. Also discussed: the pros and cons of some of the major digital music services.


  • Producers, Artist Managers and Artist Reps
  • Record & Music Publishing Executives
  • Music Attorneys
  • Those who wish to self-publish and better understand how to exploit their catalogs.

  • Introduction to copyright
  • Sources and types of income
  • Catalog valuations, purchases and marketing
  • Writer and artist development
  • The art of collaboration
  • Screening, evaluating and critiquing new songs
  • Casting songs for current and future recording projects
  • Securing hit cover recordings
  • Placing songs in film/TV soundtracks and commercials
  • Ensuring effective catalog administration

Sample agreement included with the audio (as a PDF document in a zip file).

1. Sample publishing (songwriter) agreement
2. Comments on Negotiating Songwriter Agreements by Jeffrey Brabec and Steven Winogradsky
3. Music Licensing Submission Tips by Chris Austria
4. Music Terms
5. Pocket Guide To Music Rights by Brooke Wentz

PROGRAM DATE: April 14, 2010
PROGRAM TIME: 2 hours and 11 seconds (2:00:11)
QUESTIONS? Call 818-769-7007 or contact NARIP

Michael A. Aczon, Esq.

San Francisco Bay Area based Michael A. Aczon has practiced entertainment law and personally managed select clients since 1983. As a lawyer, he has represented a variety of clients in virtually every musical genre from unsigned local artists to multi-platinum artists and writers to L.A. and Nashville-based companies. Says San Francisco Examiner?s Edie Sellers, Aczon is “bright, funny and supremely knowledgeable. He possesses that too rare ability to distill complicated issues of entertainment law and convey them in a clear, storyteller language we all can understand.” Michael?s book “The Professional Musician?s Legal Companion” published by Thomson/Hal Leonard is quickly becoming a “must-have” for musicians of all levels of experience and success in the Industry. He has been a columnist for Guitar Player Magazine and Electronic Musician Magazine and is a contributing writer to the book “The Independent Working Musician” by Mary Cosola. Michael is a member of the Music and Recording Industry faculties at San Francisco State University and Diablo Valley College. He has served on the National Entertainment Law Initiative Committee for the Recording Academy and is a member of the San Francisco Chapter?s Urban Outreach Committee. He often lectures at various colleges, law schools, and music industry seminars nationwide.

Chris Austria, Director of Licensing, Independent Distribution Collective

Chris Austria is the Director of Music Licensing for Independent Distribution Collective (IDC), a music distribution and marketing company in San Francisco. Licensing is a new division of IDC, headed by Austria. He is responsible for A&R, managing the music catalogue, publishing, negotiating contracts, producing, and finding content for music supervisors in TV and Film. Austria has recently placed music with Universal Pictures, Bunim-Murray Productions, and implemented sound design in a soon-to-be released video game. He is a co-producer with John Honore of Master Fade, composing music for TV, sports networks, and new media. Urban Tiger Music is his publishing company through ASCAP. Austria grew up in a musical family. His father was a violinist in the San Francisco Symphony for 35 years and his mom was a flamenco guitarist. Austria is a graduate of Pyramind, a music production training center in San Francisco. He also spent 13 years as a tiger and lion trainer, working at Six Flags Marine World in Vallejo, CA and with Siegfried and Roy in Las Vegas. While at Marine World, he composed and produced music for the tiger show. Austria has served as a tiger consultant for ABC, CBS, and has been featured on The Early Show and Nightline. You can read more about his musical tiger adventures on his blog at

Brooke Wentz, Founder, The Rights Workshop

Brooke Wentz is an intellectual property rights executive and founder of The Rights Workshop (TRW), a music supervision and creative clearance company specializing in securing rights clearance and licensing for new and emerging media. Author of Hey, That?s My Music! Music Supervision, Licensing and Content Acquisition (Hal Leonard), she brings 25 years of experience in music licensing and publishing, record production and performing rights organization administration to a plethora of clients, including games and new media applications for companies like Redbana, ESPN Action Sports, Aspyr Media, Evil Twin Studios, Outspark, JamPlay and Kidz Bop. In addition, TRW has supervised over 200 films and secured music content used in political campaigns, retail products and brand campaigns for Fortune 500 companies. Prior to founding The Rights Workshop, Brooke was Music Director for ESPN administering legal policy and overseeing all music rights including music for the X Games, World Cup and Sports Century telecasts. Earlier in her career she was Manager of A&R at Arista Records and Director of the Reich Music Foundation. A critically-acclaimed, Billboard award-winning record producer for her numerous world music compilations, she is a frequent guest speaker and educator on content acquisition, digital rights and the future of media. She holds a B.A. magna cum laude from Barnard College and an MBA from Columbia Business School, and is a member of the Stern Grove Festival Board and the University of Pacifica?s Music Management Advisory Board.

Tamra Engle, Senior Director of Marketing and Programs, NARIP San Francisco Chapter (moderator)

Tamra Engle is a social entrepreneur and founder of GuitarTam Music that offers business and promotional consultation for artists and bands to help them succeed in the evolving music and entertainment industries. She helps clients to develop strategic marketing and promotion plans, and offers performance coaching. Blending 25 years of business development expertise in organizations of all sizes and sectors from start-ups to Fortune 15 organizations, Tamra is developing community programs to provide music education programs for school-aged children and a national program to end violence against women. She is also a performing singer-songwriter whose recent album was on the final nominating ballot for the 2008 Grammys in the Best Contemporary Folk Album category. Tamra began her entertainment career as a studio musician In Los Angeles, has toured the country tirelessly and enjoyed placement of her songs on television and nationally aired commercials. Contact her at tamra AT narip DOT com.

Program Music Courtesy of Sparks & Silouhettes


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