International Assn. of Entertainment Lawyers Gathers for Virtual Summit During MIDEM 2020

As part of the MIDEM Digital edition, the International Assn. of Entertainment Lawyers is currently holding its first ever digital legal summit.

“The IAEL has participated at MIDEM in Cannes for 46 years and we were determined to continue this tradition,” IAEL president Jeff Liebenson said in a statement. “This year, we’re excited to welcome our colleagues from around the world who will be able to join no matter where they are, free of charge. It reflects the more global nature of our work in this day and age, and marks a new milestone in our collaboration.”

The IEAL Legal Summit began Wednesday (June 3) and continues Thursday at the same time both days, from 10 a.m. ET/4 p.m. CET; and on Friday (June 5) from 9 a.m. ET/ 3 p.m. CET.

THE IAEL was founded in 1977 at the MIDEM Conference.

The Legal Summit will address legal developments in entertainment law from key territories around the globe, including topics that range from “Kraftwerk’s 20 year battle over a 2-second sample to the TikTok versus Baidu case,” according to an announcement from the organization, while it will also look at the surge in copyright infringement claims brought against hit songs involving Marvin Gaye, Katy Perry and Led Zeppelin’s “Stairway to Heaven,” which have “stretched the understanding of copyright.”

Other sessions will address such questions as: Do we now have a new standard for infringement?; Are new rulings encouraging creativity or discouraging it?; Are we properly protecting all creators’ rights?; and how does the law vary from one part of the world to another?

Finally, each year at MIDEM, the trade group chooses a topic for a book, which last year “Nationalism v Globalism” was chosen, looking at how technology has broken down borders while the legal systems remain in place on a national basis, which means key rights and rightholders are different from market to market. It examines how entertainment lawyers manage this, and what deals can be done on a regional or global basis and which ones need to be made locally. The main session shares highlights from the book editors and its contributors.

While this year’s meeting is a virtual conference, Libenson said he is “confident that this year’s Summit will allow us to expand our circle of colleagues and share our experience in way that will benefit our profession immensely.”

For more information, contact the IAEL via Duncan Calow at