David has been professionally active in the music business for over twenty-seven years and has focused his law practice exclusively on entertainment and intellectual property matters for the past fifteen years. David is a partner with the firm Milom Horsnell Crow Kelley Beckett Shehan PLC and prior to the formation of the firm, he was an associate in the Entertainment and Intellectual Property and Technology practice groups of Bass, Berry & Sims PLC. David received his B.B.A. in Music Business Management (Magna Cum Laude) from Belmont University in 1996, and his J.D. from the Vanderbilt University School of Law in 2000. David’s practice primarily consists of the representation of independent artists, independent labels, major label artists, songwriters, technology companies, producers, publishing companies and those companies and individuals that seek to license and exploit intellectual property content. David’s intellectual property and entertainment experience has included the following
• Drafted and negotiated exclusive recording agreements for independent record labels.
• Negotiated exclusive recording agreements for various artists in several musical genres.
• Supervised and coordinated copyright infringement litigation.
• Drafted and negotiated exclusive songwriter agreements and copublishing agreements for music publishing companies.
• Negotiated exclusive songwriter agreements and copublishing agreements on behalf of songwriters.
• Represented clients in the drafting and negotiation of various agreements related to the exploitation (including the sale, lease and transfer) of copyrighted works including: mechanical licenses, synchronization licenses, print licenses, digital performance licenses, affiliation with performance rights organizations, copyright administration agreements, preparing copyright registrations, recording assignments of copyright, researching copyright office records and counseling clients with respect to copyright renewals, termination issues and infringement issues.
• Performed due diligence in connection with music publishing catalogue sales.
• Represented various literary publishers in connection with content licensing, writer agreements and copyright infringement analysis. -Represented the purchasers and sellers of various publishing catalogs and record labels.
• Advised industry trade associations, publishers, artists, songwriters, sole proprietorships, partnerships, limited liability companies, and corporations with respect to their state and federal trademark interests.
• Drafted corporate formation documents for closely held management companies, publishing companies, touring corporations, artists and songwriters.
• Provided general corporate/business counsel to various entities that have substantial intellectual property assets.
• Drafted and negotiated various joint venture agreements between record labels and industry trade associations.
• Drafted and negotiated settlement and release agreements between music industry entities.
• Advised record labels with respect to physical and digital record distribution agreements.
• Served as outside counsel for several labels and distribution companies.
• Drafted and negotiated location releases, talent releases, underlying rights agreements, distribution agreements and financing agreements for documentary and other film projects on behalf of producers and production companies.
• Drafted and negotiated artist management agreements, booking agency agreements, artist development agreements, investor agreements, producer agreements, shareholder agreements, song pitching agreements, and artist shopping agreements.
• Negotiated various artist endorsement/sponsorship agreements.
Prior to practicing law, David played fiddle with bluegrass legends, the Osborne Brothers, and was an instrumental recording artist for Pinecastle Records. David is also a partner in two publishing companies with a strong focus on bluegrass music. David continues to perform on a regular basis with Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press at the Grand Ole Opry and performs in various other musical collaborations as his schedule permits. David has served as the President and Chairman of the Board of Directors of the International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA) and has taught (a) Intellectual Property and (b) Legal Issues in the Entertainment Industry as an adjunct instructor in the Mike Curb College of Entertainment and Music Business at Belmont University. He is a voting member of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (NARAS), the Country Music Association (CMA), the Academy of Country Music (ACM), the IBMA and is a long time member of the American Federation of Musicians, Local 257 (AFM). Chambers USA 2020 recognizes David as a ranked attorney in the practice area of Media & Entertainment. In addition to being selected by his peers for inclusion in 2021 Best Lawyers in America® in the areas of Copyright Law and Entertainment Law-Music. David has been a frequent panelist and speaker on the subject of entertainment law at various conferences and industry events. While in law school, his paper “Taxonomies: The Proper Scope of Copyright Protection” won first prize in ASCAP’s Nathan Burkan Memorial Competition at Vanderbilt Law School. David was also a member of the 2006 class of Leadership Music.