Matthew Beckett has been active in the music industry since 1985, and has been practicing law since 2007. Early in his career, he was a production assistant on albums by Hank Williams, Jr., Lee Roy Parnell, Delbert McClinton, and Asleep at the Wheel. He worked in music publishing in the 1990’s, owning a publishing company that earned multiple ASCAP and BMI awards. After selling the company’s catalog, he worked as a recording engineer on several Grammy nominated albums including artists Aaron Neville, The Oak Ridge Boys, and the Gaither Vocal Band.
Matthew’s perspective on the music industry began before his career. He grew up near Muscle Shoals, Alabama, where his father, Barry Beckett, was one of the “Swampers”; a group of musicians immortalized by Lynyrd Skynyrd in the song “Sweet Home Alabama.” Because of Barry’s productions, Matthew crossed paths with many industry greats, including Atlantic Records co-founder Jerry Wexler, Bob Dylan, Bob Seger, Dire Straits, Glen Frey, and the group Alabama. Matthew moved with his family to Nashville, Tennessee in 1985, where he earned a BBA with a Concentration in Music Business degree at Belmont College.
Matthew has represented clients in all facets of the entertainment industry, such as radio personalities, recording artist, songwriters, music publishers, record companies, record producers, managers, television personalities, concert promoters, and record company executives.
- Advising music publishers on industry practices and customs, copyright administration, licensing, royalty collection, catalog acquisitions, infringement claims and terms of songwriter agreements.
- Advising songwriters on contract terms, reversion of rights, copyright registration, infringement claims, termination of transfers of copyrights, and catalog valuations and sales.
- Negotiating and drafting exclusive co-publishing agreements, songwriter agreements and single-song agreements.
- Negotiating and drafting copyright administration agreements.
- Advising independent record companies on industry practices and customs, outsourcing of distribution, promotion, and publicity services, use and registration of trademarks and service marks, copyright registration, terms of employment agreements, and terms of artist agreements.
- Advising recording artists on artist agreements, producer agreements, and relationships with personal managers.
- Negotiating and drafting artist agreements, distribution agreements, production agreements, management agreements, and settlement agreements between artists and managers.
- Advising record producers on production agreements, breach of contract claims, and on copyright ownership issues.
- Served as in-house and outside counsel for publishing companies and independent record companies.
- Drafted and negotiated artist development agreements, and photograph licenses.
- Drafted releases for photographs and audiovisual works.
- Drafted and negotiated endorsement agreements.
- Preparing and filing copyright registrations with the Copyright Office.
- Drafting copyright assignments and recording assignments with the Copyright Office.
- Drafting and negotiating licenses for the use of copyrighted works, including sync licenses, mechanical licenses, administration agreements, master use licenses, performance licenses, licenses to use content in mobile apps, and option agreements for literary works.
- Registering clients with SoundExchange.
- Counseling clients regarding copyright infringement claims.
- Negotiating agreements for the acquisition of copyrighted works.
- Advising clients as to the strength of their trademarks and service marks.
- Registering trademarks and service marks with the USPTO.
- Counseling clients regarding trademark infringement claims.
- Drafting and negotiating licenses for the use of publicity rights (name and likeness).
- Matthew is a member, or past member, of the TBA, NBA, and ABA.
- Matthew is a voting member of the Country Music Association (CMA) and the Academy of Country Music (ACM).
- Served on the Counsel for the Entertainment & Sports Law section of the TBA, 2010-2013
- Chair of the Entertainment & Sports Law Section of the TBA, 2011-12
- Criteria Task Force for the Alabama Music Hall of Fame, 2009 and 2011
- Artists & Entrepreneurs Doing It All Themselves: With the Help of Others – Program Producer, CLE
- Entertainment & Sports Forum: Terminations, Technology & Touchdowns – Program Producer, CLE
- Copyright Terminations – Moderator, CLE
- Copyright Law – Adjunct Professor at Belmont University
- Exploring Practice Areas: Entertainment Law – Speaker – TBA webcast
- For Your Friend In the Music Business: Ten Questions You Can Answer – Speaker – TBA webcast