October 25, 2021


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Attorney Dina Lapolt tackles the historical mistakes of the music industry

5 min read

In the case of personalities, music lawyers run the gamut – some are rarely seen or quoted, preferring to discuss under the radar – others are experienced skewers who hop the table with abandonment at art events. Dina Lapolt deals with issues that affect her clients with the violence of a ring warrior.

Twenty years ago, he founded his own firm, Laplet Law, and went on to represent music stars such as Steven Tyler of Aerosmith, the late Eddie Money, Papers Chapper 21 Savage, and Cardi B and Girl Group Fifth Harmony. As his practice grew, so did Lapolt’s conviction to correct the mistakes of the musical ecosystem. He has helped producers and songwriters access rights and digital royalties to craft – and pass – the Music Modernization Act, which was signed into law in 2018; He campaigned for federal covid relief law packages that were ready to assist music producers and independent contractors; He wrote letters calling for an investigation into the deaths of George Floyd and Brauna Taylor; He is currently fighting in court to allow the introduction of rap lyrics as evidence in a criminal trial; And he also suggests eliminating the use of triggering terms such as “master recording” in the contract.

Working as an ally of people of color is a key part of Lapolt’s life, both professionally and at home, where he has adopted black twins. One of the reasons Dina was recently recognized by the Black Music Action Coalition is an advocacy organization set up to combat systemic racism in the music business and lawyers for black artists, songwriters, producers, directors, agents, executives, lawyers and others at a star gala in Los Angeles in September. Professionals in the industry. The Weekend, Motown head Ethiopian Habtemarium, YouTube’s Tuma Basa and George Floyd family attorney Ben Kramp among others, among others, spoke of accepting the Lapolt Agent of Change Award. Her first major client, Tupak Shakur’s mother Afeni, and the rocky road she traveled openly as a homosexual, loud music biz trailblazer – some of those long weird journeys she shared with us in recent episodes DiversityIts strictly business podcast (listen above), 20 things he has learned over 20 years (see below).

20 things I learned in 20 years
By Dina Lapolt

1. Don’t

I have learned more from the mistakes made by others and by looking at people’s behavior, saying to myself “I will never do this” or “I will never be like this.”

2. Never lie or exaggerate in dealmaking

Businesses are small and lawyers and executives change companies. People will eventually find out that you weren’t being truthful and it always comes back to bite you.

3. Put “principles before personality”

There are many great personalities and arrogance in the music business. Don’t take anything personally and focus on getting the job done.

Del. Avoid “intentional misery”

Life is complicated by not scattering self-motivated negativity or “alternative information” in situations.

5. Be consistent

Looking at all the lawyers I respect and admire, there is one thing in common.

6. Go back to everyone and be helpful

The music industry is the pinnacle and valley business. If you are consistent, you go up, you go down, you go up, you go down … make sure you try to be helpful and return all calls and emails. When you are in a valley you want people to help you pull and not push you further down.

7. Know the laws, understand the terms of the contract and stay current with the business

The music business is complex. We work with three bundles of rights: copyright, trademark and copyright, and these are all governed by different laws and industry practices. The other lawyers you work with will know very quickly when you are unable to disclose the terms of a complex contract.

8. Keep close to your friends and close to your enemies

There’s a circle of people you can’t trust. There are a lot of gossip and “enemies” in the music business who will try and get you behind the scenes. Know who they are and adapt accordingly. I like to break people into light সব green light (always great people, never have an agenda and great to be around), yellow light (be careful depending on the situation হতে can be green or red), and red light (always ahead Go extreme caution, always want to be ashamed and blame).

9. There are two types of business: my business and my no business.

Over the years, I have learned to choose wisely.

10. To keep it – you have to give it

Business is very competitive and sometimes people are jealous of each other. I’ve been blessed with a place on many industry lists and have received a lot of praise in my career so I was proactive in trying to get other people on this list as well. If someone helps you, it is difficult to resent them.

11. No fear

A good summary for “fear” is that false evidence looks real. Don’t let it get past you and let it go.

12. You always have three choices

Afeni Shakur used to tell me that you have three choices in your life, you can give up, you can give, or you can give what you have got!

13. Hard times do not last, hard people do

If I had given up every time I was pushed or demoted, I would never have been where I am today.

14. All that I have is beyond me

The opposite is also true, what is not for me will pass me by.

15. Self-care and physical exercise

We do better when we feel good. I never let myself be “HALT” which means hungry, angry, lonely or tired. Those four emotions can bring out the flaws in my character.

16. There is balance

Everyone needs to be disconnected. Recharging is essential. Once your well is dry you can’t water the garden!

17. Teach (or be a mentor) if you really want to understand a subject

In 2000 and 2001 I started teaching a music business class at the Musicians Institute, and then from 2002 to 2019 I taught the legal and practical aspects of the music business at UCLA so I could master and clarify the material. Nothing helps you understand what you are doing when you have to teach someone else.

18. “No” is a complete sentence.

There are boundaries. People will dry you up if you let them go especially if you are a solution-oriented, confident person

19. Sometimes it’s just important to show up

You don’t always have to run the show

20. Empower your people

Encourage clients and colleagues to discuss with the firm’s other attorneys. Too often I’ve seen contracts and agreements stand in the way because the original attorney and / or partner doesn’t want his or her people to build his or her relationship.

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