- Northeastern University School of Law (J.D., 1990) (J.D., 1990)
- Brandeis University (B.A., 1982)
- Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals
- Second Circuit Court of Appeals
- Federal District Court for the Central District of California
Bill Hochberg specializes in music and media law with a commitment to excellent results for clients at a reasonable cost. As a recognized thought leader, Bill writes regularly in Forbes and other pre-eminent publications, and he speaks at worldwide music and media conferences such as South-by-Southwest and Midem. From recording and publishing deals to copyright disputes to catalog valuations to music licensing, Bill handles many and varied music and media matters with an approach that is both pragmatic and innovative. Music old and new, near and far, and the businesses and technologies that have popped up around it, is Bill’s jam, and he enjoys playing guitar in a group specializing in 60s and 70s TV themes called the Twilight Tones.
- Represent Curtis Mayfield estate and music entities regarding recording, publishing, copyright, trademark, and international music law matters.
- Outside counsel to TikTok, handling a variety of creator and content transactions.
- Represent the estate of Henry Mancini and related entities in music and media matters.
- Handled Bob Marley estate and music entities in multiple licensing deals, rights concerns, and regarding international music law issues.
- Represented Fifth Harmony pop group in various litigation-related matters.
- Look after music and media matters for Guns N’ Roses longtime member Dizzy Reed, and handled book deal for former GNR member Steven Adler, which became a New York Times best seller.
- Advised Britney Spears and her team on defamation issues.
- Cleared Bruce Springsteen’s lyrics and music for use in the film “Blinded By The Light” for award-winning director Gurinder Chadha.
- Oversee music matters for Jeffrey Steele, multiple BMI Songwriter of the Year and one of the nation’s top songwriters, and established his successful music publishing and production house on Nashville’s Music Row.
- Defended singer Eddie Money in wrongful termination suit by former drummer, where appeals court found that a band leader has a First Amendment right to hire and fire band members.
- Represented Brazilian music publisher Fermata do Brasil in matters involving lyric translations and disputes regarding usages of well-known Bossa Nova and other Latin musical works.
- Conducted litigation for Grammy-winning producers and songwriters the Stereotypes in dispute with former manager and business partner, with resulting positive settlement.
- Handled songwriter dispute for co-writer of the 50’s “doo-wop” hit song “Earth Angel (Will You Be Mine)” in federal copyright and contract dispute, obtaining summary judgment confirming client Gaynel Hodge’s co-authorship of the lucrative composition, preventing heirs of one of the other co-writers from denying Hodge his rightful songwriter credit and share of income.
- Defended composer and ad agency in copyright infringement claim by a music publisher claiming it exclusively owned a common “boogie riff” used by the rock band ZZ Top in their hit song “La Grange”. As a result, the clients -- a composer, advertising agency and GMAC -- were free to continue using the “boogie riff” in a successful nationwide ad campaign.
- Represented Tom Werman, producer of three smash hit Motley Crüe albums, obtaining pre-judgment writ of attachment against the group in lawsuit for full payment of royalties and revenues.
- Handled matters for world-renowned film composer Lalo Schifrin (Mission:Impossible), including an international distribution deal for re-records of his original film and TV theme masterpieces.
Featured Articles Bill Has Authored
- "When Robots Write Songs" The Atlantic, August 7, 2014
- "Just How Much of Musical History Has Been Lost to History" The Atlantic, September 26, 2013
- "Guitar Hero, Rock Band, and the Rock n' Roll Money Machine" Wired, August 2008
- "Copy Instruments, Not Music" Wired, July 2006
- "Hip-Hop and the Liberation of Women in Kabul" Pacific Standard, September 27, 2016
Articles in Forbes and Other Publications
- "Clubhouse Is Fast Becoming A Music Mecca... And A Hot Mess" Forbes, February 28, 2021
- "Afghan Troop Withdrawal Could Bring Back The Taliban's Total Ban On Music" Forbes, December 28, 2020
- "Chill Hop, Jazz Hop, Lofi, Whatever You Call It, It's Catching On With Gen-Z" Forbes, September 8, 2020
- "Herd Immunity Fest Changes Its Name But The Show Goes On, As Does Live Music's Agonizing Struggle" Forbes, July 7, 2020
- "YouTube Won't Take Down A Deepfake of Jay-Z Reading Hamlet -- To Sue Or Not To Sue" Forbes, May 18, 2020
- "Megan Thee Stallion Stomps On A Contract She Calls ‘Ridiculously Unconscionable’ - But Is It?" Forbes, March 17, 2020
- "The Music Biz Thrives On Consumer Data. New Regulations Could Put An End To That" Forbes, January 16, 2020 (Editor's Pick)
- "The Music Biz Will Flee California If The New ‘Gig Economy’ Law Sticks, Warn Artist and Label Groups" Forbes, September 11, 2019 (Editor's Pick)
- "Why Did Spotify Just Get Suit-ified Over Some Old Eminem Songs?" Forbes, August 26, 2019
- "Jury Kills Katy Perry’s "Dark Horse" In Another Controversial Copyright Verdict" Forbes, July 30, 2019
- MORE OF BILL'S FORBES ARTICLES IN ARCHIVES
- "Why the ‘Blurred Lines’ Disaster Won’t Be Reversed (Even If The Verdict Is)" Digital Music News, September 12, 2016
- "Why Did the EC Give Sony's Acquisition of Sony/ATV Such an Easy Ride?" Music Business Worldwide, August 4, 2016
- "Tips for lawyers looking to land in Havana," Los Angeles Daily Journal, March 22, 2016
- "Consejos para los abogados que estan pensando trabajar en La Habana," - Spanish version of "Tips for lawyers looking to land in La Havana." Los Angeles Daily Journal, 22 de Marzo de 2016
- "Damn the C&D letters, politicians just want to Rock" Thompson Reuters- Legal Current, September 16, 2015
- "Walking the Bass Line: How Original Does a Riff Need to Be in the Post- "Blurred Lines" World, Bass Musician, April 1, 2015
Media Quotes, Interviews and Insights