- 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
William (Bill) Hochberg
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 wide variety of talent and content transactions, brand partnerships, media deals and more.
- 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
- "Pricey NFTs From The Weeknd And Others Won't Boost A Bursting Bubble -- Cheaper Ones Might" Forbes, May 3, 2021
- "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
- May 11, 2020 - What Does JAY-Z's Fight Over Audio Deep Fakes Mean for the Future of AI Music? - Pitchfork
- November 1, 2019 – 100% That Tweet: Lizzo Gave a Songwriting Credit to a Twitter User -- But Why? - Billboard
- September 22, 2019 – ‘Stairway to Heaven’ Judges Asked to Give Songwriters a Break - Bloomberg
- August 6, 2019 – Katy Perry’s ‘Dark Horse’ Case and Its Chilling Effect on Songwriting - Variety
- August 2, 2019 – Will Tay-K Be Allowed To Profit From "The Race? - Genius News
- July 31, 2019 – Katy Perry Took a PR Hit From ‘Dark Horse’ Trial, but May Be Off the Hook Financially - Variety
- June 5, 2019 – Data Protection Regulations Around the World - MIDEM
- May 23, 2019 – Will Privacy Kill the Digital Star? Analyzing Data Protection Regulations - 2019 Int. Ass'n of Entertainment Lawyers - Annual Book
- April 19, 2019 – The “Stranger Things” Rip-Off Lawsuit Could Set a Perilous Precedent - Pitchfork
- March 1, 2019 – UMG Rides Streaming Music Wave - Los Angeles Business Journal
- October 24, 2018 – Why Tracy Chapman Would Probably Win Her Lawsuit Against Nicki Minaj - Pitchfork
- August 31, 2018 – The Ugly State of Kesha and Dr. Luke’s Never-Ending Legal Battle - Pitchfork
- July 30, 2018 – AEG Moves to Dismiss Class Action Claims Filed by Ozzy Osbourne - Los Angeles Business Journal
- April 25, 2018 – Baseball document, thought worth millions, spurs court fight - Associated Press
- February 22, 2018 – Does Frank Ocean Stand a Chance in His Lawsuit Against Longtime Producer Om’Mas Keith? - Pitchfork
- February 14, 2018 – Judge dismisses Taylor Swift 'haters' copyright case as too 'banal' - BBC 5 - Live (To hear interview, forward to 49:35 on timeline.)
- January 9, 2018 – Radiohead’s copyright infringement lawsuit against Lana Del Rey - BBC Radio 5 Live
- January 8, 2018 – Radiohead Has Strong Case in Lana Del Rey Copyright Dispute, Lawyers Say - Variety
- January 3, 2018 – YouTube's unlikely peacemaker has a plan to make musicians rich - Business Insider
- December 15, 2017 – Beware: How Global One Management’s Questionable Practices Entangled Politicians, Child Actors And The Homeless - Deadline Hollywood
- January 19, 2017 – McCartney Won’t ‘Let It Be,’ Sues Sony to Get Back Song Rights - Bloomberg
- September 12, 2016 – Why the ‘Blurred Lines’ Disaster Won’t Be Reversed (Even If The Verdict Is) - Digital Music News
- August 26, 2016 – The 'Blurred Lines' creators are still trying to reverse the Marvin Gaye verdict - Vice News
- August 4, 2016 – Why did the EC give Sony’s acquisition of Sony/ATV such an easy ride? - Music Business Worldwide
- July 27, 2016 – Why Donald Trump Can Keep Using Queen's 'We Are The Champions' - Jim Cramer's The Street
- July 23, 2016 – ‘Stairway’ Verdict May Rein in Lawsuits Claiming Song Ripoffs - Bloomberg
- July 3, 2016 – Eddie Money, former Sacramento-based drummer entangled in legal fight - The Sacramento Bee
- July 2, 2016 – Madonna and 'Vogue' Producer Beat Infringement Appeal - The National Law Journal
- June 23, 2016 – Jury says Led Zeppelin did not rip off “Stairway to Heaven” - ARS Technica
- June 23, 2016 – Led Zeppelin victorious in 'Stairway to Heaven' copyright trial - Reuters
- June 23, 2016 – Page and Plant's Win in 'Stairway to Heaven' Case Seen as Bolstering Songwriters' Creative Rights - The National Law Journal
- June 23, 2016 – A "Stairway to Heaven" Appeal Would be a Fruitless Climb, Attorneys Say - The Hollywood Reporter
- June 23, 2016 – A 'Stairway to Heaven' Appeal Would be a Fruitless Climb, Attorneys Say - Billboard
- March 16, 2016 – Sony is betting on love for the Beatles lasting in a new $750 million deal - Los Angeles Times
- March 1, 2016 – The Cuban-American Musical Detente: Inside A Native Son's 40-Year Road to Havana's Newest Festival - Billboard
- February 29, 2016 – How Record Labels Buy Social Media Love From Teenage ‘Influencers’ - International Business Times
- February 26, 2016 – Kesha Faces An Uphill Legal Battle With Dr. Luke, Experts Say - BuzzFeed News
- December 16, 2015 – Pandora Can Claim Big Victory With Streaming Rate Decision - Jim Cramer's The Street
- December 11, 2015 – Whatever Happened to Political Campaign Theme Songs? - Reuters Legal Current Podcast
- October 17, 2015 – Music in Politics - KABC Radio
- July 9, 2015 – The Big Picture: 'Fair Play, Fair Pay' Vs. Local Radio Freedom Act - All Access
- April 16, 2015 – Livestream apps pose revenue threat to hot shows, sports - SFGate (the San Francisco Chronicle)
- March 30, 2015 – The Meerkat Minefield: Legal Issues With Live-Streaming Apps - Billboard
- September 30, 2014 – EDM Superstars Krewella Mired In Legal Mess Involving DJ's Newfound Sobriety (Exclusive) - The Hollywood Reporter
- September 5, 2014 – Rod Stewart Sued for Reusing Image of the Back of His Head - The Hollywood Reporter