About Todd Brabec and Jeff Brabec
Award Winning Authors Adjunct Professors Entertainment Law Attorneys
Speakers Music Business Executives Licensing/Royalty Consultants
Todd Brabec, former ASCAP Executive Vice President and Worldwide Director of Membership, is an entertainment law attorney and industry consultant, a Deems Taylor Award–winning co-author of the best-selling music business book Music, Money, and Success: the Insiders Guide to Making Money in the Music Business, now in its eighth edition (Schirmer Trade Books/Music Sales) as well as co-author of the “Music Publishing” chapter in the 2018 Juris Publications multiple-volume treatise The Essential Guide to Entertainment Law. He is an adjunct professor at USC where he teaches music licensing, music publishing, film, television, and video game scoring, and song contracts, and a former Governing Committee member as well as Music and Budget Chair of the American Bar Association Forum on the Entertainment and Sports Industries. In addition to the Deems Taylor Award for Excellence in Music Journalism, he is the recipient of the 2005 Educational Leadership Award from the Music & Entertainment Industry Educators Association (MEIEA) and the 2015 Texas Star Award from the Entertainment and Sports Law Section of the State Bar of Texas for Outstanding Contribution and Achievement in the Field of Entertainment Law.
During his 37-year ASCAP career in addition to overseeing and directing all of ASCAP’s membership operations in the Los Angeles, New York, Nashville, Miami, Chicago, London, and Puerto Rico offices, he was responsible for signing most of ASCAP’s successful songwriter/artists including, among many others, Marvin Gaye, Metallica, Journey, Neil Young, Smokey Robinson, Tom Petty, Sting, James Taylor, Joni Mitchell, the Jimi Hendrix catalogue, ZZ Top, War, Green Day, Jay Z, Bryan Adams, Jeff Lynne (ELO), Steely Dan, Fergie, Donna Summer, Mötley Crüe, Avril Lavigne, Supertramp, Foreigner, Marc Anthony, Bob McDill, America, John Prine, Sting, Rob Thomas and Earth, Wind & Fire as well as the worldwide top-grossing box office feature film score composers James Horner (Avatar and Titanic—#1 and #2 all-time box office films), Alan Silvestri (Marvel’s The Avengers), Hans Zimmer (Pirates of the Caribbean films), James Newton Howard (Hunger Games, Dark Knight) and Randy Newman (Toy Story 1, 2, and 3 films) in addition to many of the top television series score composers and theme song writers.
His efforts over his career were instrumental in taking ASCAP from a 20% overall market share to a 52% share of radio and competitive dominance in broadcast television, cable, and worldwide top-grossing feature films as well as an increase in total annual revenue from $60 million to $995 million.
In addition, he significantly changed most of ASCAP’s distribution, payment, and survey rules and systems and was responsible for significantly increasing the royalties and payment formulas for successful radio writers and film and television score and theme composers as well as eliminating practically all ASCAP payment and distribution policies, formulas, and rules that were not in the best interests of songwriters and composers or which had a negative effect on their earnings or which financially penalized success. In addition, he was in charge of and responsible for all writer and publisher advances, guarantees, bank loans, financial incentives, and other member inducements.
Past and current board memberships include the L.A. chapter of NARAS (the Recording Academy), the Association of Independent Music Publishers (AIMP), Entertainment Law & Finance, American Bar Association Forum on the Entertainment and Sports Industries (Governing Committee as well as Music and Budget Chairs), Academy of Country Music (ACM) and the California Copyright Conference (CCC), among others.
Jeff Brabec is Senior Vice President of Legal and Business Affairs for BMG (representing, among others, the catalogues of Bruno Mars, John Legend, Kurt Cobain, Roger Waters, ZZ Top, OutKast, Buddy Holly, David Bowie, Chuck Berry, Bo Diddley, My Morning Jacket, John Lee Hooker, Devo, Hal David, Blondie, Paul Anka, Billy Idol, Jethro Tull, Burt Bacharach, Steven Perry, Tom Waits, Dan Wilson, Paul Anka, and Ray LaMontagne). BMG is the fourth largest music publisher in the world, owning and controling over two million copyrights.
He specializes in evaluating, analyzing, projecting income and negotiating music publishing catalogue acquisitions as well as songwriter, co-publishing, participation, administration, subpublishing, direct license, and joint venture agreements as well as termination rights issues. He also specializes in all music licensing issues including digital media, motion pictures, television, video games, apps, Broadway musicals, and new technology agreements and negotiations.
Previously, he has been Vice President of Business Affairs for both the Chrysalis Music Group and the PolyGram Music Group and Director of Business Affairs for the Welk Music Group and Arista-Interworld Music Group where he represented the catalogues of Elton John, Henry Mancini, Van Morrison, Waylon Jennings, Hall & Oates, Rick Springfield, Richard Rodgers, Jerome Kern, and Oscar Hammerstein II, among others.
Brabec is the co-author of the best-selling book Music, Money, and Success: The Insider’s Guide to Making Money in the Music Business, now in its eighth edition (Schirmer Trade Books/Music Sales). He has been awarded the Deems Taylor Award for excellence in music journalism and the Texas Star Award by the Entertainment & Sports Law Section of the State Bar of Texas for Outstanding Contribution and Achievement in the Field of Entertainment Law.
Brabec is an Adjunct Professor at USC Thornton School of Music, Business Division, where he teaches music publishing and licensing, is contributing editor to the journal Entertainment Law & Finance and is co-author of the “Music Publishing” chapter in the 2018 Juris Publications multiple-volume treatise The Essential Guide to Entertainment Law.
The Brabecs lecture extensively throughout the world at conferences, universities, foreign country licensing and collection societies, industry associations, law firms, and management companies, among others. They have appeared on numerous legal and business panels for the Practising Law Institute (PLI), the bar associations of California, New York, Georgia, Texas, Florida, Minnesota, Tennessee, Washington, D.C., and Beverly Hills, SXSW, Midem, the National Association of Television Program Executives (NATPE), the American Bar Association Forum on the Entertainment and Sports Industries, ABA annual conference, NARAS, the Game Developers Conference, Song Summit Sydney, Billboard, Americana Conference, DIMA, AFM, MEIEA Educators Summit, the Cutting Edge Festival, Association of Independent Music Publishers (AIMP), Entertainment Law Institute, California Lawyers for the Arts, Guitar Center, Canadian Music Week, Production Music Association (PMA), International Association of Entertainment Lawyers (IAEL), American Film Institute (AFI), NARM, New Music Seminar, Society of Composers and Lyricists (SCL), Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts, ASCAP Expo, and the Irish Music Rights Organization (IMRO), among many others. They have hundreds of published articles on all aspects of the business and law of music and entertainment including the American Bar Association Entertainment and Sports Lawyer, the International Association of Entertainment Lawyers’ Annual Handbook, Entertainment Law & Finance, the Mitchell Hamline Law Review, the Entertainment, Publishing, and the Arts Handbook, USC Entertainment Law Spotlight, The Score magazine, Variety, the Hollywood Reporter and many others. Todd’s Entertainment Law Review article “The Performance Right: A World in Transition” was selected by West/Thomson Reuters as one of the best Entertainment Law Review articles of 2016 and was re-published in the Entertainment, Publishing, and the Arts Handbook. In addition, they have organized and participated in numerous American Bar Association webinars on music publishing, licensing, contracts, and sources of income in the music industry.
College, university, and law school guest lectures include USC, Harvard, NYU, Belmont, Loyola–New Orleans, Southwestern, Middle Tennessee State, University of Miami, Miami-Dade, Emory, Tulane, Florida State, University of Florida, Berklee College of Music, UCLA, the Trebas Institute, Hastings, Michigan State, University of Colorado, Five Towns College, Thomas Jefferson University, Victoria University, Syracuse University, California State University–Northridge and the Musicians Institute, among others.
Prior to their careers in music and entertainment law, they were legal services attorneys in Chicago for Community Legal Counsel (the U.S. Office of Economic Opportunity). They were also recording artists for Audio Fidelity Records as “The Reunion.” Both are graduates of the New York University School of Law.