Law professors present sessions on legal challenges of 3D printing, music licensing at conference

RALEIGH — Three Campbell Law School professors were among those presenting Continuing Legal Education (CLE) sessions during the International Bluegrass Music Association’s annual business conference on Tuesday and Wednesday, at the Raleigh Convention Center.

The IBMA business conference is part of a larger music festival that brings more than 200,000 people to the streets of downtown Raleigh annually. Campbell Law School was not only a sponsor, but located just blocks from the festival’s main footprint among the office towers and civic buildings of North Carolina’s bustling capital city.

On Tuesday, Professor Lucas Osborn discussed “Issues in 3D Printing” following an introduction by David Bohm, director of development and health law professor. Conference organizers requested the topic because of three-dimensional printing’s potentially game-changing role in creating and selling branded merchandise, an important piece in music business economics.

Osborn’s presentation explored the potential of 3D printing, for example, to create and monetize specialized on-demand merchandise. It also analyzed the ways in which 3D printing technology (also known as additive manufacturing) challenges presumptions in intellectual property law. 3D printing technology democratizes design, distribution, and manufacturing to the extent that even moderately skilled individuals can design, disseminate, and manufacture items. Knowingly or not, such 3D manufacturers interact with intellectual property law as they go about creating, tweaking, and sharing digital designs, and an individual can be guilty of infringement regardless of whether there is an intent to infringe, or even knowledge of the intellectual property right involved, according to the IBMA website.

Osborn is an expert in the area of intellectual property law, with a focus on patent law. He has authored over a dozen articles on intellectual property law, presented his research on three continents, and been quoted in the Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg News and locally. He serves as the founder and director of Campbell Law School’s Intellectual Property Law Program. His private practice focused on patent litigation, patent prosecution and intellectual property licensing.

On Wednesday, Professor Tuneen Chisolm participated on a panel entitled, “Music Licensing in the New Streaming Era.”  

The music distribution economy is transitioning from one of ownership to one of access with the dramatic shift from fans purchasing physical products and digital downloads to fans streaming interactive content. Streaming platforms have dramatically increased but streaming revenues have not replaced the lost income from physical products. With this transformation, the music licensing system has become even more complex for artists to navigate. Songwriters and publishers have sued or settled with some interactive streaming services. Questions have arisen about the role of PRO’s and “fractional” vs. “full-work” licensing.  This session will address this new world of music licensing.

Chisolm teaches trademark and unfair competition, entertainment law and intellectual property at Campbell Law School. Her research interests include the intersection of morality, equity and intellectual property rights, particularly as it relates to entertainment and sports. Prior to Campbell Law, she served as the Westerfield Fellow on the faculty at Loyola University New Orleans College of Law. She practiced for over 10 years as an entertainment and intellectual property litigator in Los Angeles.

This is the second year Campbell Law School has had faculty members present CLEs during the annual event. In 2017, Professor Kevin Lee provided IBMA attendees with insights on blockchain and then Adjunct Professor Benji Jones discussed legal issues surrounding crowdfunding.

“The addition of the CLE Track in the IBMA’s Business Conference has been another successful way to connect the entertainment industry, and bluegrass specifically, to our vital legal professionals,” said Paul Schiminger, IBMA executive director.  “We are so grateful for Campbell Law School’s partnership with the IBMA to help make it possible.”

Top photo: Professor Lucas Osborn (right) discussed “Issues in 3D Printing” following an introduction by David Bohm, director of development and health law professor.