Dina LaPolt is an attorney who represents music creators, celebrities, and owners and controllers of intellectual property. Dina is a rarity in the world of entertainment law: a talented attorney whose insightful approach to deal-making and incomparable care for each of her individual client’s needs has put her at the top of her field.
Owner of one of the music industry’s leading law firms, and the only firm of its stature founded and run by a sole female attorney — Dina’s LaPolt Law, P.C represents superstar entertainers as well as an array of top industry executives and employs nine full-time music attorneys who work together overseeing one of the industry’s most diverse client rosters.
When Dina became an attorney she immediately focused her attention on representing music clients, her area of greatest interest. Her passion for music began over thirty-five years ago, studying music in high school and graduating college with a bachelor’s degree in music. Prior to becoming an attorney, she was a musician, a talent buyer/concert promoter, and a personal manager, all of which have allowed her to bring a unique insight to the practice of law.
Dina is an expert at strategizing and solving complex and sophisticated legal and business issues relating to contracts, copyrights, trademarks, rights of publicity, and litigation. With her background in both the law and the music business, she combines a fresh perspective to problem-solving with extraordinary organizational skills. In addition, she serves as an activist for creators and celebrities in the areas of privacy, copyright, and fairness in radio, often becoming involved in legislative matters that affect the rights of her clients and advocating on their behalf.
Dina’s industry-leading advocacy culminated in the passage of the Orrin G. Hatch–Bob Goodlatte Music Modernization Act (MMA) into law on October 11, 2018, representing the first meaningful copyright reform in decades protecting artists and songwriters. An influencer in both business and policy, she led groundbreaking mediations to help stakeholders come together to create the MMA. Her advocacy, all on a pro-bono basis, was recognized on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives by Congressman Doug Collins (R-Ga). In 2016, Dina made headline news when she orchestrated the filing of a lawsuit against the Department of Justice on behalf of the Songwriters of North America in connection with the DOJ’s mandate requiring 100% licensing by each of the major Performing Rights Organizations.
Dina has been honored with numerous industry accolades including the Hollywood Reporter’s Power Lawyers and Top Music Business Attorneys; Billboard’s Power 100, Women in Music, Music’s Most Powerful Attorneys, and Top Music Lawyers; as well as Variety’s Dealmakers Impact Report and Women’s Impact Report. Notably, in 2018 Dina earned recognition for her work on the MMA as one the Executives of the Year for Billboard’s Women in Music and she was honored by MIDEM as Music Lawyer of the Year at the global trade event in Cannes. France.
For the eighteenth consecutive year, Dina is teaching a course entitled “Legal and Practical Aspects of the Music Business” in the Entertainment Studies Department at the UCLA Extension Program since 2001 and teaches and lectures all over the United States, Canada, and Europe on issues that affect creators’ rights. In October of 2016, Dina gave a TEDx Talk “Standing Up For Songwriters: A Journey Through Recovery | Dina LaPolt” in which she discusses the hurdles faced by the American songwriter and those faced in her own life. She has written op-eds for numerous online publications, including political news source The Hill, and has been quoted in a wide range of print and online media including The New York Times, Billboard, Rolling Stone, The Hollywood Reporter, and The Huffington Post. Dina also served as the editor of Building Your Artist’s Brand as a Business, published by the International Association of Entertainment Lawyers in 2012 and is currently again serving as editor for the IAEL’s 2019 edition. She lives a balanced life by combining her passion for fitness and health by working out regularly and by enjoying the company of her wife and twin boys.
California State Bar Association; Los Angeles County Bar Association; Beverly Hills Bar Association; California Copyright Conference; International Association of Entertainment Lawyers; National Recording Academy of Arts & Sciences; California Lawyers for the Arts; Association of Independent Music Publishers; National Association of Recording Industry Professionals; National Association of Recording Merchandisers; Black Women Entertainment Lawyers.
Committees and Boards (Past and Present)
President of the Board, Tupac Amaru Shakur Foundation; Attorney Advisor to the Grammys Creators Alliance; Board Member, Alliance of Artists and Recording Companies; Member, Los Angeles Music Leaders Roundtable under U.S. Representative Judy Chu (CA-27).
Building Your Artist’s Brand as a Business
Edited by Dina LaPolt
Published by the International Association of Entertainment Lawyers; Frukt Publications, U.K., January, 2012
You can also view or download a digital copy by simply clicking HERE to view the book in a new window (right-click and “save-as” to download)
Co-author of Chapter One,
“Multiple Rights Deals in the US: 360 and Beyond…”
as contained in Multiple Rights Deals in the Music Industry
Published by Five Eight/FRUKT www.fiveeight.net in association with the IAEL, June, 2009
Author and contributor of Matthew Bender Entertainment Industry Contracts; Negotiating and Drafting Guides, Volumes 8 and 9 (the “Music Law Volumes”) containing the following articles and Chapters:
• Recording Agreements with Independent Labels Volume 8, Chapter 159 Recording Agreements, Article 159.06
• Music Sampling Chapter 161, Volume 8
• A Legal Analysis of the Internet’s Effect of Provisions of Recording Agreements
• Music on the Internet, Chapter 160; Article 160.
Articles & Op-Eds
The following articles (and excerpts taken therefrom) have been published in various legal and entertainment related publications which include the Entertainment, Publishing & the Arts Handbook series; the A&R Registry; the ABA Entertainment and Sports Law Journals; California Lawyers for the Arts Music Business Seminars; Billboard Magazine; Music Connection Magazine; Rolling Stone; Cosmik Debris Magazine; The Hollywood Reporter; the Beverly Hills Bar Association; the Daily News at Cannes, France; International Association of Entertainment Lawyers’ Legal Publications and Journals; Cutting Edge Music Business Seminars; National Association of Record Industry Professionals Music Business Seminars; California Copyright Conference, among others.
- Dina LaPolt: American Law Institute’s Credibility at Stake After Giving Copyright Cynics a Green Light to Push Agenda
Billboard.com, January 2018
- Let Them Speak! Legal Loopholes That Silence Sexual Harassment Victims Must Go
Variety.com, October 2017
- It’s Time For the Music Business to Start Embracing the Blockchain
Billboard.com, April 2017
- Setting the record straight for songwriters
TheHill.com, February 2017
- Hey DOJ – see you in court!: Op-Ed
TheHill.com, September 2016
- Seeing the Signs: Using Social Media to ID Potential Threats to Artists’ Safety (Guest Column)
Billboard.com, August 2016
- “Creative Commentaries: US Copyright Act”
MediaTainment Finance, July 2015
- “Why Music Copyright Law is at a Turning Point in the US”
Midem.com, May 2015
- Exclusive Midem whitepaper: “Legislative Developments in the United States”
Midem.com, May 2015
- ‘Blurred Lines’ Verdict: Music Lawyers Weigh In
Billboard.com, March 2015
- “The Copyright Office: Our Bastard Stepchild Six Times Removed”
TheHill.com, February 2015
- “Copyrights Different than Patents, Trademarks”
TheHill.com, December 2014
- “Pay the Piper”
TheHill.com, October 2014
- “Artists Should Control Their Music”
TheHill.com, February 2014
- “Artists Must Take Control of The Future of EDM”
CMW.net, November 2013
- “ASCAP Lesson: Entertainment Attorney Dina LaPolt on Building Your Brand and Career”
ASCAP.com, December 2011
- “Multiple Rights Deals in the USA: 360 and Beyond”
- “Taking a Glance at Other Income Streams in the Music Industry”
- “Taking a Glance at New Media Deals in the New Music Industry”
- “Getting Noticed by the Music Industry and what to Look Out For Once You Are”
- “The New Music Industry: Where is It Going and What is It Going to Look Like?”
- “Public Performance Money and the New Webcasting Royalty…How Do I Get Paid?”
Cosmik Debris Magazine, March 2003
- “Musician Sign Thyself!”
Cosmik Debris Magazine, June 2002
- “The 7-year Rule and What Does that Really Mean?”
Cosmik Debris Magazine, March 2002
Instructor / Professor / Lecturer
Below is a list of where Dina has been a Professor, Instructor or Lecturer.
Panelist / Moderator
Dina has been a panelist/moderator at numerous music industry events and conferences all over the country.
Below is partial listing:
- Canadian Music Week, Toronto
- Billboard Touring Conference and Awards, Los Angeles
- MIDEM, Cannes France
- California Copyright Conference
- South by Southwest Music Conference, Austin, Texas
- NEMO Music Conference, Boston, MA
- Eat Em’ Music Conference, Las Vegas, Nevada
- ASCAP Music Expo, Los Angeles, CA
- MIDEM, Cannes France
- Kaplan Law Seminar, Los Angeles, CA
- TAXI Music Business Seminar, Los Angeles, CA
- mp3.com ACE Music Conference, San Diego, CA
- Perfect Pitch Music Executive Seminar, Los Angeles, CA
- Cutting Edge Music Conference, New Orleans, LA
- Latin Alternative Music Conference, New York, NY
- CMJ Music Conference, New York, N.Y.
- DIY Music Business Convention, New York, N.Y.
- Beverly Hills Bar Association Entertainment Law Panel, Beverly Hills, CA
- California Lawyer for the Arts Music Business Seminar, Los Angeles, CA
- The Indie Sessions Music Business Conference, Los Angeles, CA
- Future of Music Conference, Washington, D.C. (see video clip below)
- Ladyfest, Los Angeles, CA
- Atlantis Music Conference, Atlanta, GA
- 2NewMusic Conference, Nashville, TN
- Tax for Entertainers & Sports Stars, London, UK
Radio & TV Guest Commentator
- NPR Marketplace, “Jay Z is Apple’s newest rival in streaming music”
- KABC Judge Cristina Perez – 02/02/15
- KFWB Money 101 Interview Part 1 – 07/02/14
KFWB Money 101 Interview Part 2 – 07/02/14
- KPFK For the Record with Samm Brown, Los Angeles, CA
- WSM Country Radio, Rondotcom Nashville, TN
- WSMV-NBC TV, More at Midday with Holly Thompson and Bill Robertson
- KTBC-FOX TV, Morning News with Joe Bickett, Austin, TX
- KVUE-NBC, Midday News with Melissa Gale, Austin, TX
- Q Television Network, Brunch with Honey Labrador and Scott Withers, Los Angeles, CA
- KTLA, Los Angeles, Kurt the Cyber Guy, Music and Digital Rights
Below you will find video clips featuring Dina LaPolt. These videos include interviews, panels and more.
Standing Up For Songwriters: A Journey Through Recovery | TEDxOlympicBlvdWomen
Power Lawyers: The Hollywood Reporter’s 2015 Breakfast
Midem: Industry Talks – The International Impact of Copyright Reforms in the USA
Midem: Industry Talks – Policy, Copyright and Creativity – Debating the Implications of Legislative Developments in the USA
Dina LaPolt Testifies at US Patent and Trademark Office Roundtable
Keys to Success: EDM Boom
On Friday, May 9th as part of the 2014 Music Summit, Canadian Music Week presented a panel discussion called Keys To Success: The EDM Boom, at the Toronto Marriot Hotel, where the past and future of Dance Music, and the concept of Branding as “Patronage of the Arts”, were among the topics discussed.
Steven Tyler, Mick Fleetwood Lobby Hawaii Legislature
Steven Tyler and Mick Fleetwood and their attorney, Dina LaPolt, lobby Hawaii senate for stronger privacy laws. The Steven Tyler Act would make it a civil tort to “capture or intend to capture, in a manner that is offensive to a reasonable person, through any means a visual image, sound recording, or other physical impression of another person while that person is engaging in a personal or familial activity with a reasonable expectation of privacy.”
Future of Music Coalition Policy Summit
October 3-5, 2010 – Washington D.C.
The Following Clips courtesy of Artists House Music.
Loyola University Forum, New Orleans LA – April 2007 – Time: 51:21
Know your Own Business, Get a Better Record Deal – November 2005 – Time: 4:58
Breaking Down the Artists Team – November 2005 – Time: 4:10
Pro Advice on Developing New Talent – November 2005 – Time: 4:32
Making It as a Band – November 2005 – Time: 5:19
Getting into the Business – November 2005 – Time: 2:25
Dina on Starting Her Career
- Associate Producer
- Co-Producer of the Academy Award Nominated feature Documentary
2003, (Amaru Films/MTV Films, Paramount Pictures)
Awards and Recognition
- Billboard Magazine Top Music Lawyers 2015 and 2016
- The Hollywood Reporter Power Lawyers 2015 and 2016
- Billboard Women in Music 2016
- Award in Support of Songwriters and Publishers
Awarded by the Association of Independent Music Publishers 2015
- Tom Bradley Mishpoche Award
Awarded by the Jewish Labor Committee Western Region
- Best in Biz Awards: Best Music Business Attorney
National Association of Record Industry Professionals
- Outstanding Instructor in Entertainment Studies and Performing Arts from
University of California Los Angeles, UCLA Extension