Marc D. Ostrow - Romano Law

Marc D. Ostrow

Senior Entertainment and Copyright Counsel

Marc Ostrow – Profile


New York

U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York

U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York

Law School

University of Chicago Law School, Chicago, Illinois. J.D.


University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. B.A, magna cum laude


Marc is a copyright and entertainment attorney and chair of the firm’s music industry practice.  He represents recording artists, songwriters, composers, record labels, music publishers and authors as well as businesses that create or use music and other intellectual properties.  He has been recognized by his peers as a 2022 New York Super Lawyer for entertainment and sports law.

In his more than three decades as an executive and attorney, both in-house and in private practice, Marc has worked in private equity, corporate and start-up environments.  He uses this varied experience to counsel his clients as to both their legal and business issues (the legalities and the practicalities of a matter), including those involving strategic planning, personnel, negotiation strategy, asset sales and acquisitions and dispute resolution.

Prior to returning to private practice, Marc ran the New York office of London-based classical music publisher, Boosey & Hawkes, representing many of the greatest composers of the 20th and 21st centuries, including several Pulitzer Prize and Grammy Award winners.  Responsible for the company’s North American business, he increased profitability, streamlined operations and hired key staff.  Marc was also responsible for the office’s legal, licensing, copyright and contractual matters.  Before joining Boosey, Marc was a Senior Attorney with BMI, where he prosecuted copyright infringement actions throughout the country, defended the company in lawsuits and advised management on legislation affecting songwriters.  He began his legal career as a litigator with large and mid-size firms before transitioning to the music industry.

Since 2017, Marc has served as Adjunct Professor of Law at Cardozo Law School, which for several years has been rated by Billboard Magazine as one of the top ten law schools for music law.  He has been the sole instructor for Cardozo’s Music Law class for the past six years.  Marc writes often on music and copyright issues and his Introduction to Music Law video presentation is available for CLE credit through Lawline.

Marc is a former Trustee of the Copyright Society of the USA and has served on the boards of the New York Chapter of the Association of Independent Music Publishers and the Music Publishers Association.  He is a frequent speaker at various industry forums and educational institutions, including four panel appearances on Knowledge@Wharton on SiriusXM Radio.  He has been quoted in Time, Washington Examiner and the Law360 blog.  Marc is also a performing songwriter and composer.

Representative Recent Matters

  • Negotiated recording contract with major label for Grammy Award-winning composer (previously negotiated music publishing agreement with major music publisher)
  • Served termination notices and negotiated deal to re-assign post-termination rights in copyrights to several hit songs to major publisher on behalf of heir of Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and Songwriter Hall of Fame artist
  • Closed deal representing purchaser of interests in songs from iconic Broadway musical
  • Created new contract songwriter and licensing contract templates for music publisher
  • Negotiated recording contract and drafted side artist agreements for debut album nominated for a Grammy Award for best solo classical vocal performance
  • Negotiated and drafted agreements for licensing poems of US Poet Laureate for new compositions for choir
  • Created artist management agreement template for boutique artist management agency
  • Negotiated contract for conductor/arranger son of legendary film composer to revise orchestrations and conduct live orchestra accompaniment to screenings of iconic film

Blog Entries

  • Here’s Looking at You, Kid.  What To Know Before Employing Minors in New York.

    Behind child actors such as Iain Armitage, and child influencers such as Ryan’s World and Niana Guerrero, there are the contracts that made their success possible.  New York Labor Laws also require that contracts with minors include provisions to ensure that the children are not exploited because of their youth.  While not every employed minor

  • No, You Don’t Own Your Arrangement of That Hit Song

    A guitarist contacted me recently.  He creates arrangements of popular songs and puts the PDFs of the music for sale on his website.  The first thing I asked him is whether he got permission from the copyright owners of the songs to post his arrangements, being pretty sure he hadn’t.  He was quite surprised and

  • Joke Theft is No Laughing Matter

    Comedians have likely been stealing jokes for as long as jokes have been told.  Professional comedians make their livelihood off their own original jokes through a variety of ways including, most recently, asserting public performance rights.  As a comedian, what options do you have if someone steals your stuff? What is Joke Theft? Joke theft

  • Comedians Suing Over Writer Rights Is No Joke

    The latest development in the world of comedy law is a flurry of lawsuits in recent months by comedians suing Pandora and SiriusXM, and a continuing heated dispute with Spotify (who initially yanked the comedy albums of hundreds of comics off their service).  The dispute is over payment of public performance royalties when these entities

  • Taylor Swift Tagged for Infringement – But Not for Copying Words or Music

    If you’re a megastar songwriter and recording artist like Taylor Swift, there’s a 100% chance you’ll be sued repeatedly for copyright infringement over your chart-topping hits.  For example, while Ms. Swift still has not been able to shake off the long-running suit over her 2014 hit, “Shake It Off,” she was recently hit with another

  • Why Some Copyright Plaintiffs May Be Awarded More Money in California Than in New York

    People generally recognize that under our federal system, individual states may have differing laws in a particular area, such as criminal law.  Sometimes differences in various states’ laws make national headlines.  However, individuals and companies generally expect that the application of a federal statute will be the same whether a lawsuit is filed in a

  • Copyrighting and Licensing Choreography

    A choreographic work is one where the “composition and arrangement of a related series of dance movements and patterns are organized into a whole.”  It may be used to convey a story, theme or abstract concept and can include elements such as rhythmic movements of the body and the sequence of those movements. Choreography is

  • Do I Have to Give Two Weeks’ Notice in New York City?

    You have decided to leave your job for a new one or personal reasons.  The next step is to resign from your current position.  What is the best way to do that?  Do you have to give two weeks’ notice in New York City?  While generally there is no notice requirement there are some recommended

  • Mariah on the Copyright Naughty List?  Not So Fast…

    As has been reported all over the media, Mariah Carey has been sued for copyright infringement over her Christmas chestnut, “All I Want for Christmas Is You.”  The plaintiff, songwriter Andy Stone, claims he wrote a song with the same title in 1989 that had “extensive airplay” in 1993, the year before Carey’s seasonal evergreen