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Marc D. Ostrow

Entertainment and Copyright, Of Counsel

Marc is a copyright and entertainment attorney.  He represents songwriters, recording artists, labels, music publishers, authors and other creatives as well as businesses that produce or license intellectual property.

With more than thirty years’ experience 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 his varied experience to counsel his clients as to both the legalities and the practicalities of matters, including those involving strategic planning, employment, negotiation strategy, asset sales and acquisitions and dispute resolution.

Before 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.  He increased profitability, streamlined operations and hired key staff.  Marc was also responsible for the office’s legal, licensing, copyright and contractual matters.  Prior to 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.

Since 2017, Marc has served as Adjunct Professor of Law at Cardozo Law School, which has been rated by Billboard Magazine as the top law school for music law.  He has been interviewed for his views on high profile copyright infringement cases on NewsNation, Fox, Scripps TV and CourtTV. He has also been quoted in The Wall Street Journal, Time, Washington Examiner and the Law360 blog.  Marc speaks frequently on IP issues at various industry and educational organizations and his Introduction to Music Law video presentation is available for CLE credit through Lawline.  He has been recognized by his peers as a New York Super Lawyer for entertainment and sports law in 2023 and 2022 and has been rated “AV-Preeminent” by Martindale-Hubbell.

As a pianist, Marc’s favorite composers include Chopin, Bach, Gershwin and Thelonious Monk although he still plays the Elton John and Billy Joel songs he grew up with. He also writes and performs his own songs and compositions.

Representative Recent Matters

  • Negotiated buyout from prior label and recording contract with new label for prominent Reggaeton Artist
  • 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


Adjunct Professor, Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law 2017-present (courses in music law)

Adjunct Professor, Westminster College of the Arts, Rider University 2010-2016 (courses in the music business, including the recording and music publishing industries)

Recent Speaking Engagements:

Panelist, Cardozo Entertainment Law Society (CLE), “Bad Blood? Why Labels are Rethinking Re-recording Clauses in the Wake of the “Taylor’s Version” Era” March 20, 2024​

Panelist ABA CLE, “Landslide: Understanding Copyright Fair Use and Transformative Use After Recent Cases” (webinar) January 23, 2024

Presenter, Lawline, “Introduction to Music Law” (online CLE) November 7, 2023

Panelist, Florence Belsky Foundation, “Music, Copyright & AI: Explaining the Legal Dissonance” (webinar) November 2, 2023

Presenter, DG Copyright Management (Dramatists Guild) “The 10 Things to Do Before You Die: Estate Planning and Music Copyright,” (webinar) October 17, 2023

Panelist, NY Comic Con CLE, “The Law and Practice of Representing Comic Book Creators – 2023” October 12, 2023

Panelist Fordham IPLJ Symposium, “Robotic Rhapsody: Generative AI and the Rise of Machine Music” October 6, 2023

Panelist, New York Law School IPLS Symposium, “Legal Issues in Book Publishing” (webinar) April 20,2023

Panelist, The Copyright Society CLE, “All for One, One for All: The Future of Collective Management in Copyright,” (webinar) October 6, 2022


“Copyright Clarity: Do I Need A ‘Work-for-Hire’ Clause?” The Licensing Journal, Vol. 44, No.5 (Wolters Kluwer, May 2024)

“Why The Warhol Decision Is Music To My Ears,” Landslide Magazine (ABA), Vol. 16, No. 2 (January 2024)

“Finding Transformative Use in Fair Use Cases,” Copyright & New Media Law, Vol. 20, No. 2 (Digital Information Law, Spring 2016)

“The Copyright Act as It Relates to Musical Works,” The Licensing Journal, Vol. 35, No. 9 (Wolters Kluwer, October 2015)

Bar Admissions

  • New York (1990)
  • U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York (1990)
  • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York (1990)


  • University of Chicago Law School, Chicago, Illinois. J.D. (1989)
  • University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. B.A, magna cum laude (1986)

Professional Affiliations

  • The Copyright Society (Trustee,  2007-2010)
  • Association of Independent Music Publishers (NY Chapter Board Member 2007-2010)
  • New York City Bar Association


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