In the wake of copyright cases like "Blurred Lines", these are highly cautious and litigious times in which the professional services of a Forensic Musicologist are essential to avoid lawsuits that can cost agencies, musicians, and companies millions of dollars.
Johnson and Johnson, LLP Law Firm (Beverly Hills, CA)
In 2020, I was the musicology expert for plaintiffs in the Bad Bunny “Safaera” case, which settled out of court (AOM Music, Inc. v. Benito Antonio Martínez Ocasio et al., 2:21-cv-07691, US District Court, Central District of California). Client: Neville L. Johnson.
Billionaire Burke (NYC)
In 2021, I assessed the similarity of two hip-hop songs. Client: Billionaire Burke.
Heninger Garrison Davis, LLC Law Firm(Birmingham, AL)
In 2022, I provided my in-depth expert opinion on music used in a Fortune Top 5 corporation's TV commercial. Client: W. Lewis Garrison, Jr.
McLaughlin & Stern, LLP Law Firm (NYC)
In 2023, I was retained to produce an opinion letter on alleged infringement in rap music. Client: Chester R. Ostrowski.
I offer a unique set of assets:
My educational background in Music Theory (B.A., M.A., and Ph.D.) gives me a systematic way to compare melodies, rhythms, and chords (I have published on the subject in academic journals: see here and here).
I have over a decade of experience teaching & communicating music theory concepts to students of all ages, including many who lack formal training and can't read music. This lets me communicate advanced concepts clearly to laypersons.
I'm not just an academic: I also work in the music industry as a producer, songwriter, and audio engineer for film & TV.
My forensic musicology services include:
An expert opinion letter or "preliminary assessment" using musicological analysis to confirm or refute whether two pieces of music are substantially similar (potential for copyright infringement). This is preemptive coverage that will save you a lot of money in the long run, avoiding going to trial and being hit with lawsuits.
A detailed musicological report using in-depth, systematic musicological expert analysis comparing the works in question for similarities and differences.
Comparing temp tracks or scores in film, TV, and advertising to the new version.
Music testimony: Consulting and appearing in trials or depositions as a music expert witness.
An intensive, systematic "prior art" search of my database of thousands of pieces (classical, pop, rock, and more) to find out the prevalence of a given musical pattern in the existing repertoire.