TEL. 212.245.6221 OR 860.824.0891     FAX. 212.245.6406


The Law Office of Peter M. Thall specializes in all areas of entertainment law, intellectual property, and intangible rights with particular emphasis in music, merchandising, sponsorship, endorsements, fashion, and photography.

The Firm's clientele encompasses a wide variety of artists at the top of their professions, including both classical and popular-oriented recording artists and songwriters, producers, music and fashion industry executives, fashion models, photographers, and investors who acquire music publishing and master recording catalogues.

We provide special counseling services to corporations seeking to comply with various global copyright and other intellectual property laws affecting their on-line presence. In particular, we provide general counsels of major, including public, corporations, with the ability to educate themselves and their company's ever-changing employees in the nuts and bolts of copyright law, including sampling, use of others master recordings and musical compositions in their corporate offices, in their special events, including DJ events, and on their various on-line ventures including their corporate websites and websites promoting their products.

Senior attorney Peter M. Thall frequently lectures at industry and legal seminars regarding the Firm's practice areas and has been featured on local, regional, national, and international news and talk shows. His opinions are frequently sought by newspapers and magazines seeking comments on current events in the entertainment industry and seeking to uncover and understand trends.

Among the print media in which Mr. Thall has been featured as an expert are Variety, Billboard, USA Today, the New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Broadcasting Magazine, Music Business International, the American Bar Association Law Journals and the New York State Bar Association Law Journal. Among the broadcast media in which Mr. Thall has been featured as an expert are NBC, MSNBC, FOX and a host of radio stations throughout the world.

Practice Areas


  • Music-Recording and Music Publishing
  • Music Clearance
  • Theater
  • Musical Theater
  • International Live Performing
  • Endorsements and Sponsorship
  • Book Publishing
  • Classical Music
  • Copyright, including Terminations of Copyright and Sale
  • Valuation of music catalogues
  • Internet
  • Film
  • Digital Licensing


  • Recording Artist Agreements
  • Producer Agreements
  • Master License Agreement
  • Music Publishing and Songwriter-related Agreements
  • Songwriter and Music Publishing Agreements including Catalogue Acquisition, Sale and Licensing Agreements
  • Due Diligence services to evaluate Intellectual Property in Mergers and Acquisitions of entertainment-related Agreements
  • Sub-Publishing Agreements
  • Co-Publishing Agreements
  • Co-Writer Agreements
  • Synchronization Agreements
  • Mechanical License Agreements
  • Print agreements, including Digital Print Licenses: individual songs and catalogue licenses
  • Digital Rights Licensing Agreements for Sound and Visual Reproductions of Music
  • Initiating and Defending Against Copyright Infringement and other Intellectual Property Claims
  • Sponsorship Agreements
  • Copyright, including International Copyright Conventions, the United States Copyright Law, including Compulsory License Provisions, the DMCA, the AHRA, Work for Hire Issues, Copyright Office Searches and Analysis, WIPO, TRIPP, Terminations of copyright under 1909 and 1976 Copyright Acts
  • Joint Venture Agreements
  • Licensing Agreements of every type and nature, including those involving the transfer or licensing of Intellectual Property rights in general
  • Executive Employment and Compensation Agreements
  • Agreements with Performing Rights Societies (United States)
  • Agreements with Performing Rights Societies (Ex-United States)
  • Agreements with Mechanical Rights Protection and Licensing Societies
  • Artist-related Agreements
  • Management Agreements Agreements with Business Managers and Accountants, including Auditors Publicists and Public Relations Agreements
  • Neighboring Rights Agreements
  • Agency Agreements
  • Touring Agreements including:
    • Bus and Truck Agreements
    • Jet Plane Leases
    • Sound Agreements
    • Lighting Agreements
    • Stage Construction and Licensing Agreements
    • Merchandise Agreements
    • Hall Merchandise Agreements
    • A F of M Performance Agreements
    • Non Union Performance Agreements
    • Promoter Agreements
    • Social Networking Relationships
    • Live Streaming and Live in HD Events
  • Celebrity Endorsement Agreements
  • Exclusive Merchandise Agreements including Touring and Retail
  • Cast Album Agreements
  • Soundtrack Agreements
  • Partnership Agreements
  • Internet-related Agreements
  • Internet Performing Rights Agreements
  • Internet Mechanical Rights Agreements
  • Internet Webcast Agreements
  • Internet Synchronization Agreements
  • Internet Music Rights Clearances and Agreements
  • Internet Domain Name Dispute Negotiations and Resolutions
  • Book Publishing-related Agreements
  • Photographer Agreements including licensing and book publishing
  • Photograph Protection and Compliance with Photographer's rights worldwide
  • Literary Agent Agreements
  • Classical Music Agreements of every type and nature including Recording Agreements
  • Musical composition commission agreements
  • Talent Engagement Agreements
  • Name and Likeness Depiction Agreements
  • Actor Agreements (Film and Theatrical)

Peter M. Thall

ImagePeter M. Thall is a veteran of more than 45 years of practicing law with a speciality in music law. Mr. Thall has represented many of the world's greatest artists from Simon & Garfunkel to Barry Manilow, Hall & Oates, The Average White Band, ABBA, The Cars, Foreigner, Pat Benatar and innumerable other bands, producers of such contemporary artists as Billy Joel, Weezer, Hole, Nada Serf, D Generation, Will Smith, Boyzone and Hansen and singer/songwriters from Ric Ocasek and James Taylor to the composer of Wicked and several Disney and Dreamworks animated features, Pop star Kiesza, Peter Cincotti, and corporations utilizing music such as Victoria's Secret, Express, Henri Bendel, and The Gucci Group.

Crossing over into the classical music area, Mr. Thall represents a wide variety of instrumentalists, opera singers, conductors and performing ensembles, many of whom dominate their respective disciplines. His clients have included the renowned Soprano Anna Moffo, the world-famous violinist Hilary Hahn, and the avant-garde electronic string quartet ETHEL. Performing a somewhat different function, he took charge of the media responsibilities of The Papal Concert to Commemorate the Holocaust, broadcast to more than 52 countries live from the Vatican, which NBC News called one of the great success stories of the 20th Century. He was the Associate Producer of the highly acclaimed PBS Special based on the event, conceived and conducted by Maestro Gilbert Levine.

Among his areas of expertise are:

Music Business transactions of all kinds; Copyright Law; Executive Employment Agreements and Compensation Agreements; Copyright Catalogue Valuation and Sale Agreements; Acquisitions and Mergers in the music publishing and recording fields; providing corporations with Copyright Compliance Services in their internet-related businesses.


Copyright Society of the USA (CSUSA)
International Association of Entertainment Lawyers (IAEL)
Association of Independent Music Publishers (AIMP)
Songwriter's Hall Of Fame (SHOF)
Former member of the Entertainment and Sports Law Committee of the Association of the Bar of the City of New York
Founding Member: Entertainment Law Initiative (ELI), National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (NARAS)

Community Activities:

Board Member: The New York Festival of Song
Former Patron: The New York City Opera
Member: Metropolitan Opera Guild

Author of:

"A Corporate Counsel Song and Dance: Keeping Your Corporation in Tune and Out of Court" - Read
"The World Bank, The IMF and The Internet" - Read
"The Music Industry: A Modern Day Greek Tragedy" - Read
"Music Companies Must Act Global, Think Local" - Read
"East/ West Trade Must Go Both Ways" - Read
"Equality: A Goal For Human Rights Activists, But For Sound Business Enthusiasts Too" - Monday Memo (Broadcasting Magazine) - Read
"Multi-Media: A Fait Accompli for Attorney Peter Thall" - Read
"ARTISTS AS CAPITAL: Eastern Europe Primed to Join Global Entertainment Scene"
"An American at Midem: Reflecting on IP Afterlife"
"Global Players Aim To Keep a Personal Touch" (Music Business International)
"Strategy: Management Development: A Prescription For Achieving Business Results in Central and Eastern Europe"
"What They’ll Never Tell You About the Music Business: The Complete Guide For Musicians, Songwriters, Producers, Managers, Industry Executives, Attorneys, Investors, and Accountants". Watson-Guptill/Billboard Books (Publication Date: August, 2016)


L.L.B. The National Law Center: The George Washington University School of Law, 1967
B.A. Columbia College, Columbia University 1964

Bar Admissions: :

New York


Image What They’ll Never Tell You About the Music Business, Third Edition: The Complete Guide for Musicians, Songwriters, Producers, Managers, Industry Executives, Attorneys, Investors, and Accountants [Watson-Guptill/Billboard Books, 2016] reveals what most savvy music executives already know - - and hope that readers never find out!

It’s a digital world, but the fundamental realities of the music business remain the same. In What They’ll Never Tell You About the Music Business, Third Edition, Peter M. Thall, a specialist in entertainment and copyright law, takes an in-depth look at all facets of the music industry.

From how artists can best maximize their chances for long-term financial health to what pitfalls to avoid when signing an industry employment contract, Thall discloses the hidden dynamics and unfortunate consequences of what really happens when a deal is prepared and contracts are signed.

Completely revised and expanded to reflect both the economic and technological changes that the music industry has undergone over the past decade, What They’ll Never Tell You About the Music Business, Third Edition remains one of the most definitive sources for industry professionals.

Readers will learn how to:

  • Build careers in the music industry that can be fulfilling and lucrative;
  • Protect themselves against exploitive music labels and companies;
  • Avoid damaging consequences using IP basics that corporate counsels teach their employees;
  • Manage touring and merchandising transactions from clubs to large tours;
  • Gain practical understanding of copyright law and contracts;
  • Evaluate copyright and sound recording catalogs in terms of ROI, and more.

And much more:

“The music business is complicated, and this book is very helpful in deciphering its pitfalls, opportunities, and challenges.” - Clive Davis, chief creative officer, Sony Music Entertainment Worldwide

“This book gives you the real deal on the way the music business really works, whether you’re new to the game or even if you think you’re a veteran - - from contracts to touring, good and bad money decisions, and even creating a team no artists should do without.” - Sean Paul, Transformative Reggae and DanceHall Recording Artist.

“A clear contender for the one indispensable work on the topic, this book delivers the goods. There is no one involved in the music business who will not learn and benefit from this ambitious work.” - The New York State Bar Association

“Intelligent and accessible - rich in references, but easily understandable.” - David Geffen, founder of Asylum Records, Geffen Records, and co-founder of Dreamworks Records and Dreamworks SKG; Philanthropist

“An indispensable compass to guide you through the trials, traumas, and occasional triumphs you will encounter in that most unusual “life work” called the music business” - The late Bruce Lundvall, former President and CEO of The Blue Note Label Group of EMI Records

“This book is like a map, showing how to avoid the danger zones in the music business” - Ric Ocasek, Record producer, former lead singer and songwriter, The Cars

“For someone on the way up, this book is a must; for everyone else, it’s a bible.” - Danny Strick, co-president, SonyATV Music Publishing Inc.

“Attention Classical Musicians: This book is for you! In the rapidly changing world of the performing arts, it is more important than ever to understand fundamental business principles. This book explains it all - - and will save you a lot of time, aggravation, and money.” - Charles Letourneau, Former Senior Vice President IMG Artists; Artistic Consultant for Festival Napa Valley and Other Arts Organizations.

Contact Us

Peter M. Thall - Attorney at Law

Tel: 212-245-6221 OR 860-824-0891.
Fax: 212-245-6406.

Law Offices of Peter M. Thall
63 Canaan Valley Road PO Box 616
East Canaan, Connecticut 06024