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John C. Beiter

John Beiter practices entertainment and intellectual property law as a partner in the Nashville office of Leavens Strand & Glover.

In his more than 20 years as an entertainment lawyer, John has represented a diverse array of clients,  from recording artists and producers, record companies, songwriters and music publishers, to documentary filmmakers and book authors.  His institutional clients include SESAC Inc., the nation’s second-oldest and most innovative music rights organization;  the Americana Music Association, a music industry trade organization for which he serves as general counsel; and the International Entertainment Buyers Association, the leading not-for-profit trade organization for live entertainment industry professionals who buy, book, and sell talent.

John has been selected by his peers to be included among the Best Lawyers in America in the category of Entertainment-Music.  He also is listed among the International Who’s Who of Entertainment Lawyers and in Music Row Magazine’s “In Charge” edition.  He has been a panelist at various music conference seminars on copyright and entertainment industry topics, including South by Southwest (most recently moderating a 2016 panel on the topic:  “Music Rights Organizations:  What Are They?”); the Americana Music Association Festival and Conference; the Music Business Association (formerly NARM); Folk Alliance; and the CMJ Music Marathon.

John is a member and former Chairman of the Nashville Bar Association Entertainment Law Committee and an alumnus and a former Board of Directors member of Leadership Music.  He is a member of the National Academy of Recording Arts; the Country Music Association; the Academy of Country Music; and the Copyright Society of the South.  John is also a member of the American Bar Association – Forum on the Entertainment & Sports Industries and the Tennessee Bar Association.

John has represented clients regarding copyright-related legislation such as the Songwriters Capital Gains Tax Equity Act and the Songwriter Equity Act.  He also has presented at governmental roundtables regarding copyright-related topics, including the Copyright Office roundtable on “Statutory Damages, Digital First Sale and Remixes” and the Patent and Trademark Office roundtable on “The Making Available Right in the United States.”

In addition to his transactional entertainment law practice, John has an extensive litigation background in federal and state courts throughout the country, including cases regarding copyright infringement and entertainment industry contracts, and he has served as an expert witness in a copyright infringement lawsuit.  He also has taught as a guest lecturer for undergraduate and law school entertainment industry classes.

During law school, John served as Managing Editor of the Vanderbilt Law Review.  His student article, “Copyright and the Eleventh Amendment:  A Doctrine of Unfair Use,” won the Nathan Burkan Copyright Competition for legal writing at Vanderbilt and was cited by the Register of Copyrights in its Report to Congress on that subject.

Following law school, John served as law clerk to the Honorable John T. Nixon, U.S. District Judge in the United States District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee. Before practicing law, he was a newspaper reporter and a songwriter for a Nashville-based music publisher.

  • Vanderbilt Law School, J.D.; Managing Editor of Vanderbilt Law Review
  • Indiana University, A.B in journalism and English
  • State of Tennessee
  • District of Columbia (inactive)
  • Supreme Court of Tennessee
  • United States Courts of Appeals for the Fourth, Sixth, Ninth, and District of Columbia Circuits
  • United States District Courts for the Middle and Easter Districts of Tennessee and the District of Columbia