Arts & Entertainment Industry Forum: John Simson

Professor George Howard interviews entertainment attorney and SoundExchange founder John Simson (10/10/2011).

About John Simson

Since his own signing in 1971 as a recording artist and songwriter, John Simson has immersed himself in the music industry. Originally a musician in his own right, Simson's thirty-year career as an entertainment attorney has allowed him to work with the likes of Mary-Chapin Carpenter and Harry Belafonte, as well as work in a variety of roles, such as artist manager and industry executive. In 2001, Simson co-founded SoundExchange, a firm specializing in royalty collection from internet and satellite radio services on behalf of artists and record labels. Since its inception, SoundExchange has distributed over $2 billion to rights holders.

With his years of expertise on copyright issues in film, television, music, and visual arts, Simson was at the forefront of the battle for artist's rights and their ability to be paid for their work online and has been featured by NBC Nightly News, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, CNN, and NPR's Marketplace, among others. A frequent lecturer on music industry and copyright issues, Simson currently serves as both the Chairman of the Board of the National Recording Preservation Board of the Library of Congress and as the Chairman of the District of Columbia Bar's Art, Entertainment, Media & Sports Law Committee. He also is a current board member of the Council on International Non-Theatrical Events (CINE), and is a former president of the Washington, D.C. Chapter of the Recording Industry Association.

Simson received an Emmy nomination for his music supervision of the PBS series, "American Roots Music" and was named the Outstanding Volunteer Lawyer by Washington Area Lawyers for the Arts on their 10th Anniversary celebration.