Noted entertainment lawyer Jay Rosenthal has passed away at the age of 61.
Rosenthal, who once described himself as a “self-proclaimed music junkie,” originally sought a music career, having grown up in a musical family. But while he initially focused on playing both jazz and blues on the piano, he eventually became an entertainment lawyer.
His most recent position was at Mitchell Silberberg & Knupp, where he had worked since 2015. There he represented a number of talent and production companies in both the music and film industries on matters such as public policy, transactions and litigation.
Prior to that, Jay Rosenthal was senior vice president and general counsel for the National Music Publishers’ Association (NMPA). There he worked with music publishers across the country on matters relating to both copyright policy and reform. He is credited for developing and implementing the organization’s Late Fee and Modernization Programs. He further worked with the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) and other organizations in the battle against music piracy.
Rosenthal also held jobs at the Recording Artists’ Coalition (RAC), the U.S. Copyright Office and Berliner, Corcoran & Row.
On November 2, Teri Nelson-Carpenter, who is the national chair and Los Angeles chapter president of the Association of Independent Music Publishers — along with New York chapter president Alisa Coleman and Nashville chapter president John Ozier — issued a statement in response to Rosenthal’s passing.
“The AIMP mourns the loss of a true friend to independent songwriters and music publishers. Jay Rosenthal was more than an attorney to most of us. He passionately represented the causes for independents championing the way on major issues that deeply impacted the community. Jay was an important educator providing detailed knowledge at our Washington roundups and his experience and expertise to our executive board. He will be deeply missed by family, friends and the community of songwriters and music publishers.”