Cyber Extortion, Social Media Music Licensing, and Ethics: CLE Track Sessions for SXSW 2018

Dive into hot-button legal issues across the music, film, and emerging technology industries. The Continuing Legal Education or CLE Track at SXSW offers 12 hours of accredited sessions - including 1 hour of ethics - available at no extra cost to SXSW registrants. Explore some of the most notable CLE sessions for SXSW 2018 and be sure to add our session recommendations to your schedule.

According to SXSW Programmer Adam Wode, "With speakers from a number of different companies across the music, film, and interactive worlds, the CLE Track epitomizes SXSW's Convergence programming. Legal experts from Twitter, Sundance Institute, Sony Music, Facebook, and will share their insights and expertise."

Discussions range from OTT video deals, licensing music for social media, cyber extortion, and much more. Join us for the CLE Track from March 15-17 during SXSW Convergence programming. SXSW Convergence programming features a range of topics that straddle the cultural and technological intersection at the heart of SXSW with primary access granted to all SXSW Badges.

If you're a law student, faculty or staff check out our student and staff discounts for SXSW badges. If you're interested in larger university focused initiatives, reach out to

CLE Session Highlights

Cyber Extortion: Doing Business With Crooks

Speakers: Elizabeth Cookson (Kivu Consulting Inc), Wendell Bartnick (Reed Smith LLP), and Benjamin Stone (Federal Bureau of Investigation)

Cyber extortion (typically but not always using ransomware) has become a billion dollar “business.” Individuals and companies of all sizes and industries are vulnerable. For health, safety, and financial stability reasons, regulators have heightened expectations for data “availability” as a critical component of security. In the digital arena, as elsewhere, disaster recovery and business continuity have a seat at the head table for incident response planning purposes. Panelists will discuss how to deal with a cyber extortion situation, how things are likely to go down if a decision is made to pay, what you may wish you had done or thought of, and what the law and law enforcement have to say about doing business this way.

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TV Goes OTT: Video Deals in an Age of Cord Cutters

Speakers: Matt Heckman (Twitter), Gabriel Fleet (Greenberg Traurig LLP), J. Christopher Hamilton (The Black Group), Michelle Skinner (Sundance Institute), and Tonya Rutherford (Verizon FiOS Tv And go90)

As more and more consumers decide to forego cable subscriptions in favor of “over the top” streaming offerings from the likes of Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon, digital video distribution deals have become increasingly important to the bottom-line of the entertainment business. This trend has surfaced a host of unique challenges that could never have been contemplated in the prior Golden Age of Television. This panel of experienced legal dealmakers will explore some common, hot-button legal and business issues associated with the structuring and negotiation of complex agreements in this evolving space.

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Licensing Music for Social Media: A Perfect Storm

Speakers: Bobby Rosenbloum (Greenberg Traurig LLP), Tracy Gardner (Warner Music Group), Neil Miller (Facebook), and Ted Suh (

As full-catalog streaming services have become more of an institutionalized business model and the core of the recorded music industry’s business, there is a new horizon of opportunities as music becomes integrated with social media. That said, the emerging social media models often push the limits of traditional music licensing, and new concepts are needed where the law has not adequately contemplated the new world order. This panel will feature some of the innovators and thought leaders in the space and will focus on the complex legal, business and licensing issues that have confronted service providers.

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Browse All Continuing Legal Education Sessions

Crossover Track Recommendations

Make the most of your time at SXSW and learn from SXSW sessions across all 24 Tracks of Conference programming. These recommended sessions are outside of the CLE Track but will interest any SXSW attendee.

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Teaser Photo by Jay Nicholas

By Ari Roth