Matthew L. Finkelstein*

Music, entertainment, technology, media, and publishing are the core focus of Matt's practice.
Matthew Finkelstein, Partner at Arent Fox LLP

Matt has led and managed more than $1 Billion in transactions involving copyrights and other intellectual property rights.

Clients value Matt’s client-centric and strategic approach to the practice of law. He recognizes it is essential to understand each client’s business and goals. After gaining that understanding, Matt applies his client-praised negotiation and drafting skills and his in-depth knowledge of the law to go to work for his clients.

Significant components of Matt’s practice include:

  • Representing buyers and sellers in the purchase and sale of recorded music catalogs, music publishing catalogs, and related royalty streams. His work on these transactions includes drafting and negotiating the transaction agreements and conducting legal due diligence examinations. Matt’s detailed knowledge about public performance rights and performing rights organizations, neighboring rights and neighboring rights collection organizations, and the copyright law play an important role in these matters.
  •  Assisting creators (e.g., songwriters and recording artists) and their families with recapturing US copyrights. Matt helps creators and their families exercise termination rights under the Copyright Law of the United States for the purpose of recapturing the US copyrights in creative works. He also advises and assists creators and their families with the administration and/or sale of all or a part of the recaptured rights and related royalty streams.
  • Technology and software development, licensing, and procurement transactions for national and international businesses. His work in this area includes drafting and negotiating cloud services agreements.
  • General copyright counseling to businesses in connection with the creation, ownership, licensing, and use of works of authorship (e.g., musical compositions, sound recordings, books, computer programs, movies, paintings, and photographs).  As part of this work, Matt advises clients on developments in the copyright law, such as in respect of the Music Modernization Act and regulations implementing the Mechanical Licensing Collective.
  • Book publishing deals.

*Not admitted in MA. Admitted in NY. Practicing under the supervision of MA Bar members.

Client Work

Representative clients include recording artists, songwriters, record producers, book publishing companies, television and film production companies, music publishing companies, record companies, video game publishers, chefs, food manufacturers, fashion and apparel retailers, and research and higher education institutions.

In the music industry, Matt represents clients ranging from large established international music publishing and rights management companies to new and upcoming players, to legendary artists like the Rolling Stones and the Pointer Sisters to developing songwriters and artists. The acquisition of rights in Beatles songs and the acquisition of royalties generated from Fleetwood Mac recordings are among the memorable purchase and sale deals that Matt has handled.

In the technology space, Matt represents companies in a wide range of industries in connection with their software and technology development, licensing, and procurement needs, including negotiation of cloud services agreements. 

In the area of book publishing, Matt’s clients include fiction and non-fiction book publishers and authors.

Matt’s work in the art world has spanned from the representation of art galleries to advising on groundbreaking art curation and installation projects at major sports stadiums and other commercial establishments and events.

Publications, Presentations & Recognitions

  • Billboard Top Music Lawyer 2022-2024
  • Chambers Top Ranked: USA 2023-2024
  • ASIPI Annual Meeting, Quito, Ecuador, Presenter, “The Impact of AI on IP and Its Monetization and “Music Catalog Purchases – Why the High Interest in the Music Marketplace  - June 2023
  • The Legal 500 - Intellectual Property: Copyright
  • Southern University Law Center CLE Program on the Music Modernization Act and the Mechanical Licensing Collective, Presenter – December 2020
  • Managing IP interviews Matt Finkelstein about new regulations implementing the Music Modernization Act – September 25, 2020
  • Federal Bar Association Webinar, Presenter, “The New Music Modernization Act: Ushering the Copyright Law into the Age of a Digital Music Marketplace,” March 27, 2019, Intellectual Property & Technology Law Journal, Co-Author, “Copyright Law Enters the Digital Age: The Music Modernization Act Is Now Law,” January 2019
  • Educational workshop for Motown artists, songwriters, musicians and producers and their families about the Termination Rights under the U.S. Copyright Law and opportunities presented by the Music Modernization Act – Presenter, June 2019
  • Super Lawyers Magazine, Listed in New York as a “Rising Star” for Intellectual Property
  • Finance Monthly, 2015 Deal Maker of the Year

Professional Activities

  • Member American Bar Association, Intellectual Property Section
  • Member New York State Bar Association, Entertainment, Arts & Sports Law, and Intellectual Property Sections
  • Member, Association of Independent Music Publishers; Member, The Copyright Society of the USA

Previous Work

Prior to re-joining ArentFox Schiff, Matt was a Partner in the New York office of a national firm. Matt gained his extensive understanding of the entertainment and technology industries from his prior career experiences at record companies, in live concert production, and at some of the first technology companies involved with the secure distribution of digital media.

Life Beyond the Law

Matt enjoys spending time with his family, attending live concerts, traveling, and volunteering in his children’s school community.