Laurie Hughes
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ABOUT
Laurie Hughes is an intellectual property attorney with more than thirty years experience in business affairs, business development, and licensing.  She is skilled in developing and executing strategies for both IP owners and digital content providers.

Prior to Hughes-Kessler, Laurie was VP Business Affairs & General Counsel for TouchTunes Corporation, a company which grew from a start-up into the world’s largest out-of-home entertainment network and owner of numerous patents and trademarks.  She was responsible for the strategic and operational leadership of departments responsible for music programming, acquisition and distribution of content to the network, copyright research and licensing, contract administration and royalty allocation and distribution.  Her department obtained rights to millions of works and distributed royalties for over 750 million uses each year.  She negotiated licenses with all major and large independent record labels and publishers and all three U.S. performing rights organizations.  Her department obtained rights from thousands of independent record labels and music publishers.  Laurie established among the first digital licenses with Canadian and Mexican collective licensing agencies.  She also liaised with outside counsel to protect more than 20 trademarks in the U.S., Canada, Mexico, China, Taiwan, Brazil and India and advised the company and supervised lobbyists on potential copyright law revisions.

Hughes was previously AVP, Business Affairs at ASCAP. Her primary focus was the development of industry-wide license agreements that grew existing revenue each year and created new revenue streams, resulting in millions of dollars of revenue to copyright owners.  She led a team of licensing, legal, and economics executives in developing license rates, terms and strategy in negotiations with trade and industry associations, including colleges and universities, satellite radio, concert promoters, hotels, municipalities and major sports leagues. 

Laurie began her career as an attorney at SESAC, where she rose to VP Legal & International Affairs.  At SESAC, she served as General Counsel during the transition of the performing rights organization from a sixty-year old family operated firm to an entrepreneurial, investor owned company.  She appeared as counsel in Copyright Royalty Tribunal distribution proceedings and testified at numerous state legislative hearings in opposition to bills regulating and interfering with copyright licensing and enforcement.  She also served as corporate advocate during meetings with Congresspersons and staff.

She has been a speaker on rights and licensing at numerous trade and industry association conferences including the Colorado Bar Association IP Section and Rocky Mountain Chapter of the Copyright Society of the USA, the Intellectual Property Law Section of State Bar of California, SELAW, the World Intellectual Property Organization, Association of Independent Music Publishers, North American Folk Music & Dance Alliance, Kagan & Associates Pay Per View Summit, the National Speakers Association Annual Convention and many others.

She is an alumna of Leadership Music (class of ’92), a member of the Tennessee Bar Association, the Copyright Society of the USA (former trustee), the Copyright Society of the South and a member and former president of SOURCE, Inc., an association of executive  and professional women in the Nashville music industry. Laurie has a B.A. in government from Smith College, and a J.D. from the University of Memphis.