BRUCE E. COLFIN has been involved in the entertainment and music business for close to forty years. His beginnings as a “roadie” for bands such as the New Riders of the Purple Sage and stage manager for Peter Tosh on the 1978 Rolling Stones summer tour evolved into stints as a sound engineer, video producer and director, stage manager, tour coordinator for Inner Circle, and personal manager for Rock & Roll Hall of Famer Mick Taylor, former Rolling Stones lead guitarist.
Bruce is a graduate of Queens College of The City University of New York with a Bachelor’s degree in Communications Arts and Sciences. His Juris Doctor is from New York Law School. A member of the Bar of the State of New York, he is also admitted to practice before the Federal Courts in the Southern and Eastern District Courts in New York as well as the U.S. Court of International Trade.
Bruce also brings to THE FIRM extensive experience and background in the video production and distribution area. He produced a live weekly program on Manhattan Cable TV’s channel “D” from 1976 to 1985. He was associate producer and copyright co-proprietor of “Blues Alive,” featuring John Mayall, Mick Taylor, John McVie, Etta James, Sippie Wallace, Albert King, Buddy Guy and Junior Wells. The program was released by RCA/Columbia Pictures Home Video, and Pioneer Disc, and re-released by Lightyear/Image Entertainment DVD as “Jamming with the Blues Greats.”
In his capacity as President of LegalVision, Inc., Bruce Colfin produced and directed a twelve-hour series of educational videotapes on entertainment law — The Entertainment Law Videoprimer series. The project featured several internationally prominent entertainment business lawyers including Jay Cooper, Lee Phillips, Martin Silfen, Michael Rudell, and the Honorable N.Y. Supreme Court Justice Franklin Weissberg. The series was acquired by various universities, law schools and law libraries including the Lawrence Cohen Social Law Library at Harvard University and the State University College of New York at Oneonta, Department of Music.
A knowledgeable author, Bruce has written extensively about video, including “Negotiating an Independent Music Video Production of the John Mayall’s Blues Breakers Reunion,” which involved the development of the “Blues Alive” video and was published in Entertainment Legal News. He has written about the production of music videos for Entertainment Law and Finance, and the production of interactive laser video programming for Tape/Disc Business, and internet and copyright infringement issues regarding technology for Replication News and its successor Medialine News .
Bruce Colfin’s list of academic credits is lengthy. He is an Adjunct Professor at Five Towns College, an accredited music business college, in Dix Hills, N.Y., where he teaches Music Business Contracts as well as Music Publishing and Copyright. In 2003, Bruce was inducted into the Five Towns College Honor Society, Phi Sigma Eta. Between 1986 and 1988, Bruce was a member of the Editorial Board of the Journal of the Copyright Society of the USA, where he reviewed Prof. Thomas McCarthy’s treatise on the Rights of Publicity and Privacy.
Bruce is the author of “Freedom of Expression: The Protection Afforded Dissident Authors’ Rights,” published in the European Intellectual Property Review of Oxford, England. He has also served as Chairman of the American Bar Association, Patent, Trademark and Copyright Subcommittee, where he supervised production of the report, “Legislation on Compulsory Licenses for Retransmissions of Superstation Signals for Private Viewing.”
He has been a member of the Entertainment Law Circle and the Copyright Society of the U.S.A.; member of the American Bar Association Forum Committee on Entertainment and Sports Law; member of the New York State Bar Association section on Entertainment Law; member of the Broadcasting, Sound Recordings and Performing Artists Subcommittee of the Copyright Division; member of the ABA Section of International Law and Practice, International Intellectual Property Rights Committee; and Chairman of its Intellectual Property Rights in Developing Countries Subcommittee.
Bruce Colfin is a member of the New York Chapter of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences. He is also a member of National Television Academy, New York Chapter, and New Media Committee.
He has been a member of the American Bar Association Special Committee on Multimedia of the Intellectual Law Property Section, and a member of the N.Y.S. Bar Association Subcommittee on Publicity, Privacy and Merchandising and is Past Chairman of the Nassau County Bar Association Sports, Entertainment and Media Law Committee.
As a past Chairman of an American Bar Association Section of International Law Subcommittee on Intellectual Property Rights in Developing Countries, he supervised the creation of an extensive bibliography of source materials about International Record Piracy.
Bruce Colfin frequently speaks before various trade groups, music and art conferences, community groups, colleges and law schools, and Chambers of Commerce. Mr. Colfin is a frequent guest lecturer on entertainment business law for the Bachelors Degree program in music business at the State University College of New York at Oneonta. He is also a memeber of the Nassau County Bar Association Speakers Bureau. He is listed in “Who’s Who in The World,” “Who’s Who in America,” “Who’s Who in Entertainment,” “Who’s Who in American Law,” “Who’s Who in the East,” and other biographies. In 2003, Mr. Colfin was picked to judge the semi-final round of the Benjamin N. Cardozo Law School and Broadcast Music Inc., Entertainment Law Moot Court competition.
Bruce Colfin has co-authored numerous articles, including Photography and the Law, published by the New York Law Journal, and a column for the Independent Music Producers Society Journal. He has participated in monthly lectures on the “Protection of Creative Rights” for the Discovery Center series of adult education courses. Both also co-wrote a column for the quarterly newsletter of the N.Y. Chapter of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, and the Legal Horizons column for MediaLine, an industry monthly.
JAMPRO, the Jamaican Government’s official promotional organization has twice invited Mr. Colfin to Kingston to speak and present seminars on music industry topics.
Over many years of practicing law, THE FIRM ® music business clients include or have included: Grammy Winning Reggae Producers/Artists Sly and Robbie (“No Doubt’s Rock Steady”) Grammy Nominated Producers “Little Louie” Vega and Kenny “Dope” Gonzalez of Masters At Work; Platinum Reggae artist Inner Circle (“Bad Boys”) and Reggae superstars Shabba Ranks, Freddie McGregor, Israel Vibration, Gregory Isaacs, Niney The Observer, and Andrew Tosh; former Rolling Stone Mick Taylor; classic-rock legends New Riders of The Purple Sage and Marty Balin; Carlos Alomar; (David Bowie’s guitarist), Brian Ritchie (Violent Femmes); INDIE labels R.O.I.R.; MAW, Norton, Small Wonders and VP Records; Aretha Franklin’s drummer Bernard Purdie; Len Dell’Amico (award winning video producer/director for The Grateful Dead); jam bands Dark Star Orchestra, Donna Jean and the Zen Tricksters, the David Nelson Band; songwriter Richard Poindexter (“Thin Line Between Love & Hate”); John “Kaizan” Neptune (on CBS Malaysia and Nippon Columbia); former Howard Stern writer and sidekick, comedian Jackie “The Joke Man” Martling; television and concert production coordinator “Mo” Morrison; (Rolling Stones HBO Speciall, WOODSTOCK II, Woodstock 1999); Fernanda Tavares; covergirl for Cosmopolitan, Elle and Vogue Paris. We represent Good Times, publisher of regional entertainment newspapers and magazines, as well as YRB magazine and the South Florida Reggae Manifest.
THE FIRM ® has represented such mega-stars as P.M. Dawn, India and Toni Braxton, and has secured major publishing deals for a producer of the Backstreet Boys, with BMG Music and songwriter-producer Roberto Zapata of Shaggy-Boombastic fame with Bug Music.
Bruce Colfin’s avid interest in sports has led him to coach youth roller and ice hockey. He is certified by USA Hockey, the national amateur program and organizers of the USA Olympic Hockey Team, as a Level 4 (HS level) Ice Hockey Coach. He has represented amateur athletes as well as Vivian Harris, a professional boxer then managed by Shelly Finkel and Promoted by Bob Arum.
Back on November 15, 2013 Prof. Colfin presented a LIVE Webinar entitled Music Publishing: From the Garage to Madison Square Garden. The program is available for continuing legal education credit from Lawline.com .
In March 2014, Prof. Bruce Colfin, instructed would be producers and students of the entertainment business during two sessions at Five Towns College Saturday Seminars and Workshops. The program, entitled Music Producers and their Successful Contracts was a six hour in depth look at the legal and practical aspects of creating and producing music and music videos.
The fall 2016 semester will be Professor Bruce Colfin’s 35th semester and the start of his 18th year at Five Towns College in Dix Hills, New York. Professor Colfin is currently an Associate Professor, teaching Music Business Contracts as well as Music Publishing and Copyright.