Meet Dr. Harrington

Dr. E Michael HarringtonDr. E. MICHAEL HARRINGTON: composer, musician, consultant, professor, is a course author and professor at Berklee Online.  Harrington served as expert at the U.S. Copyright Office and World Intellectual Property Organization’s symposium “Copyright in the Age of Artificial Intelligence” at the Library of Congress on February 5, 2020.  He created the Coursera / Berklee College of Music Copyright Law In The Music Business class/MOOC which has been taken by students from 180 countries from Afghanistan to Cuba to Syria to Zimbabwe, the Berklee Online Music Business Capstone course, and  the Berklee Online Graduate Music Business Law class.  He  has taught courses in music business law, music entrepreneurship, licensing, music business capstone and the future of the music industry at Berklee Online (2012-present).  He was Music Business Program Faculty Chair at SAE Institute Nashville from 2014-2017.  He taught intellectual property law and courses in music, music and entertainment industry, social media and technology at William Paterson University (2008-2012).  He was Professor of Entertainment & Music Business in The Mike Curb College of Entertainment & Music Business at Belmont University (2000-2008), and Professor of Music Theory, Composition & Ethnomusicology in the College of Visual and Performing Arts (1985-2000) at Belmont University.  He was the 1995 Jemison Distinguished Professor of The Humanities at the University of Alabama-Birmingham, an endowed chair funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Jemison Family and UAB.  He is a member of the Leadership Music Class of 2007 and has also taught at the University of Miami, the University of Pittsburgh and The Ohio State University.  Eight (8) interviews of Harrington were selected as Shockwaves NME Awards 2010 Videos and are posted and streamed from

On January 26, 2018, his work as Expert Witness for the Plaintiffs in their effort to free “We Shall Overcome” from copyright came to fruition when, in a  settlement, “We Shall Overcome” was declared no longer under copyright and given back to the public.

In August 2016, Harrington co-authored a “BRIEF OF AMICUS CURIAE MUSICOLOGISTS IN SUPPORT OF PLAINTIFFS-APPELLANTS-CROSS-APPELLEES” and was cited as an authority in the BRIEF OF AMICI CURIAE 212 SONGWRITERS, COMPOSERS, MUSICIANS, AND PRODUCERS IN SUPPORT OF APPELLANTS in the “Blurred Lines” decision at the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.  Harrington has taught training sessions at the Harvard University Law School, delivered the Keynote Address to the Texas Bar Association, Keynote Address to the American Intellectual Property Law Association World IP Day at the University of Houston Law Center, been a guest speaker at the Boston Bar, Minnesota State Bar, Beverly Hills Bar Association, the New York Intellectual Property Law Association and delivered presentations at more than 400 international, national and regional meetings of more than 100 different organizations including the Future of Music Coalition Policy Summit, Experience Music Project, Montreal Pop International Music Festival, the Copyright Society of the United States, Silicon Flatirons Content Conference, Americana Music Association, Music Business Association, Society for Ethnomusicology, American Musicological Society, College Music Society, Society for American Music, Music Library Association, European Union Film Festival, BrightTalk Copyright War Summit Keynote, Institute for Comparative Studies in Literature, Art and Culture at Carleton University (Ottawa), Leadership Nashville, Rotary International, the Digital Summit, the Brevard Conference on Music Entrepreneurship, American Society for Business & Behavioral Sciences, the National Association of Recording Industry Professionals, Lipscomb Entrepreneurship Center, Indian Cultural Society, NEMO, the Millennium Music Conference, 2NMC, the International Association for the Study of Popular Music, the International Bluegrass Music Association, the American Culture Association, the Association of Independent Music Publishers, the Popular Culture Association, Singer Songwriter Cape May,  the Music Theory Society of New York State, Music & Entertainment Industry Educators Association, and others, lectured, performed and taught master classes at more than 90 universities throughout the U.S., Canada and Puerto Rico, including Harvard Law, George Washington Law, Boston College Law, Cardozo Law, Brooklyn Law, Loyola University Law, Colorado Law School, Penn State Law, Suffolk University Law, Duquesne Law, William Mitchell Law, Berklee, Penn State, NYU, Illinois Wesleyan University, Eastman School of Music, University of California San Diego, Cal Poly Pomona, the University of California Riverside, Emory, Vanderbilt, Miami, Eastern Michigan and others.

Harrington is presently serving on the boards of several different organizations including Future of Music Coalition Advisory Board, the Editorial Board of The Journal Of Popular Culture, as an expert in an international consortium on copyright issues and the future of the music industry funded by Brazil’s National Counsel of Scientific and Technological Development, and has been a consultant to the Electronic Frontier Foundation, the Music Plagiarism Project at Columbia University Law School, the Copyright Infringement Project at UCLA Law School and others.

He has been interviewed by print, radio, television and Internet sources including The New York Times, CNN, National Public Radio’s All Things Considered, Bloomberg Law Podcast, Wall Street Journal, Time Magazine, Huffington Post, Forbes, Fortune, Reuters, Washington Post, Inc. Magazine, Artists House Music, Rolling Stone Magazine, the Chicago Tribune, NBC’s “TODAY Show,” Yahoo!, People Magazine, the Daily Mail, BRAVO, the Biography Channel, Ovation TV, ABC News Radio, ABC, USA Today, The Associated Press, National Public Radio, PBS, Canadian Broadcast Corporation (CBC) Radio 1, CBC Radio Day 6, XM Radio, Radio Australia, Radio New Zealand,, The Christian Science Monitor, Substream Magazine, PC Magazine, American SongwriterMoney Magazine, Investor’s Business Daily,, MIT Technology Review, The Miami Herald, Des Moines Register, Barely Legal Radio, The Ottawa Citizen, LA Weekly, Mergers & Acquisitions, Storify, People Magazine, The Los Angeles Times, Life Magazine, Malaysia Mail, Billboard Magazine,, Gelf Magazine,,, The World African Network, the World News Network, The Seattle Post-Intelligencer, San Diego Tribune,, Readers Digest, New York Post, ABC News Radio, Fox News Radio and others.

He has worked as an expert witness and consultant in music copyright issues involving the The Chicks, Woody Guthrie, Amazon, Apple, Disney, Buena Vista, Deadmau5, Lady Gaga, Katy Perry, Led Zeppelin, We Shall Overcome Foundation, Adam Levine, Jib Jab, DJ Danger Mouse, Busta Rhymes, Steven Spielberg, SamsungHBO, Mark Burnett, Electronic Arts (EA), Food Network, Citadel, White Stripes, Black Keys, Akon, T-Pain, Lauryn Hill & The Fugees, Steve Perry, Collin Raye, Patty Loveless, Tupac Shakur, Samsung, AT & T, Keith Urban, the Houston Rockets (NBA), Beatallica, Mariah Carey, the Turtles, the Monkees, Ne-Yo, Cross Canadian Ragweed, Avril Lavigne, Mystikal, Britney Spears, 2 Live Crew, Rascal Flatts, Sugar Hill Gang, Lonnie Mack, Hasbro, Ford, Heinz, Publix, Insight International and others.

Harrington has created more than 30 university courses including “Copyright Law In The Music Business,”  “Music Business Law,” “Music Business Capstone,” “Music & Social Media 1,” “Music & Social Media 2,” “Technology, Law & The Future of Entertainment,” “The Entertainment Industry In New York,” “Legal Issues In The Entertainment Industry,” “Music Copyright Infringement from Bach to the Beastie Boys,” “World Music,” “African American Music,” “The Beatles,” “Music Of Africa,” “The 1960’s,” “Music Of The 1970’s” “Music of Miles Davis,” “Music of Nashville” and others.

On January 25, 2019 at the 2019 NAMM in Anaheim, he served as Expert Witness for both defendants and plaintiffs in two trials:  Marvin Gaye “Let’s Get It On” v. Ed Sheeran “Thinking Out Loud” and Radiohead “Creep” v. Lana Del Rey “Get Free” with superstar attorneys Mark Rifkin (Happy Birthday; We Shall Overcome) and Bill Loaf (Lucasfilms) interrogating him.  Jerry Harrison (Talking Heads), Bob Clearmountain (Rolling Stones, Bruce Springsteen), Andrew Scheps (Metallica, Red Hot Chili Peppers) and Czarina Russell (Hans Zimmer) served as judges.

An avid bicyclist, Harrington has bicycled three (3) times across the United States – twice from Los Angeles to Nashville, and once from Florence, Oregon to Nashville (3,400 miles).