USF to host copyright seminar on Feb. 25

The University of St. Francis Digital Audio Recording Arts (DARA) will sponsor a copyright seminar on Tuesday, Feb. 25 from 1-3:30 p.m. in the Sexton Auditorium at USF’s main campus, 500 Wilcox Street in Joliet. Attorneys Barry Irwin and Marci Rolnik from the Lawyers for the Creative Arts organization in Chicago will discuss the survival of copyright in the digital age. This event is free and open to the public.

The 75-minute presentation will focus on copyright issues related to music, art, film and video, books, journalistic endeavors, comics, web design and more. The presentation will be followed by a 75-minute question-and-answer session. Some tough questions being compiled by students and faculty in the university’s College of Arts & Sciences include, “Is copyright law is only a concern of first world countries?”; “Since the current copyright laws have very little or no bearing on the digital age, is copyright meaningless now?”; “Will Creative Commons kill copyright?”; “How do you setup a LLC and what are the benefits?” and finally, “How does a DIY musician effectively collect royalties worldwide?”

These copyright concerns haven’t scared away one DARA student, Gabriel Reid, who recently released his first album titled, “In the Morning.”

Said Reid, “As an independent musician who is trying to build a following from the bottom up, my concern is actually not to keep listeners from pirating my music. At this point, I just want to get my music to the people who will enjoy it so I can build up a fan base. Companies like Universal are hardly able to enforce copyright laws against piracy, so I know that I don’t have the legal firepower to stop people from stealing my music if they want to. What I am more concerned with is protecting my music from people or companies using it for commercial purposes. If one of my songs gets used in something like an advertisement or web series, I want my songs protected so I can ensure that I am compensated in some way.”

This topic will be especially relevant since the DARA / Entrepreneurship major is growing at USF. This unique program includes 30 hours of DARA courses and 30 hours of focused business courses, “geared toward the budding recording artist who is keyed in on mastering music architecture and technology,” said program director Jeff Jaskowiak.

“These students want to bring their music to fruition, but need to become educated on how to monetize their work and efforts. The coursework of this program will enable creative entrepreneurs to develop skillsets to create a small, or even micro-enterprises, and turn their artistry into a viable and sustainable business,” he said.

USF plans to offer a three-hour, graduate-level course this summer called “Using Music Technology in the Classroom.” This affordable course will be taught by a nationally-known educator and only 12 seats will be available. More details to be announced in the coming months.

In the meantime, visit to stream “In the Morning” or view the music video, which was filmed in USF’s state-of-the-art DARA studio. To RSVP for the copyright seminar or for more information about becoming a DARA student at University of St. Francis, email Jaskowiak at or visit them on the web at

The University of St. Francis in Joliet serves 3,400 students nationwide, offering undergraduate, graduate and doctoral programs in arts and science, business, education, nursing, health care and social work. For information, call (800) 735-7500 or visit


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