This October, the Music Modernization Act — the most significant revision to United States copyright law in a generation — was signed into law, the culmination of half a decade of work on the behalf of songwriters and creators across the country. And at Billboard’s 2018 Women In Music event in New York City Thursday night (Dec. 6), four women who were instrumental in fighting the long, often thankless battle to get the law passed were honored as executives of the year.
Danielle Aguirre, executive vp/general counsel at the NMPA; Jacqueline Charlesworth, of counsel at Covington & Burling; Susan Genco, co-president of Azoff MSG Entertainment; and Dina LaPolt, founder/owner of LaPolt Law, took the stage to accept the honor, after being introduced by Fifth Harmony alum (and LaPolt client) Lauren Jauregui. And LaPolt was effusive and forceful in her speech accepting the award, emphasizing the great effort, and remarkable achievement, that went into the law.
“This was no small endeavor — it took many years of sleepless nights,” LaPolt said from the stage, noting that many of those nights were away from the comforts of family and home as the work to getting the bill passed stretched from months to years. She also stressed the importance of teamwork: “It is said that when great women come together, even greater things happen.”
LaPolt acknowledged the work and efforts of each of the three women honored alongside her: Aguirre, who she called the “quarterback of the bill”; Charlesworth, who helped co-write the final version; and Genco, whose work was instrumental in getting the bill through Congress. And she spoke with great emotion in stressing the achievement.
“It is your songs that created the passion in us to strive for higher, knowing that failure is not an option,” LaPolt said, addressing the songwriters the bill will help most. “The courage to imagine is what brings about the change that we can effectuate,” she added. “Our courage to imagine something better, to imagine something different, and to imagine something greater, makes us fucking unstoppable… And with music and imagination, we may just have the recipe to change the world.”