Teaching Songwriting to World Dignitaries at the United States Patent and Trademark Office

Updated: Dec 13, 2019


This week I had the privilege of leading a workshop for the assembled world copyright dignitaries at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) / GIPA Copyright Seminar 2019.

United States Patent and Trademark Office / GIPA Copyright Seminar 2019 Songwriter Workshop Group Photo

Every couple of years the USPTO hosts this Copyright Seminar and invites Judges, Copyright Ministers and Directors from around the world to attend a week of training at their Alexandria, Virginia Headquarters, just outside Washington D.C.

At their last event in 2017, I was invited to participate in two panel discussions, and this year it was my honor to lead the group through our Songpreneurs Songwriter IP Lab as well as participating in a panel discussion led by Keith Kupferschmid of the Copyright Alliance.

As many of you know, last year I was asked by the U.S. Department of State to be their first Arts Envoy IPR (intellectual property rights) delegate combining the arts diplomacy work of the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs' Arts Envoy program with intellectual property education initiatives led by the Office of Intellectual Property Enforcement.

As a simple country girl from East Tennessee, sometimes it's hard for me to believe that I get the opportunity to undertake this important work.

But as my friend Joseph Giblin in the Office of IP Enforcement once told me, "... at the end of the day, diplomacy is just one person talking to another person."

When you put it that way, my Mamaw Elzada Manis was maybe one of the finest diplomats I have ever known. She never met a stranger in her life, and loved nothing more than talking to people, showing them humor, love and consideration.

The copyright dignitaries at the USPTO event represented more than 30 countries, and even though they are all experts in their field, none of them had ever written a song before Monday.

Because of all the work my team and I have done for the past 10 years developing a curriculum based approach to songwriting and music business entrepreneurship training, leading this luminary group was not only a lot of fun, but also a real pleasure.

Songwriting is one of the few things on this planet that can bring people together over our shared love for music and creative self expression.

The attendees at the USPTO / GIPA Copyright Seminar not only gained an intimate knowledge of the value of intellectual property that will stick with them, they also came together to combine their insights, visions and cultures to produce a beautiful shared outcome - a song.

While the focus of the Songpreneurs Songwriter Workshop provided to the USPTO group was mainly on intellectual property education, other versions of our workshop focus on team building and conflict mediation for corporate clients, creative writing enrichment for k-12 schools, and healthy self expression for at risk youth.

Helping people to experience the joy of songwriting is a passion for me.

Over the years, I have developed a niche as a "non-attorney copyright expert" in some circles, which helps set me apart from other distinguished peers who do similar work.

But at the end of the day, like the Garth Brooks hit written by fellow East Tennessean Chris Wallin, busbee, and Lee Thomas Miller says, "It's just people loving people."

_______

If you want to book a Songwriter Workshop for your organization, contact Songpreneurs HQ on our website here.

If you are a government agency looking to have a us come to your country, please have your U.S. Embassy or Consulate contact the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs Arts Envoy desk here and request information about booking an Arts Envoy IPR visit.

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