SoundExchange, the rights management nonprofit designated by the U.S. Congress to collect and distribute performance royalties for non-interactive digital music streams, has promoted Tim Dadson to general counsel, it was announced today. His elevation coincides with the resignation of SoundExchange’s chief legal officer, Colin Rushing, who will step down at the end of this year following nearly 14 years with the company.
In a statement, SoundExchange president and CEO Michael Huppe praised Rushing “for his countless contributions to our organization and the important role he has played in striving for fairness for creators everywhere.” Rushing added, “I’m looking forward to my next chapter, and plan to keep pursuing my passion: helping music creators thrive in a constantly changing landscape.”
Rushing, who was a regular fixture on Billboard’s annual list of top music lawyers, joined SoundExchange in 2008 as senior counsel, before rising to general counsel in 2011, senior vp and general counsel in 2014 and his current role as chief legal officer in 2020. During his tenure, Rushing led rate-setting efforts before the Copyright Royalty Board and helped secure substantial increases in the royalty rates for digital radio services, including a 17% increase in webcasting rates in 2021.
Also during his time at the organization, Rushing worked on legislation benefitting creators, including the CLASSICS and AMP Acts, and he has continued working to secure a performance right for broadcast radio. He additionally spearheaded litigation on behalf of SoundExchange payees and oversaw the development of several programs, including enforcement programs that generate millions in additional revenue for creators every year as well as the first license management program in the company’s history.
In his new role, Dadson will oversee all legal functions at SoundExchange, including regulatory issues, enforcement programs, rate proceedings, corporate governance and compliance. He will also serve as chief legal advisor to SoundExchange and form part of the organization’s executive team, reporting to Huppe, who called Dadson “an exceptional leader…[who] will help support our transformation by leading the legal team at this critical juncture.”
Of his promotion, Dadson said in part, “I am looking forward to building a tech-first future of music that empowers creators and values the incredible contributions they make to the world.”
Dadson has been deputy general counsel at SoundExchange since 2017, having first joined the company as assistant general counsel in 2012. Over that time, he has led key initiatives, including the formation of SoundExchange’s political action committee, Music Speaks, and the SoundExchange Mediation program, which assists artists in resolving royalty disputes. He previously worked with the Washington Football Team, Sidley Austin LLP and Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP.
Succeeding Dadson as deputy general counsel is Brieanne Jackson, who was previously assistant general counsel, licensing & enforcement. During her 10 years at SoundExchange, she has led licensing and enforcement efforts for the organization; prior to that, she worked as a litigation associate at Ropes & Gray LLP and as assistant attorney general (trial division) for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. She currently co-chairs SoundExchange’s diversity, equity and inclusion committee.