For the last fifteen years, Ross has added to his activities the creation of a "Right of Publicity" division to his firm. His competitors are mainly not lawyers who function similarly to agents relative to the rights of various Artists, both living and dead.
His exclusive and non-exclusive clients include such notables as, Jay Gordon, James Brown, Ray Charles, Dinah Washington, Louis Jordan, Big Mama Thornton, Judy Tenuta, Tom Dreesen, Emo Phillips, Gene "Duke of Earl" Chandler, The Spaniels, The Chi-Lites, Betty Everett, Woody Gunthrie, Mahalia Jackson, Dizzy Gillespie, Benny Goodman, Willie Dixon, Johnny Adams, Blind Lemon Jefferson, Jimmy Dawkins, Joe Tex, Ethel Waters, Leadbelly, Big Bill Broonzy, SunnyBoy Williamson (1), Howlin Wolf, Laverne Baker, Sugar Blue, Shirley King, Artie "Bluesboy" White, Walter "Shakey" Horton, Arthur Crudup, Screamin' Rachael, Farley "Jackmaster" Funk, Harry Dennis, Mud Morganfield, Big Joe Turner's heirs, Louis Lyman, Dells, Artistics, Eldoradoes, Soul Stirrers, Staple Singers, a member of the Emotions, LaWanda Page (Aunt Esther), Cuba Gooding Sr. of the Main Ingredient, Roosevelt Skyes, Ma Rainey's heirs, Bessie Smith's family, Joe Williams' wife, Willa and Clara Ward and the list literally goes on and on.
Jay Ross was born on February 12th in Brooklyn, New York. A child with an avid curiosity about life and learning he went on to become the Senior Class President and Valedictorian of West Rockford Illinois High School. His quest for higher learning led him to the halls of the University of Wisconsin where he graduated with a Bachelors of Science Degree. He then attended The University of Illinois School of Law where he graduated. He worked his way through Law School by founding Blytham Ltd. Booking Agency and also worked for Upward Bound. Later he taught at a public school in Chicago. He was then duly admitted to the Illinois Bar. Mr. Ross has practiced primarily Entertainment and Transactional Law since and was admitted to practice in the State of New York in 1987.
Mr. Ross has been called in to consult on and supervise negotiations on many occasions. He has negotiated recording, licensing and publishing agreements with every major record company and with most of the prominent television and film corporations. He either consults or negotiates at least one recording contract per month. Mr. Ross was the guiding force behind one of the largest artist's shares secured for a pay-per-view (James Brown-Warner Brothers Pay-Per-View). He has created numerous contracts for independent entertainment companies, customizing each one to fit the client's particular needs. He was instrumental in the drafting of a law pertaining to the contracting of minors from Illinois in the entertainment industry that protects both the company and the minor. He has represented large companies for tour support, corporate sponsorship, contracting with corporate spokespersons and other entertainment related activities.
Mr. Ross is consulting relative to ongoing copyright disputes of James Brown's original musical creations that are presently being heard. He was instrumental in developing the precedents that now protect artists whose material is sampled without permission. He has worked with a former president of Tri-Star Pictures and a former president of CBS-TV assisting them relative to their respective film and television companies and has worked with numerous others on film, tv, video games, merchandising and advertising projects.
Mr. Ross has written articles for The Entertainment Law and Finance Newsletter, The Blues Heaven Foundation Newsletter, Hollywood East Magazine, The Daily Law Bulletin, Screen Magazine, The Illinois Entertainer and The NARAS Foundation Quarterly. He has even hosted a radio program about Entertainment Law on WYTZ-FM, then Chicago's ABC radio affiliate, for five years. He also produced/hosted the ultimate insider's television show, "Jay B. Ross' All Access Pass ".
Mr. Ross has taught Entertainment Law at the Kent School of Law and Previously taught with the Chicago Board of Education and instructed on Entertainment Law and Negotiation Techniques at Columbia College. He has been a guest lecturer at Rockford College, John Marshall School of Law, University of Illinois Law School, The Chicago Bar Association Decalogue Society, Women in Film, The Entertainment Law Committee of the Chicago Bar Association, The National Association of Independent Record Distributors (NAIRD), The Rhythm and Blues Convention, Jack The Rapper, The New Music Seminar, Billboard Magazine Panel, MIDEM, The Cutting Edge Music Conference (Louisiana Convention on Legal Education), numerous NARAS (Grammy Awards) panels and many others.
For his client's or their heirs, he has sued for nonpayment of royalties, for unauthorized use of images, for royalties belonging to artists whose songs are used in commercials under AFTRA rules, licensing of T-shirts, postcards, calendars, use on postage stamps, and many others. In addition to all of the above, recently Ross is engaged in the termination of publishing rights and their recapture by the songwriters and their heirs and retrieving monies due under the newest sources of income in the music industry, collection of monies under the Home Audio Digital Tape Act and Japanese Record Rental Royalties Law.
While he will only admit to being thirty-nine, after all these years and achievements, he is still going strong.