Michael S. Simon is the President and CEO of Rumblefish and the Harry Fox Agency, Inc. (HFA), a premier American music rights management organization. Previously, Simon was HFA’s Senior Vice President of Business Affairs, General Counsel and Chief Strategic Officer.
Since joining HFA in 2001, Simon has focused his efforts on creating new opportunities for the company and the over 48,000 publishers it represents while also improving HFA’s traditional mechanical licensing business. He has led the company’s expansion beyond its traditional mechanical licensing business and created its Slingshot rights management service, which provides customized, outsourced solutions for music distributors. His team has developed groundbreaking licensing arrangements for online music and music video services, ringtones, Express Live recordings, lyrics, guitar tablature, background music, digital jukeboxes, and other new media opportunities.
Before joining HFA, Simon was the Executive Vice President of Business Affairs and General Counsel for Razorfish, Inc. where he guided the company’s impressive growth from a small private company of 18 people to a public company of over 2,000 employees in five years. Prior to Razorfish, he founded Simon Ventures, an artist management and consulting company, whose roster included such major label acts as the Honeydogs and the Gigolo Aunts. Before that, Simon was Senior Director of Legal Affairs at Polygram Records. He also served as an associate in the entertainment and intellectual property law practice of Levine Thall Plotkin & Menin and the corporate, litigation and entertainment practice of Rubin Baum Levin Constant & Friedman.
Simon received his Juris Doctor from the Columbia University School of Law, and he graduated magna cum laude from Amherst College. He lives with his wife and three children in New York and owns independent record label Simon Recordings.
John Raso, SVP of Client Services
John Raso is the Senior Vice President, Client Services for HFA & Rumblefish. In his role, John oversees HFA’s and Rumblefish’s Client Services teams who provide support to thousands of publishers and Rumblefish clients.
Since joining HFA in 2009, John has been responsible for improving the quality and responsiveness to tens of thousand of inquiries from publishers and music users every year. He has also directed the implementation of Rumblefish (formerly known as Slingshot within HFA) administration services for online music and music video services, lyrics, guitar tablature and other new media opportunities.
Prior to joining HFA, John was at Live Nation Artists, where he constructed recording agreements for their “360” deals. John also has over ten years’ experience in marketing, publicity and product management at record labels including Atlantic, SST, Arista, MCA, Roadrunner and Walter Yetnikoff’s Velvel Records.
John also produces HFA’s annual SXSW showcase and hosts a weekly radio show on Radio Free Brooklyn.
Stephen Block, SVP of Business and Legal Affairs
Stephen H. Block is the Senior Vice President of Business and Legal Affairs for HFA and Rumblefish. Previously Stephen was HFA’s Vice President of Business Affairs and Deputy General Counsel.
Since joining HFA in 2006, Stephen and his team have focused their efforts on developing and negotiating new media deals involving HFA and music publishers’ Internet businesses, including first-of-a-kind licensing and intellectual property administration arrangements for user-generated content, lyrics, tablature, background music, sheet music, synchronization and mechanical licensing. This work has led to the exponential growth of HFA’s rights administration services for publishers and digital music services providers alike. Stephen and his team also provide strategic advice and oversee HFA’s transactions and related matters.
Before joining HFA Stephen was the Executive Vice President of Business Affairs and General Counsel of several related companies, Digital Club Network, The Orchard and eMusic. Prior to that he was the Managing Partner of the intellectual property law firm Kahn & Block. Stephen started his career as a commercial litigation associate at Spector & Scher.
Stephen received his JD from the Cardozo School of Law where he was the Managing Editor of the Arts & Entertainment Law Journal and graduated magna cum laude from the Honors Program at Georgia State University.