Daniel J. Schacht Partner (510) 451-3300 dschacht@donahue.com Download vCard LinkedIn

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A good lawyer is like a good bass player – working hard in the background so those in the spotlight can shine. Daniel Schacht helps creative people succeed by guiding their business and protecting their rights. His past and current clients include world-renowned musicians and companies in the music and technology space, including numerous members of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, hip hop legends, China’s largest online content distributor, and the number one app. In addition to his licensing and business practice, Daniel’s copyright and trademark litigation experience includes serving as co-counsel in the successful “Happy Birthday” lawsuit, described by The New York Times as “a lawsuit for the ages,” that put the world’s most popular song in the public domain, and as lead counsel in the prominent Wixen v. Spotify lawsuit.

Daniel heads the firm’s Music and Entertainment practice and co-chairs the Intellectual Property Practice Group. He also regularly teaches Music Law at his alma mater, U.C. Berkeley School of Law, provides California Lawyers for the Arts with pro bono services and seminars on the law and business of music, served on the boards of Oakland Art Murmur and the Great Wall of Oakland, and serves as pro bono counsel to two of Oakland’s Community Benefit Districts. During law school, Daniel served as president of both the Sports and Entertainment Law Society and Parents at Boalt, and was a member of the Berkeley Technology Law Journal. Before law school, he was a bassist for dozens of bands you’ve never heard of.

Pronouns: he/him/his

Professional & Community Affiliations

  • Law Firm Partner, Startup Legal Garage, University of California College of the Law, San Francisco
  • Member, Alameda County Bar Association
  • Member, Rotary Club of Oakland
  • Member, California Lawyers for the Arts
  • Former Member, Board of Directors, Great Wall of Oakland
  • Former Member, Board of Directors, Oakland Art Murmur


  • Recognized , Top Music Lawyers, Billboard , 2023
  • Recipient, American Jurisprudence Award for Intellectual Property in Entertainment
  • Recipient, Elizabeth Clark Volunteer of the Year Award, Downtown Oakland and Lake Merritt-Uptown Community Benefits Districts, 2017

Recent Speaking Engagements

October 06, 2020 | Webinar
An Introduction to Music Licensing
Alameda County Bar Association

September 08, 2020 | Podcast
Intangible Assets Podcast – Music Law, Licensing, and “Happy Birthday”
California Lawyers Association Intellectual Property Law Section

March 13, 2020
An Introduction to Music Licensing
California Lawyers Association - Licensing Interest Group

February 06, 2020 | Oakland, CA
So Your Client Received a Copyright Cease and Desist Letter
Alameda County Bar Association

September 14, 2019 | San Francisco, CA
West Coast Songwriters 39th Annual Music Conference
West Coast Songwriters

March 14, 2019 | Oakland, CA
The MMA: The Future of Music and What You Should Know
California Lawyers for the Arts

January 25, 2019 | San Francisco, CA
A Grand Re-Opening of the Public Domain
Internet Archive and Creative Commons

July 25, 2018 | Berkeley, CA
CLA Pro Bono Clinic Program
California Lawyers for the Arts

June 19, 2018 | Oakland, CA
Music and Copyright Law: An Overview of Copyright Law in the Music Industry
Alameda County Bar Association

Past Speaking Engagements