BiblioBios: Andrew Morgan using experience as creator to help navigate licensing and rights management

If experience is the best teacher, then Andrew Morgan’s 17 published albums on Spotify hint that he might know a thing or two about creating and performing original content. Armed with a law degree and years of private practice protecting artists like himself, he’s well qualified for his role as specialist for licensing and rights management at KU Libraries, where he focuses on protecting the library and university community as they enter new agreements with service providers. 

Morgan’s interests — music and law intersecting as intellectual property — and a passion for learning in general converged in his latest role last February when he returned to Lawrence for the position with KU Libraries after dotting the globe. It’s another homecoming for Morgan as family ties originally led him to the community and university, where he studied psychology and philosophy as an undergraduate. Morgan studied for a year at Oxford, earned a master’s in philosophy of religion at Harvard, and returned to KU to earn a J.D. After KU Law, Morgan gained admission to the State Bar of California. 

Between degrees, Morgan recorded his first album in California and earned the title “The King of Chamber-Pop" — a music genre that combines rock and classical music — from a 2009 feature article by The Guardian. That experience helped spark an interest in managing his own studio, eventually leading to a nine-year career as a self-employed lawyer and studio owner. In his practice, he helped creators negotiate, manage and benefit from the rights associated with their work. 

“My business involved all aspects of music’s journey, from essentially an idea, into a written composition, to recording mostly digitally in the current kind of model and then from there into editing, production, mixing, mastering,” Morgan said. "And then from there you're going into the business realm — streaming, physical existence and kind of the navigation and management of creative works.” 

Morgan has logged significant time overseas, living in England for two years for school, South Korea for one year, and France for a summer. It’s all part of an educational journey for the self-described life-long learner. 

Andrew Morgan's hands playing piano in Watson Library. “I’ve always been like that,” Morgan said. “I just love to learn.”  

This is not Morgan’s first time working at KU. He was an adjunct lecturer during the 2016-17 academic year and taught classes centering on religion, the Supreme Court, and the establishment and free exercise clauses of the First Amendment. 

Licensing and teaching may be different, but Andrew’s goal remains to serve the KU community. At KU Libraries, Andrew and others in his department review the terms of licenses, agreements, and the renewal of licenses, as well as payments. 

“KU is a place where I feel I can do good service,” Morgan said, noting the benefits of working at a university library. “It’s meaningful for me that the work that I do benefits students, faculty and staff.”  

Before he was getting paid for his time as an employee on the second floor of Watson Library, Morgan spent long hours at the library as an undergraduate student. He also frequented the School of Music in Murphy Hall, where he practiced piano. The pianos in Murphy helped him pursue his passion in music, and he wishes more students knew about their availability. The wide range and number of music-related events provided by the School of Music were also an enticement to return to campus.    

“I’m glad to be here at KU Libraries and grateful for how welcoming everybody has been,” Morgan said, “I’m hoping to make a valuable contribution.”  

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