Entertainment Law

Subject LAWS70273 (2013)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2013.

Credit Points: 12.50
Level: 7 (Graduate/Postgraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2013:

July, Parkville - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period not applicable
Assessment Period End not applicable
Last date to Self-Enrol not applicable
Census Date not applicable
Last date to Withdraw without fail not applicable

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: The total class time is between 24 and 26 hours.
Total Time Commitment: Not available
Prerequisites: None
Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge:

Applicants without legal qualifications should note that subjects are offered in the discipline of law at an advanced graduate level. While every effort will be made to meet the needs of students trained in other fields, concessions will not be made in the general level of instruction or assessment. Most subjects assume the knowledge usually acquired in a degree in law (LLB, JD or equivalent). Applicants should note that admission to some subjects in the Melbourne Law Masters will be dependent upon the individual applicant’s educational background and professional experience.

Non Allowed Subjects: None
Core Participation Requirements:

The Melbourne Law Masters welcomes applications from students with disabilities. The inherent academic requirements for study in the Melbourne Law Masters are:

  • The ability to attend a minimum of 75% of classes and actively engage in the analysis and critique of complex materials and debate;
  • The ability to read, analyse and comprehend complex written legal materials and complex interdisciplinary materials;
  • The ability to clearly and independently communicate in writing a knowledge and application of legal principles and interdisciplinary materials and to critically evaluate these;
  • The ability to clearly and independently communicate orally a knowledge and application of legal principles and interdisciplinary materials and critically evaluate these;
  • The ability to work independently and as a part of a group;
  • The ability to present orally and in writing legal analysis to a professional standard.

Students who feel their disability will inhibit them from meeting these inherent academic requirements are encouraged to contact the Disability Liaison Unit: www.services.unimelb.edu.au/disability/


For more information, contact the Melbourne Law Masters office.

Email: law-masters@unimelb.edu.au
Phone: +61 3 8344 6190
Website: www.law.unimelb.edu.au/masters

Subject Overview:

This subject examines some legal aspects of a modern entertainment industry – in particular, contractual arrangements and intellectual property rights, as well as publicity and privacy rights. Particular reference will be made to the United States, home of the largest entertainment industry in the world, and Australia, which of course has its own important entertainment industry; but other countries will also be considered from time to time. The focus will be both on the written law (with an emphasis on legal development and policy) and the law as it is practised, with the latter part of the course devoted to a contract negotiation exercise. Our cases and examples mostly come from the fields of music, book publishing, the visual and performing arts and live theatre.

Principal topics will include:

  • The entertainment industry and measures of social value; stakeholders within and outside the industry; need for law; range of relevant laws
  • Intellectual property and misappropriation: Copyright and neighbouring rights, moral rights, trade mark rights, publicity rights, passing off, trade secret protection and unfair competition
  • Contracting in the entertainment industry: Licensing, joint ventures, examples of contracts in use (such as book publishing, music touring, character merchandising), and processes and strategies adopted in negotiation
  • Expansion of rights: Technological developments, sui generis or incremental responses, United States and Anglo-Australian approaches
  • Privacy and related issues: Implications for industry practice and entertainers
  • Practical exercises on negotiation and drafting book and merchandising contracts (explored in a workshop environment).

A student who has successfully completed this subject should:

  • Have a sound general knowledge of laws relevant to the entertainment industry – especially in the fields of music, book publishing and live theatre – in Australia, the United States and comparable jurisdictions
  • Be familiar with the range of intellectual property rights, both statutory and non-statutory, that are relevant to the entertainment industry, especially in the above fields
  • Have a practical, as well as legal, understanding of contractual arrangements employed in the entertainment industry, especially in the above fields
  • Be aware of the laws available to protect the privacy and reputation of those engaged in the entertainment industry
  • Appreciate the need for laws to constantly develop to take account of new practices and technologies.

Class participation (10%)

Take-home examination (90%) (23–26 August)
8,000 word research paper (90%) (9 October) on a topic approved by the subject coordinator

Prescribed Texts:

Core subject materials will be provided free of charge to all students. Some subjects require further texts to be purchased. Please visit the subject homepage on the Melbourne Law Masters website by following the link at the bottom of this subject entry.

Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Links to further information: http://www.law.unimelb.edu.au/subject/LAWS70273/2013

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