module specification

LT5016 - Music and Entertainment Law (2018/19)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2018/19
Module title Music and Entertainment Law
Module level Intermediate (05)
Credit rating for module 30
School Guildhall School of Business and Law
Total study hours 300
81 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
219 hours Guided independent study
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
In-Course Test 30%   Multiple Choice test
Coursework 40%   Practical written exercise - 1800 word written work
In-Course Test 30%   Multiple choice test
Running in 2018/19

(Please note that module timeslots are subject to change)
No instances running in the year

Module summary

This module begins by considering the contractual environment within the music industry and associated sectors.   Important contractual areas will be critically examined including management agreements, recording agreements, self-release and 360 degree deals, publishing agreements, production agreements, live performance agreements, sponsorship and merchandising agreements. The emphasis will be on enhanced practical understanding of contractual frameworks, best negotiating practice, and the role and use of legal agreements within the business imperatives of music companies and within the career strategies of artists and managers.
In addition, the broader “entertainment” industry will be explored in relation to its evolving legal framework.

Module aims

The aims of this module are to: 

1. Provide students with an opportunity for analysis and application of the law to factual circumstances which occur in the music and related industries
2. Understand the obligations and expectations created by various forms of contractual relations within the sector
3. Understand the legal status of contractual agreements and the courts role in contractual disputes
4. Understand contract negotiations, strategies and games theories
5. Evaluate appropriate contractual agreements in relation to particular factual circumstances between different parties
6. Understand the basic tenants of the English legal system and its similarities / differences with overseas systems
7. Understand the broader entertainment industry and its legal frameworks
8. Academic Reading
9. Researching
10. Critical Thinking and Writing
11. Interpersonal including. collaborating / working with others, cross cultural awareness,having a positive attitude, negotiation and persuasion


Introduction to legal contracts, their status and enforceability
Introduction to the English legal system
Doctrine of Restraint of Trade and Undue Influence
Negotiating Skills and practice
Management agreements and the representation of artists
Recording agreements
Production agreements
360 degrees deals and new types of agreement in the sector
Publishing agreements
Live performance agreements
Sponsorship and merchandising agreements
Reputation protection,
Personality rights,
Social media and the law,
User generated content in the entertainment sector

Learning and teaching

This module will be delivered through weekly 1.5 hour lectures and 1.5 hour seminars. Lectures will involve the formal transmission of content in an interactive setting.  Seminars will involve practical work supported by short talks as well as group work and discussions involving real life case studies. Particular importance will be placed on how contracts are conceived and negotiated and how music and entertainment companies operate within a web of contractual relationships
Students will be given directed reading tasks in support of seminar exercises and class preparation may require the use of library and on-line legal resources. Video and other media resources will also support seminar tasks.  Particular emphasis will be placed on analysing business problems from a contractual perspective, in order to prepare students for real life employment scenarios.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of the module, students will:
• Critically understand the process of contract negotiation and drafting within the sector and be able to communicate clearly and effectively with legal advisors
• Evaluate the shifting bargaining power of different stakeholders within the music and entertainment industries
• Develop the capacity of problem solving by the application of legal knowledge to case studies
• Analyse primary and secondary legal materials and develop their skills of independent learning and research
• Demonstrate an ability to work effectively within a group and individual context
• Be able to undertake self-directed research and present their findings succinctly under test conditions

Assessment strategy

The assessment strategy will assess the learning outcomes identified above. Students will be formatively and summatively assessed in this module.

The formative assessment will consist of seminar tasks; seminars will routinely require students to engage individually and in groups in acquiring, commenting upon and applying the principles of legal contracts and other legal frameworks under the guidance and instruction of the tutor who will provide formative feedback.

Summative Assessment:
Students will be summatively assessed by means of 1 written practical exercise, and 2 extensive multiple choice in-class tests

1)Written practical exercise (1800 words). 

Reading, analysis and amendment of a contract on behalf of a specific party

40% weighting

2) First In-class multiple choice test

30% weighting

3)  Second in-class multiple choice test

30% weighting

Assessment Criteria for written practical exercise:

• demonstrate a clear and logical understanding of the contractual issues
• critical analysis of the issues from the perspective of a specified party
• demonstrate a detailed understanding of the relevant subject areas
• relevant and practical application of “industry norms”
• ability to reach conclusions and to make recommendations where possible
• well written and structured answers


Harrison, A (2008) Music The Business: The Essential Guide to the Law and the Deals, Virgin Books 2nd ed.

Bainbridge, D (2010) Intellectual Property, Pitman
Smith & Keenan (2001) English Law, Longman 13th ed.

Carey, P (2008) Media Law, Sweet & Maxwell, Manchester
Carey, P and Verow, (2002) Media and Entertainment Law, Jordans 2nd ed.

Clarke, J (2000) Law of Torts, Pitman
Krasilovsky, M. W. and Shemel, S. (2000) This Business of Music (8th edition) Billboard Books
Passman, D All you need to know about The Music Business, penguin Books (2009)
Thomson  “Entertainment law in a  Nutshell”  (2007)


Entertainment Law Review

New Law Journal
Westlaw and other prescribed law databases