module specification

LT6007 - Intellectual Property and Music Publishing (2017/18)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2017/18
Module title Intellectual Property and Music Publishing
Module level Honours (06)
Credit rating for module 30
School Guildhall School of Business and Law
Total study hours 300
219 hours Guided independent study
81 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 25%   2,000 word report
Coursework 25%   2,000 word second report
Unseen Examination 50%   3 hrs unseen
Running in 2017/18
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Year City Wednesday Morning

Module summary

The module will introduce students to intellectual property law and its impact on the music publishing sector, which has particular regard to the exploitation of copyright. The module will address the nature of intellectual property rights and the law which governs their exercise, including patents, copyright, trade marks, passing off and privacy. The module will look closely at copyright and music publishing within the UK music industry, and will analyse the business activities of; major and independent publishers, songwriters and performers, as well as music industry personnel. The module will examine the various collection societies for copyright and royalties, including the MCPS (Mechanical Copyright Protection Society), PRS for Music (Performing Rights Society) and PPL (Phonographic Performance Limited).

Module aims

The module aims to enable students to:
1. understand why the music and creative media industries are commonly known as the ‘copyright industries’
2. understand that the value retained and created in the music and media industries is driven by the creation, management and exploitation of Intellectual Property (‘IP’)
3. understand basic IP concepts and precedents
4. understand the importance and role of music publishing within the music and related industries
5. explain the internal operations of music publishing operations
6. understand the relationship between publishing and other music industry income streams
7. apply their knowledge to problem questions and case studies


• Patents,
• Copyright
• Creative Commons and the anti © movement
• Trade marks
• Passing off
• Balancing owners rights with wider society
• Collection Societies
• Confidential Information / Privacy
• Development of Music Publishing sector
• Publishing companies & their roles
• Types of Publishing deals
• Revenue Streams in music publishing
• Contracts & copyright
• Synch Rights
• Important cases and legal principles
• Sampling
• Writer / producer development
• Business structures and career path
• Talent development & Promotion

Learning and teaching

This module will be delivered as a series of 3 hour workshops. Workshops shall be supported by the use of directed readings, videos and other media. The workshops will comprise elements of formal delivery on key topics each week with a related weekly activity which will focus on group and individual activities – research, case study, presentations, and problem solving questions in relation to current IP and Music Publishing issues. Where possible, guest speakers will be invited to lecture.

The module will use a blended learning strategy where student learning is supported and enhanced by both classroom contact and on-line support.

Reflective learning:
Will be based around assessments 1 and 3 where students will be required to submit outline plan which will generate comments for the students to reflect on as they work on the preparation of assessments.

The module and assessment process effectively assists in improving student employability through: professional experience, reflection on personal development, consideration of career goals and effective articulation of skills and knowledge gains.

Learning outcomes

The learning outcomes are generic to be flexible to allow application to a variety of workplace contexts (in accordance with the QAA Code of Practice for Work-Based and Placement Learning, 2007).  On successful completion of this module students will have demonstrated that they can:

On completion of this module students should be able to:

a) Demonstrate a knowledge and understanding of the aspects of intellectual property law outlined above;
b) Demonstrate a knowledge and understanding of the policy considerations which shape intellectual property law;
c) Describe and evaluate current changes in copyright law in the context of the global music industry
d) Evaluate basic contractual and copyright principles law from a variety of positions - e.g. performer, songwriters, music publishers, music industry workers
e) Evaluate and apply an understanding of  IP law and contract law to their own musical careers
f) Evaluate the contemporary context of copyright and its relationship to a changing media environment

On completion of this module students should have developed skills in:

a) Problem solving and be able to apply the legal principles studied to a range of intellectual property law and music publishing scenarios and present reasoned conclusions
b) Research and be able to identify sources for research and establish a strategy for research using key tools.
c) Numeracy and be able to calculate royalty income within music publishing case studies
d) Analysis and critical judgement and be able to analyse complex problems in the areas of intellectual property law
e) Communication and literacy and be able to communicate complex legal issues clearly, both orally and in writing, using correct legal terminology.


Assessment strategy

There are four (3) components to the assessment strategy.

Assessment 1
There will be an individual report which requires students to critically evaluate the strategies the music industry and other creative media sectors have utilised to overcome the disruptive aspects of digital technologies upon traditional IP rights structures.

Word count 2000
25% of total marks

Assessment 2
There will be a written assignment which will require the student to analyse and assess solutions in relation to a real world music publishing question. An argued critical analysis will be required in depth.

2000 words
25% of total marks

Assessment 3:
There will be an unseen exam testing students understanding of a range of music publishing areas including copyright administration, writer agreements, revenues and royalties. The exam will feature multiple choice and essay sections.

3 hours
50% of total marks



Bainbridge, D. I. (2010). Intellectual property (8th edition.). Harlow, England: Longman Pearson

MacQueen, Waelde & Laurie. (2011) Contemporary Intellectual Property Law and Policy, 2nd Edition
Oxford University Press

Passman, D. (2011) All you need to know about the Music Business. Penguin Books

Harrison,A (2010) Music The Business: The Essential Guide to the Law and the Deals. Virgin Books

Krasilovsky, W. and Shemel, S. (2010) This Business Of Music. Billboard Books, 10th Ed

Music Managers Forum (2010) The MMF Guide To Professional Music Management. Sanctuary Publishing

Kusek, D & Leonhard, G (2005) The Future of Music: Manifesto for the Digital Music Revolution (Omnibus Press)

Bagehot , R. & Kanaar, N. (2008) Music Business Agreements. Sweet & Maxwell, Second edition

Music Week
Business Week
The Economist