module specification

LT4059 - Music Publishing (2019/20)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2019/20
Module title Music Publishing
Module level Certificate (04)
Credit rating for module 15
School Guildhall School of Business and Law
Total study hours 150
60 hours Assessment Preparation / Delivery
45 hours Guided independent study
45 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 40%   2000-word Report
Unseen Examination 60%   Unseen
Running in 2019/20
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Autumn semester North Wednesday Morning

Module summary

The module aims to explore the nature of music publishing and copyright in the digital age, focusing on the management and exploitation of important music rights. Supported by the latest practice and industry commentary, we shall consider the recent disruption and development of the music business and how the future is being shaped by technology and consumer trends. The module will analyse the business activities of; major and independent publishers, songwriters and performers, as well as other key music publishing personnel. It will examine the various collection societies for handling copyright blanket licensing and other associated royalty collection and distribution.
Module aims:
1. To understand the importance and role of music publishing within the music and related industries
2. To introduce the major and independent music publishing organisations and corporates
3. To explain the internal operations of music publishing businesses.
4. To introduce the relationship between publishing and other music business income streams
5. Understand why the music and creative media industries are commonly known as the ‘copyright industries’


• Development of Music Publishing sector LO1
• Modern Publishing companies & practice LO1
• Creator, Artist and Record Company, Music Publisher relationships & dynamics LO1
• Song plugging LO1

• Business structures and career paths LO2
• Negotiating Agreements: career and cash flow implications for creator / performers LO2,LO3

• Types of Publishing deals LO3
• Important cases and legal principles LO3

• Revenue Streams in music publishing LO4
• Collection Societies & song registration LO4
• Licensing popular music; issues & opportunities LO4

Balance of independent study and scheduled teaching activity

The module shall be delivered through 3-hour weekly workshops. The workshops will be supported by the use of directed discussions, 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 Music Publishing issues. Where possible, guest speakers will be invited to lecture.
Outside of class contact hours, students will also be expected to undertake independent study and collaborative work (reading, discussions and own/group research). In class you will be given ‘home study’ questions to help you prepare for the next time we meet. You will be able to make the most of the time in class if you go through the material (articles, texts, case study, video and so on) before coming and look at the suggested questions yourself before the class meets. The module will adopt a blended learning strategy where student learning is supported and enhanced by both classroom contact and online support. The module is organised around a number of topics reflected in the syllabus. Teaching is delivered through a distributive blended learning model using weekly classroom workshops and BlackBoard / Weblearn Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) in order to explore themes and identify issues typical of the music publishing sector.
You will receive both formative and summative feedback through each assessment, within 15 week days, including the final component.
In preparation for the first item of assessment, you will be required to start an early formative assignment in week 4 on the departments of a music publishing business. You will receive feedback on this in week 5, which you will then have opportunity to discuss with tutors and reflect upon this to help you construct your first assessment.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module students will be able to :

LO1: Understand the different types of publishers and their roles

LO2: Understand the contemporary context of music publishers and their relationship to a changing media and copyright environment

LO3: Evaluate basic music publishing contractual principles from a variety of positions - e.g.
performer, songwriters, music publishers, artist/writer manager

LO4: Understand the administration of music publishing related revenues

Assessment strategy

Assessment for this module is designed to guide your improvement, to help you self-evaluate, to aid your decision making, to help you learn from your mistakes and, where there are opportunities, plan your own curriculum and future career.

Formative assessment
Formative assessment will be carried out during sessions where students will discuss issues and themes, and carry out problem-orientated tasks relating to issues pertinent to the music publishing sectors.

Summative Assessment:
There are 2 components to the assessment strategy.
Both will require students to use business frameworks and display their understanding of the music and media sectors with special reference to music publishing techniques and best practices.

Written assignment which will require the student to explore and assess the business functions and operation of a music publishing business.

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



Core Text:

Passman, D. (2016) All you need to know about the Music Business. Penguin Books

Gammons, H (2016) The Art of Music Publishing: An Entrepreneurial Guide to Publishing and Copyright for the Music, Film, and Media Industries. Taylor & Francis

Other Texts:

Bagehot , R. & Kanaar, N. (2008) Music Business Agreements. Sweet & Maxwell, Second edition
Bainbridge, D. I. (2016). Intellectual Property (8th edition.). Harlow, England: Longman Pearson
Cornish, W (2015)  Cases and Materials on Intellectual Property, Sweet and Maxwells
Harrison,A (2016) 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
Kusek, D & Leonhard, G (2005) The Future of Music: Manifesto for the Digital Music Revolution (Omnibus Press)
Music Managers Forum (2015) The MMF Guide To Professional Music Management. Sanctuary Publishing

Music Week
The Economist
The Guardian Newspaper Media section
The Stage
Screen International


Electronic Databases:
Relevant law journals and case reports are available from the library (hardcopies) and on-line library resources (e.g. Lexis Library and WestLaw