module specification

LT6092 - Creative Artists Rights and Legal Disputes (Option) (2022/23)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2022/23
Module title Creative Artists Rights and Legal Disputes (Option)
Module level Honours (06)
Credit rating for module 15
School Guildhall School of Business and Law
Total study hours 150
14 hours Assessment Preparation / Delivery
100 hours Guided independent study
36 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 100%   Case study analysis 2,000 word
Running in 2022/23

(Please note that module timeslots are subject to change)
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Spring semester North Tuesday Morning

Module summary

The module explores how creatives, celebrities, and performing artist rights’ are impacted by the business environment, and examines the impact of the law and the litigation process upon them. This module provides the key skills necessary to understand the legal concepts, case law, and legal disputes underpinning a career in the entertainment sectors.

Module aims:

  • Understand the legal, business, and cultural context underpinning creative artist rights and the enforcement of these rights through contract, litigation and legal procedure
  • Understand the relevant boundaries between civil rights, criminal offences and government regulation of the entertainment industries.
  • Understand the legal issues underpinning legal disputes and case strategy and conduct
  • Understand the commercial impact of the various rights considered
  • Consider the implications of new technology, social media platforms and related issues on artist rights
  • Develop skills of legal academic reading, and research
  • Critical Thinking and Writing

Prior learning requirements




-English Legal system
-Causes of action - crime, civil, contract, common law
-Legal Remedies
-Issuing court proceedings


-Entertainment and music industry cases & disputes
-Celebrity legal disputes


-Music rights ownership – infringement, participation and control
-Revenues and income - legal rights


-Content acquisition and copyright in the entertainment and creative sectors
-Confidentiality and privacy
-Brand protection
-Reputation protection
-Personality rights
-Social media and the law
-User generated content
-Freedom of expression
-Internet & Data Protection
-Non-Disclosure Agreements
-Ethics & the law

Balance of independent study and scheduled teaching activity

Workshops 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 creative artist rights and legal disputes have developed, and how media and entertainment companies, including film, music companies, games companies, new social media platforms, newspapers, broadcasters, and online media companies operate within this legal framework.

Background reading will be an essential part of succeeding on the module along with appreciation of current events and their legal impact. Students will be given directed reading tasks in support of class exercises. Class preparation will require the use of library and on-line legal resources. Video and other media resources will also support tasks. Particular emphasis will be placed on analysing legal cases and disputes as well as critically evaluating solutions to them by correct application of relevant statute and case law, in order to prepare students for real life scenarios.

Students will be given research questions, articles, video references in advance of their class which will be centred on the analysis of creative industry cases, and current legal practice as appropriate. Students are expected to make full use of their independent learning time to reflect critically upon the subject and to develop their own ideas.

The formal delivery of teaching and learning will be based on three (3) contact hours per week
over 12 weeks with an additional enrichment week mid-way through the module.
Outside of class contact hours, students will also be expected to undertake independent study and group work (reading, discussions and own/group research). Students are responsible for preparing for class, and studying relevant materials before coming. The module is organised around a number of topics reflected in the syllabus. Teaching is delivered through a blended learning model, using weekly classroom workshops and BlackBoard /Weblearn Virtual Learning Environment (VLE), in order to explore themes and identify legal issues typical of the creative industries and entertainment sector.

Students will receive both formative and summative feedback through each assessment, within 15 (week) days, including the final component.

Opportunities for reflective learning will be available throughout the module as students are given the opportunity to consider their approach to tasks and discussions whilst simultaneously having the opportunity to reflect upon informal feedback that may be given from lecturers on ideas and concepts spoken of in class and on assessments submitted.
Attendance is essential to get the most out of this module.

Learning outcomes

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

1. Identify and explain key legal concepts and rights (LO1)
2. Develop key skills of case analysis and the presentation of legal argument (LO2)
3. Understand key artist rights and entertainment cases from a commercial & cultural perspective (LO3)
4. Display and develop their skills of independent learning and research (LO4)

Assessment strategy

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 legal issues pertinent to creative industries, the music industry, and cases.

Summative Assessment:

There is one (1) component to the assessment strategy.

Written case study analysis of a creative industry court case or legal dispute requiring the analytical and objective evaluation of legal and commercial arguments for both parties, whilst contextualising the case with regard to current law and culture. Students are to demonstrate the ability to synthesise and reflect upon issues raised by the selected legal dispute and exhibit an understanding of the broad business and social context in which creative artist work.


Core texts:

Artists' Rights: A Guide to Copyright, Moral Rights and Other Legal Issues in the Visual Art Sphere, Torsen Stech, M. Oxford (2017)

Fenwick, Helen and Phillipson, Gavin (2016), Media Freedom under the Human Rights Act, LexisNexis


Information Technology Law: The Law and Society (Law & Society 2019)
Harrison A. Music: The Business (Virgin 2018)
Rozenberg, Joshua (2016) Privacy and the Press, Oxford
Carey P, & Sanders, J. Media Law, Sweet & Maxwell, 2017
Robertson, G and Ncol, A., 2017. Media Law (4th ed). London: Sweet and Maxwell.
Bainbridge D. Intellectual Property (Pitman 2018)
Passman D.S. All You Need To Know About The Music Business (Penguin 2018)

Entertainment Law Review (Sweet & Maxwell)
Entertainment & Media Law Reports (Sweet & Maxwell)

Lexis Nexis Database
The Law Reports
Westlaw Database