module specification

LT5089 - Music Industry Contracts and Negotiation (2021/22)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2021/22
Module title Music Industry Contracts and Negotiation
Module level Intermediate (05)
Credit rating for module 15
School Guildhall School of Business and Law
Total study hours 150
10 hours Assessment Preparation / Delivery
104 hours Guided independent study
36 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
In-Course Test 30%   Multiple choice questions & short answer questions covering whole syllabus
Coursework 70%   Explanation, amendment and drafting of contractual clauses. (Max. 1,500 words)
Running in 2021/22
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Autumn semester North Tuesday Afternoon

Module summary

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

Prior learning requirements



Introduction to legal contracts, their status and enforceability  LO2
Negotiating Skills and practice
Understanding, amending, and drafting of contracts LO3

Management agreements LO1
Recording agreements
Producer agreements
Publishing agreements
Synchronisation agreements
360 degrees deals
Live Agreements
Brand partnerships
Band Agreements
Digital Distribution, Social media & Streaming

Balance of independent study and scheduled teaching activity

The module will be delivered by way of 3 hour weekly workshops. Each workshop shall comprise formal content delivery, class discussion, interactive class exercises.
Workshops shall be supported by directed reading, contract examples, videos and other media. The workshops shall develop students’ confidence in subject discipline as well as in generic skills such as written and oral communication, creativity, critical and analytical skills.  Students will be expected to undertake prior directed reading and digest weblearn provided materials. Workshops shall also provide an opportunity for students to consider and reflect upon career opportunities within the international entertainment sector.
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 students will be set home study questions to prepare for the next class.
Students are responsible for preparing for class, and studying relevant materials (articles, texts, case study, video etc) before coming.
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 blended learning model, using weekly classroom workshops and BlackBoard / Weblearn Virtual Learning Environment (VLE). Students 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, students will be required to start an early formative assignment in week 4 concerning a contract negotiation. Students will receive feedback on this in week 5, which they will then have opportunity to discuss with tutors and reflect upon this to help construct their first assessment.
Opportunities for reflective learning will be available throughout the module as students are given the opportunity to consider their approach to tasks/discussions whilst also having the opportunity to reflect upon informal feedback.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of the module, students will demonstrate that they can:
1. Evaluate the meaning and consequences of particular contractual terms and provisions of basic contracts typical of the sector (LO1)
2. Understand the process of contract drafting and negotiation (LO2)
3. Demonstrate the ability to accurately amend and draft specific contract clauses following legal practice guidelines (LO3)

Assessment strategy

Diagnostic and formative assessment will take place weekly during the workshops where in addition to the formal transmission of content students will have the opportunity to develop theoretical, analytical, creative thinking, and oral and written communication skills
There are 2 components to the formal summative assessment strategy:

  1. In-class test  - 1-hour paper comprising both multiple choice questions and short explanation questions (with some choice involved)
  2. Written coursework exercise (1,000 words) - each student will be expected to read and review a contractual agreement, requesting amendments to such agreement on behalf of one party and providing explanatory reasoning as to why such amendments are required in order to safeguard the interests of the relevant party.

Both aspects of the assessment process are designed to support student learning by requiring students to apply the theory and practice of taught elements.


Core Texts:
Elliott & Quinn's Contract Law, Quinn, F (2019) Pearson

Passman, D All you need to know about The Music Business, penguin Books (2017)

Harrison, A (2018) Music The Business: The Essential Guide to the Law and the Deals, Virgin Books 2nd ed.

Bainbridge, D. I. (2018). Intellectual Property (8th edition.). Harlow, England: Longman Pearson

Cornish, W (2017) Cases and Materials on Intellectual Property, Sweet and Maxwells
Davis, J (2018) Intellectual Property Law, Butterworths
Carey, P (2017) Media Law, Sweet & Maxwell, 7th ed. Manchester Cavendish.
Carey, P and Verow, (2016) Media and Entertainment Law, Jordans 2nd ed.

Entertainment Law Review
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)

LINK (to be provided when VLE active)