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School of Law

SOLM089 Music Industry Contracts (C22)

Module Description

The Music industry contracts module analyses the contracts between the various parts of the music industry. On the creative side it looks at the contracts between composers and music publishers; performers/ producers and record companies as well as other players such as music managers. A key aspect of the creative side of the music value chain concerns the activities of Collective Management Organisations and the module analyses the membership agreements of PRS for Music, MCPS and PPL respectively. The module we also look at the relation of music industry players with users such as broadcasting organisations and online platforms. The course will show how copyright is applied in practice on the example of the music industry. The music industry has been at the cutting edge of legal and commercial developments dealing with new business models throughout the years. The course will look at the main markets for music such as US and UK.  Experiences in the field of music are transferable to all creative sectors such as audio visual and book publishing.

Module Aims

The course will cover the following topics:

  • Music value chain – “the life of a song”
  • Overview of relevant copyright law
  • Overview of contracts
  • Unreasonable restraint of trade
  • Music law contracts – practical experience
  • Music Publishing
  • Record company
  • Composers/ Songwriter
  • Collective Rights Management Organisations
  • Membership Agreements MCPS/ PRS/ PPL etc
  • User contracts
  • Broadcasters
  • Management contracts/ Live Music
  • Digital services
  • Infringement
  • Special issues (synch/ sampling/ sound a like)
  • Special contracts eg. Library contracts

Applicable Groupings

Mode of Assessment

3,000-4,000 word essay


15 Credits

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