1. Handbook
  2. Subjects
  3. Film and Television Law
  4. Print

Film and Television Law (LAWS70080)

Graduate coursework level 7Points: 12.5On Campus (Parkville)

You’re viewing the 2018 Handbook:
Or view archived Handbooks
You’re currently viewing the 2018 version of this subject


Year of offer2018
Subject levelGraduate coursework Level 7
Subject codeLAWS70080
Availability(Quotas apply)
FeesSubject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date

The world‘s first feature-length film was thought to have been produced in Australia in 1906. The Story of the Kelly Gang told the story of Australia‘s most infamous bushrangers and received distribution in Britain and New Zealand as well as in Australia. From 1906 onwards, Australian films and television programs such as Picnic at Hanging Rock, The Castle, Shine and The Sullivans have helped to define the particular cultural identity of Australians. This subject explores the issues associated with the production, financing and distribution of such films and television programs, with particular reference to feature films and sport and drama television programming. The lecturer in the subject has been an in-house counsel at an Australian television network and this experience adds to the practical relevance of the subject.

Principal topics include:

  • Introduction to the changing landscape of the film and television industries in Australia and internationally
  • Copyright clearance issues
  • Moral rights
  • Breach of confidence and privacy
  • Sport on television
  • Film financing, production and distribution
  • Australian content regulation and the production of drama programming
  • Production and broadcast of advertising on television
  • Music: Use in film and television programming
  • Distribution and merchandising of film and television programming
  • Employment and contractual arrangements for film and television personalities
  • Copyright and other rights in television formats.

Intended learning outcomes

A student who has successfully completed this subject should:

  • Have an advanced and integrated understanding of the legal principles related to the development, production, financing and distribution of Australian films and television programs (including recent developments in this field of law and practice) (“those Legal Principles”)
  • Be able to critically examine, analyse, interpret and assess the effectiveness of those Legal Principles
  • Be an engaged participant in debate regarding the contractual, copyright and financing issues that arise in relation to the production, financing and distribution of film and television programs and advertisements
  • Have a sophisticated appreciation of the issues that arise in relation to the financing and distribution of film and television programs and advertisements
  • Have an advanced understanding of the relationship between the legal issues that arise and the commercial environment in which Australian films and televisions programs are produced, financed and distributed
  • Have a detailed understanding of the law and its impact on the Australian film and television industry as it relates to the production, financing and distribution of film and television programs and advertisements
  • Have the cognitive and technical skills to generate critical and creative ideas relating to film and television law and to critically evaluate existing legal principles and concepts with creativity and autonomy
  • Have the communication skills to clearly articulate and convey complex information regarding film and television law to relevant specialist and non-specialist audiences
  • Be able to demonstrate autonomy, expert judgment and responsibility as a practitioner and learner in the field of film and television law.

Eligibility and requirements


Melbourne Law Masters Students: None

JD Students: Successful completion of the below subject:

Code Name Teaching period Credit Points
LAWS50029 Contracts
Semester 2



Non-allowed subjects


Recommended background knowledge

Applicants without legal qualifications should note that subjects are offered in the discipline of law at an advanced graduate level. While every effort will be made to meet the needs of students trained in other fields, concessions will not be made in the general level of instruction or assessment. Most subjects assume the knowledge usually acquired in a degree in law (LLB, JD or equivalent). Applicants should note that admission to some subjects in the Melbourne Law Masters will be dependent upon the individual applicant’s educational background and professional experience.

Core participation requirements

The University of Melbourne is committed to providing students with reasonable adjustments to assessment and participation under the Disability Standards for Education (2005), and the Assessment and Results Policy (MPF1326). Students are expected to meet the core participation requirements for their course. These can be viewed under Entry and Participation Requirements for the course outlines in the Handbook.

Further details on how to seek academic adjustments can be found on the Student Equity and Disability Support website: http://services.unimelb.edu.au/student-equity/home


Additional details

  • Class participation (10%)
  • Take-home examination (5,000-6,000 words) (90%) (25 - 28 May)
  • Research paper (9,000 words) (90%) (4 July) on a topic approved by the subject coordinator

A minimum of 75% attendance is a hurdle requirement.

Quotas apply to this subject

Dates & times

  • April
    Principal coordinatorJonathan Gill
    Mode of deliveryOn Campus — Parkville
    Contact hours24-34 hours
    Total time commitment150 hours
    Pre teaching start date12 March 2018
    Pre teaching requirementsThe pre-teaching period commences four weeks before the subject commencement date. From this time, students are expected to access and review the Reading Guide that will be available from the LMS subject page and the subject materials provided by the subject coordinator, which will be available from Melbourne Law School. Refer to the Reading Guide for confirmation of which resources need to be read and what other preparation is required before the teaching period commences.
    Teaching period 9 April 2018 to 13 April 2018
    Last self-enrol date 2 March 2018
    Census date 9 April 2018
    Last date to withdraw without fail25 May 2018
    Assessment period ends 4 July 2018

    April contact information


    Mr Jonathan Gill (Coordinator)

    Email: law-masters@unimelb.edu.au
    Phone: +61 3 8344 6190
    Website: law.unimelb.edu.au

Additional delivery details

This subject has a quota of 30 students.

Enrolment is on a first come, first served basis. Waitlists are maintained for subjects that are fully subscribed.

Students should note priority of places in subjects will be given as follows:

  • To currently enrolled Graduate Diploma and Masters students with a satisfactory record in their degree
  • To other students enrolling on a single subject basis, eg Community Access Program (CAP) students, cross-institutional study and cross-faculty study.

Please refer to the Melbourne Law Masters website for further information about the management of subject quotas and waitlists.

Further information

Last updated: 29 March 2019