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This subject examines some legal aspects of a modern entertainment industry – in particular, contractual arrangements and intellectual property rights, as well as publicity and privacy rights. Particular reference will be made to the United States, home of the largest entertainment industry in the world, and Australia, which of course has its own important entertainment industry, but other countries will also be considered. The focus will be both on the written law (with an emphasis on legal development and policy) and the law as it is practised, with the latter part of the course devoted to a contract negotiation exercise. Cases and examples will mostly come from the fields of music, book publishing, the visual and performing arts and live theatre.
Principal topics include:
- The entertainment industry and measures of social value; stakeholders within and outside the industry; need for law; range of relevant laws
- Intellectual property and misappropriation: copyright and neighbouring rights, moral rights, trade mark rights, publicity rights, passing off, trade secret protection and unfair competition
- Contracting in the entertainment industry: licensing, joint ventures, examples of contracts in use (such as book publishing, music touring, character merchandising), and processes and strategies adopted in negotiation
- Expansion of rights: technological developments, sui generis or incremental responses, United States and Anglo-Australian approaches
- Privacy and related issues: implications for industry practice and entertainers
- Practical exercises on negotiation and drafting book and merchandising contracts (explored in a workshop environment).
Intended learning outcomes
A student who has successfully completed this subject will:
- Have an advanced and integrated understanding of key principles of entertainment law in Australia and comparable jurisdictions
- Be able to critically examine, analyse, interpret and assess the effectiveness of these legal principles
- Have the cognitive and technical skills to independently examine, research and analyse existing and emerging legal issues relating to entertainment law
- Be an engaged participant in debate regarding emerging and contemporary issues in the field
- Have a sophisticated appreciation of the factors and processes driving law reform
- Have the cognitive and technical skills to generate critical and creative ideas, and to critically evaluate existing legal theories, principles and concepts with creativity and autonomy
- Have the communication skills to clearly articulate and convey complex information regarding entertainment law to relevant specialist and non-specialist audiences
- Be able demonstrate autonomy, expert judgment and responsibility as a practitioner and learner in the field of entertainment law.
Last updated: 3 November 2022