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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 distribution of films and television programs has been radically re-shaped since the early 1990s with the development of the Internet and the advent of online streaming. Online streaming has raised both opportunities and challenges for producers of films and television programs and has increased the complexities of the commercial and legal issues which must be addressed in the context of the production, financing and distribution of audio-visual material.
The lecturer in the subject has been an in-house counsel at an Australian television network, adding 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.
Last updated: 11 February 2021