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New Media and Entertainment Law (LAWS30031)

Undergraduate level 3Points: 12.5Not available in 2019

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Year of offerNot available in 2019
Subject levelUndergraduate Level 3
Subject codeLAWS30031
FeesSubject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date

Entertainment adds amusement, diversion and enlightenment to the everyday lives of multiple individuals, groups and societies around the world. Law underpins its existence, and seek to balance interests between creators, investors, celebrities, fans, consumers and wider publics. Yet it faces severe disruption from new media technologies, business models and social practices. Can entertainment survive in its current forms? Is law reform urgently needed?

After an introductory review, we will move on to explore these questions in more detail through a series of case studies, focusing especially (but not exclusively) on the position in the US and Australia. In turn, students will develop their own case studies in guided workshops in the teaching week and subsequent research essays submitted for assessment after teaching is over.

Topics and case studies will include:

  • Entertainment today;
  • performing live;
  • celebrities and fans;
  • the art of appropriation;
  • music sharing;
  • amateur production; and
  • imagining the future.

Intended learning outcomes

On completion of this subject students should:

  • Recognise how existing relations of entertainment and law are being challenged and reshaped by the digital environment;
  • Appreciate the multiple ways in which entertainment may be facilitated and constrained by law, including in the digital environment;
  • Understand the basic features of the legal treatment of entertainment specifically in the context of the digital environment;
  • Have in depth knowledge of at least one case study as a result of the subject and their research.

Generic skills

  • Capacity for self-directed learning, specifically the ability to plan work and use time effectively;
  • Cognitive and analytical skills;
  • Ability to speak about complex ideas in a clear and cogent manner;
  • An awareness of diversity and plurality;
  • Experience in writing essays which develop structured argumentation; and
  • Capacity to judge the worth of their own arguments.

Eligibility and requirements





Non-allowed subjects


Recommended background knowledge

Because of the intensive nature of the subject and level of difficulty, it is strongly recommended that students have undertaken at least 100 points of undergraduate study. The subject level is an indicator as to the difficulty of the subject and expected workload.

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



  • Attendance and participation in workshops (10%), including a 5 minute presentation of essay proposal in last workshop.
  • Research essay proposal, 500 words (10%), due Monday after the end of teaching.
  • Research essay, 3,500 words (80%), due three weeks after the end of teaching.

Dates & times

Not available in 2019

Further information

  • Texts

    Prescribed texts

    Printed subject materials will be available from the University Co-Op Bookshop.

  • Breadth options
  • Available through the Community Access Program

    About the Community Access Program (CAP)

    This subject is available through the Community Access Program (also called Single Subject Studies) which allows you to enrol in single subjects offered by the University of Melbourne, without the commitment required to complete a whole degree.

    Entry requirements including prerequisites may apply. Please refer to the CAP applications page for further information.

  • Available to Study Abroad and/or Study Exchange Students

    This subject is available to students studying at the University from eligible overseas institutions on exchange and study abroad. Students are required to satisfy any listed requirements, such as pre- and co-requisites, for enrolment in the subject.

Last updated: 12 July 2019