Music 315

MUSC 315
Contract & Copyright Law for Musicians

Catalog Entry

MUSC 315. Contract & Copyright Law for Musicians
Three Hours Lecture (3).

Prerequisite: MUSC 104 or permission of instructor

This course provides an intensive study of legal and business issues in the Arts and Entertainment industries.  Topics covered include copyrights, legal agreements, royalties and the role of manger, agent, producer and investor.


Detailed Description of Content of Course

This course offers students an opportunity to examine the legal environment of the arts industry using a combination of theory and practical examples.  Emphasis will be placed on current legal, business and management issues facing arts and entertainment organizations in both the non-profit and commercial arenas.  Areas covered will include the following: 

1.     Setting up a business

        a.     Choosing a Name

        b.     Choosing a Business Entity

        c.     Financing your Business/Project

2.     Managers and Agents

        a.     Manager’s Duties

        b.     Personal Management Agreements

        c.     Talent Agencies

        d.     Business managers

3.     Copyright Law

        a.     The five rights

        b.     Registration

        c.     Duration

        d.     Transfer and Licensing

4.     Copyright Infringement

        a.     Access and Similarity

        b.     Establishing Copyright Infringement

        c.     Co-publishing and Administration

5.     Producers, Investors and DIY

        a.     Record Producer Agreements

        b.     Independent Label Recording Agreements

        c.     Pressing and Distribution Agreements

        d.     Production Deals

        e.     Master Licensing

6.     Agreements

        a.     Single Song Agreements

        b.     Exclusive Terms Agreements

        c.     Soundtracks

        d.     Club Contracts

        e.     Internet marketing

        f.      Music Unions

7.     Internet

        a.     Digital Performances

        b.     Digital Delivery

8.     Major Label Considerations

        a.     Securing Major Label Deals

        b.     Major Label Contracts


9.     Royalties

        a.     Computation

        b.     Deductions and Recoupment

        c.     Audits and Lawsuits


Detailed Description of Conduct of Course

The course will make use of readings, case materials, interactive lectures, student projects and presentations and exams.  Students will be required to demonstrate their understanding of course concepts and legal principles through exams and a term project.  Exams will present realistic situations facing arts and entertainment organizations and will require students to demonstrate understanding and problem solving.


Goals and Objectives of the Course

The goal of this course is for the students to gain a more detailed and comprehensive understanding of the legal issues for arts and entertainment organizations.  This will be achieved upon successful completion of the following objectives:

i.    A demonstrated understanding of legal issues as related to the arts and entertainment industries

ii.    An understanding and working knowledge of legal documents as applied to the arts.

iii.    A demonstrated knowledge of the ability to apply relevant legal concepts and techniques to real life situations facing the arts and entertainment industries.


Assessment Measures

Students will be assessed via their regular attendance, class participation, weekly assignments, exams, and oral and written presentations.


Other Course Information


Approval and Subsequent Reviews

Revised April, 2009