Music Law: Analytical and Client Management Skills (SC)
Section 1, Spring 23
The music industry has encountered significant change over the past few decades and continues to change daily, from file-sharing services to digital streaming. Changes always raise significant legal issues from contract law, tort law, intellectual property laws, corporate law, and even criminal law. This course will examine the complex business, financial and legal aspects of the music industry, from creation of musical composition to delivery of music to the public. The course will cover various business models, the legal impact of the Music Modernization Act, contract negotiation, and intellectual property ownership, licensing and infringement in the music industry. In this course, students will learn how to analyze client goals, manage client preferences and risks, negotiate and structure agreements from opposing viewpoints, and provide comprehensive legal services to different players in the music industry. First, we will review specific legal rights involved in music creation and ownership, including copyright, trademark, rights of publicity/privacy, and contract law. Materials will include text selections, statutes, cases, sample contracts, and sample copyright/trademark applications. Issues we will discuss include: Who owns the name of the band? Who owns a song created by multiple artists/producers? What kind of license does online music use need? Where does an artist’s heir look for royalties for music played on the radio? Who owns the music created by artificial intelligence? Second, students will examine and discuss evolving relationships around the creation and exploitation of music, including songwriter/ publisher; publisher/record company; performing artist/record company; record company/distribution chain; and copyright owner/infringer. Materials will include cases, sample agreements, text selections, and supplementary written materials such as the Music Modernization Act. Other miscellaneous contracts will include: endorsement agreements, merchandising agreements, sponsorship agreements, management contracts, and film agreements. Students will also perform real-world exercises and assignments such as preparing short memos for clients highlighting goals and risks, reading and drafting short contracts, and preparing copyright or trademark applications.
Final Type (if any): None
Written Work Product
Written Work Product: Each class will require a written assignment, involving real-world exercises such as preparing short memos for clients highlighting music rights and licensing matters, reading and drafting short contracts, and preparing copyright or trademark applications. The class will also require a final paper for a majority of the grade on a topic of the student’s choosing (to be discussed in advance with the instructor), in light of the issues discussed in class. The final paper will be due via EXPO no later than noon on April 5th.
Other Course Details
Prerequisites: Because the credits in this course count toward the JD Program Professional Skills requirement, JD candidates will be given enrollment priority for this class Concurrencies: None
Mutually Exclusive With: None
Laptops Allowed: Yes
First Day Attendance Required: Yes
Course Resources: To be announced.
*Satisfies Writing Requirement: No
**Credits For Prof. Skills Requirement: Yes
Satisfies Professional Ethics: No
*If “Yes,” then students are required to submit a substantial research paper in this course, which means students do not need to submit any form to SRO for this paper to meet their upper-level writing requirement. If “No,” then students must submit a “special request” e-form to SRO (available via LawWeb) no later than five weeks after the start of the term for a paper in this class to be counted toward the upper-level writing requirement.
**Yes indicates course credits count towards UVA Law’s Prof. Skills graduation requirement, not necessarily a skills requirements for any particular state bar.
Cross Listed: No
Cross-Listed Course Mnemonic:
Concentrations: Intellectual Property
Public Syllabus Link: None
Evaluation Portal Via LawWeb Opens: Wednesday, March 22, 12:01 AM
Evaluation Portal Via LawWeb Closes: Friday, March 31, 11:59 PM