As intangible intellectual property rights form the core of all relationships in the music industry, an understanding of those legal rights is essential for an understanding of the workings of that industry. The course will therefore examine, in detail, each of the legal areas involved in bringing music to the public.
First, we will undertake an overview of specific legal rights involved in music, including copyright, trademark and the right of publicity. Materials will include statutes and cases.
Second, we will conduct a detailed analysis of the relationships in the music industry and the application of intellectual property rights to each such relationship, including those of the songwriter/composer-music publisher, the performing rights society-music user, the copyright owner-musical theater producer, the music publisher-record company, the performing artist-record company, the record company-distribution chain, and the copyright owner-infringer. Materials will include cases, "standard" agreements and supplementary written materials such as antitrust consent decrees; guest practitioners and executives from the music industry may participate.
Third, students will conduct a series of mock negotiations between songwriter and music publisher; record label and performing artist; and Internet music service, publisher and label, and arguments in infringement cases; each of which will be critiqued as they unfold by the professor and attorneys working in the music industry.
Fourth, we will study and discuss current legislative issues and future trends, including the legislative response to, and future of, online music uses.