Course Title: Contemporary and Legal Issues in the Music Industry

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Contemporary and Legal Issues in the Music Industry

Credit Points: 12.00


Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


City Campus


345H Media and Communication


Sem 1 2007,
Sem 1 2008,
Sem 1 2009,
Sem 1 2011,
Sem 1 2012,
Sem 1 2013,
Sem 1 2014


City Campus


360H Education


Sem 1 2006

Course Coordinator: Ed Montano

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 9925 2190

Course Coordinator Email:

Course Coordinator Location: 36.4.12

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities

Previously completed core courses from year one of the B.A. Music Industry program.

Course Description

This course will provide you with an understanding and appreciation of current and legal issues relating to the Australian music industry, and the place of the music industry in the wider arts industry context, from both national and international perspectives. The course is essentially discussion/seminar-based. This is one of the compulsory core courses in the B.A. Music Industry program.

Topics in this course include:

  • The Australian music industry
  • The components of the music industry in Australia
  • Government policy and support for the industry
  • Promotion of individuals and groups within the industry
  • Short and long-term work
  • Monitoring trends in the industry
  • Global influences on Australian music
  • Copyright and music piracy
  • Performing rights, songwriting and publishing
  • Contractual agreements and relationships
  • Intellectual property
  • Role of agents and managers

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

In this course you will develop the following program and graduate capabilities:

  • apply production, organisational, time and information management skills;
  • apply skills of self-motivated learning and critical appraisal;
  • employ ongoing analysis, development and application of conceptual processes;
  • apply theoretical, historical and cultural frameworks to your field of practice;
  • research skills using the web, library archives, selective experiential research and other sources to inform and position your creative practice.

At the conclusion of the course you will be able to:

  • discuss current and future trends in the music industry;
  • assess the interaction of the different components of the industry;
  • identify and engage with some of the key networks and technologies of the contemporary global music industry;
  • relate global music practices to local music industry contexts;
  • respond to the multi-skilled nature of music industry practices;
  • relate government policy to support in the industry;
  • discuss legal issues relating to the music industry;
  • work effectively as team members in collaborative contexts;
  • confidently present your ideas within group situations and respond appropriately to feedback.

Overview of Learning Activities

Each week will involve a 3-hour seminar/discussion session which will focus on a specific topic outlined in the teaching schedule and will be related to specific reading material. Class activity should be supported by independent research during learner-directed hours. Certain weeks will feature industry guest speakers. You will be expected to take an active part in class discussions, and to share your ideas and experiences with others.

Overview of Learning Resources

RMIT will provide you with resources and tools for learning in this course through our online systems. You should make use of wider university resources such as libraries, print and audio-visual collections, and if appropriate the University’s Learning Skills Unit. Please refer to Part B Course Guide for any specific textbook requirements.

Overview of Assessment

Assessment on this course is designed to provide you with a range of activities to demonstrate how well you meet the course learning outcomes. The assessment involves skills such as developing argument and analysis, conducting independent reading and research, and organising class discussion. Please refer to Part B Course Guide for further information on assessment.