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Music and the Law

Cover image reproduced with permission of the photographer (c) Sophie Karanicolas Music and the Law is a book that examines the relationship between the law and the music industry in Australia. The book is specifically aimed at assisting and educating law and music students, as well as individuals involved in the music industry including musicians, managers, agents and music enthusiasts. The book's introductory chapter considers the importance of music from a social, cultural and political perspective and provides an introduction to the Australian legal system. The book then looks specifically at various aspects of the music industry and, in particular, provides a summary of the following key aspects: Contracts Recording and distribution Copyright Musical works, literary works and sound recordings Live performance and the live music industry in Australia Alternative dispute resolution The final chapter of the book provides commentary from various members of the Australian music industry including lawyers, managers, distributors and musicians. Music and the Law is an indispensable tool to anyone attempting to navigate the world of music today, covering the wide spectrum of legal issues that those in the music industry may encounter.
Product Details

Table of Contents

Preface Disclaimer Table of Cases Table of Statutes 1. An Introduction to Music and the Law 2. The Making of Contracts and Agreements 3. Recording and Distribution 4. Copyright 5. Licensing Sound Recordings 6. Publishing - Musical and Literary Works 7. The Death and Rebirth of Live Music in Australia 8. Alternative Dispute Resolution 9. The Industry Perspective Glossary: Key Definitions and Organisations in Australia Bibliography Index

About the Author

Associate Professor Peter MacFarlane joined the University of South Australia School of Law in 2011. Before this he was Professor and Head of the School of Law at the University of the South Pacific, Director of the University Community Legal Centre and Director of the Vanuatu campus of the University of the South Pacific. He has also held appointments as Associate Professor in the School of Law at Queensland University of Technology and as full time Law Reform Commissioner with the Qld Law Reform Commission. Peter has held visiting appointments at the Curtin University (WA), the University of Western Ontario (Canada) and the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service (Washington DC). He has worked as a legal practitioner in Vanuatu and in New South Wales and has served on a number of government and non-government Boards and Commissions including as legal counsel for a Vanuatu Government Commission of Inquiry. In 2011, Peter was appointed Associate Head (Teaching and Learning) in the School of Law. At the end of 2012 he was appointed Acting Dean of the School of Law. He held this position until April 2014. In July 2016, he was appointed Director: Academic (Undergraduate) in the School of Law. Peter's teaching in the areas of Legal Ethics, Civil Procedure, Sports Law, Music and the Law, and Health, Law and Ethics places emphasis on the application of legal principles to professional practice. His research informs his teaching and he has been published in each of his teaching areas. His most significant research contributions have been in the areas of Legal Ethics, Health Law and Ethics, and Music and the Law. Paraskevi Kontoleon joined the University of South Australia School of Law on a full time basis in 2014. Before this she worked as a practitioner in a number of private law firms in South Australia while teaching and researching on a part time basis. In conjunction with her legal career, Paraskevi has been an active musician performing all across Australia in her bands Dirt Playground and Lipsmack and performing Greek singing. She also performs regularly as a back-up vocalist for solo artist Jesse Francis. Her passion for music and the arts is what inspired her to write a book on how the law impacts musicians in Australia. Paraskevi teaches in the areas of Legal Ethics, Civil Procedure, Music and the Law, and Health, Law and Ethics. She has played a key role in expanding the University of South AustraliaaEURO (TM)s Legal Advice Clinic (which is a free student-run service) to provide legal advice and guidance to all types of artists in South Australia. Similar to her colleaugue, Peter MacFarlane, her teaching places emphasis on the application of legal principles to professional practice. Paraskevi has a keen interest in student-focused learning and in implementing contemporary learning methods into her teaching.


This is an unusual and perhaps unorthodox legal text. That said it is compelling, taxonomically creative and informative. It has not pursued the traditional path of legal publication in an identified area of law. The authors have thought carefully about their chosen field and defined their own area of discourse. The title is ambiguous but accurate nevertheless. The work covers a wide variety of areas of the law which are relevant to any person engaged in the music industry including legal practitioners who have clients in that field. The introduction to the work is of great interest setting music in a social and legal context and noting the contribution of music and musicians to the development of the law, especially in the United States of America. The second chapter is an introductory one dealing with the making of contracts and agreements, while chapter 3 is more topic specific and deals with the complex world of recording and distribution agreements. It considers the substantial changes in this area of business wrought by the introduction of the digital distribution of music. It also deals with the numerous important cases concerning contracts between record label companies and musicians. Subsequent chapters deal with copyright, licensing sound recordings and publication of musical and literary works. Another interesting discussion occurs in chapter 7 dealing with legal issues surrounding the live music industry in Australia. A final chapter has insights from participants in the music industry reflecting on the difficult legal minefield in which they have had to operate. This is another excellent recent publication from the Federation Press which continues to be the leader of legal academic publishing in Australia. It will appeal to participants in the music industry and their lawyers. - Queensland Law Reporter, 10 February 2017, [2017] 05 QLR

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