Institute of Brand and Innovation Law


Copyright Law A course for Copyright, Entertainment & Media Law Practitioners

18 January 2016–22 January 2016, 9:00 am–6:00 pm

Event Information

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UCL Institute of Brand and Innovation Law (IBIL)



Shortly before his death Martin Luther King Jr gave a speech about technology and the future in which he warned:

“[T]oo many people find themselves living amid a great period of social change, and yet they fail to develop the new attitudes, the new mental responses, that the new situation demands. They end up sleeping through a revolution.”

By the end of 2015, we are told, we can expect legislative proposals for the reform of EU copyright law itself, perhaps even a single unified EU copyright title. Other developments in the EU marketplace, in 2015 alone, are a competition enquiry into cross-border trade and legislative proposals for cross-border contracting, a review of the practice of geo-blocking and an analysis of the position of digital platforms in the market. In the USA the regulatory framework of music licensing remains under review by the Department of Justice (as at July 2015) and more generally at the US Copyright Office. Worldwide, the broadcast industry faces competition from online programming.

The aim of this course is to help practitioners to operate in their professional lives in the present day and to look to the future the same time. In addition, if lawyers working in one sector of the creative industries can become better informed of the structure, the contractual patterns and the commercial sensitivities in another sector, they will be better equipped to adapt to legal and market changes.

Each of the first three days will focus on a different area of the creative industries: the visual arts, audio-visual works and music.  Thursday morning will be devoted to live performance before the course moves to all things digital.

The latter part of the week will look in detail at various aspects of the law that are critical to digital delivery – cross-border licensing parameters, fair use exceptions, data management, privacy and security. The course will examine the requirements of the DSPs seeking to make cultural content available to a wider audience; at the making available right, permanence and ownership, access, privacy, security and data management.  There will be discussion of the newly published proposals for legal changes and digital single market initiatives emanating from the EU and beyond.  

The UK government justifies its support for copyright with economic data, telling us that the creative industries deliver nearly £79 billion annually to the country’s economy. But the relationship between creativity and a community is not only an economic compact. Whether it is the 35,000 year old cave paintings of Sulawesi in Indonesia or the oral traditions of storytelling and music, the interplay between creator and audience is an essential part of human nature.

With this in mind, students will have an opportunity to participate in Friday afternoon’s international debate Copyright, Culture and the Desire for Data and share ideas to promote the economic welfare of the writers, painters, composers, directors, actors, playwrights and musicians of the future in this time of change.

Students who complete the course and pass the exam will receive a Certificate in Legal Rights and Trade Practices in the Creative Industries from the Institute of Brand and Innovation Law at UCL Faculty of Laws.