Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
Aspects of Media Law
Academic Year
Semester 1
Reading List
Other Staff

Course Delivery



Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment Report  (Copyright and clearance report on a given script to the equivalent of 2,000 words.)  40%
Semester Assessment Essay  (4000 words)  60%
Supplementary Assessment Report  (Copyright and clearance report on a given script to the equivalent of 2,000 words.)  40%
Supplementary Assessment Essay  (4000 words)  60%

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module students should be able to:

1. Critically review and concisely present research ideas within a presentation format.

2. Comprehensively understand the legal processes and protections relevant to a film production.

3. To critically evaluate the complex structures of International co-production treaties.

4. Demonstrate a sound understanding of specific elements of the law of copyright as it relates to film production.

5. To demonstrate an advanced critical awareness of the Banking discounting structure as it relates to film financing.

6. To critically evaluate the impact of complex finance structures used in the film industry through an awareness of the complexities involved in production and finance agreements.

7. To demonstrate a mastery of a range of theoretical and practical approaches to concepts of Media Law.

Brief description

Getting a film or television production off the ground is a long and complicated process which involves setting up a company, negotiating the production and finance agreements as well as the assignment of rights and the chain of title. The Producer must ensure that the production is compliant with employment, public liability, Health and Safety and copyright laws including IP, defamation issues, confidentiality issues, laws of privacy, freedom of information, international co-production deals, banking deals to name but a few. This module will examine the key legal issues involved in a film production to ensure that the production is operating within the correct legal framework as well as investigating within this legal framework new strategic approaches to the business of film making.


Indicative content:

1. Making Sense of Copyright
2. Music and Copyright
3. Structuring International Co-Productions
4. Securing the underlying Rights
5. Production and Finance Agreements
6. Discounting the Distribution Contracts
7. The Role of the Bank and the Banking Legals
8. Setting up and Running the Production Company
9. Hiring Firing and commercial Contracts
10. Beyond Production - Sales, distribution and secondary exploitation.

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Application of Number Use of the professional software packages will develop the ability to interpret statistical and mathematical information. The module will also develop the student ‘s ability to read and understand data.
Communication Managing the legal process of filmmaking is all about communication. Discussion based group seminars facilitate critical thinking and help to develop good presentation skills. The use of electronic journals and reports are highly relevant for the successful preparation of the research project. In addition, although not required, students may choose to use electronic library database skills. Independent work on assessed essay helps to develop writing skills which will be of use when writing the assessment. Effective communications skills - oral, written and visual, will be developed throughout the module.
Improving own Learning and Performance Formative feedback will be provided throughout the module which will help students to improve their own learning and performance. Students will improve their learning by undertaking directed but independent study and work. Time management will be crucial in preparation for assessments.
Information Technology Specialized Professional software is used and students’ skills will be developed through the module. Students will prepare and input data, manage systems and interpret information.
Personal Development and Career planning The module emphasizes production work in professionally defined roles, it establishes on a basic level the professional procedures in production and the business of film. Knowledge and understanding of contemporary issues in the research study area as well as research skills developed in connection with the preparation of assessed individual coursework contribute to transferable skills.
Problem solving The legal process in Filmmaking is a continuous process of problem-solving. The module demands the participants to apply analytical skills to reason and understand the challenging nature of the subject. By introducing a variety of theoretical as well as empirical topics, the module enables students to develop creative thinking approaches to problem solving. These skills will have to be applied in seminar discussions, preparation of the budget and schedule and the research project.
Research skills Students undertake research as part of the seminar program and will be assessed on their ability to identify, locate, evaluate and effectively use their knowledge to apply to the issues that arise.
Subject Specific Skills Film Production skills will be developed throughout the module.
Team work Team work ethics are encouraged in seminars. During seminars students will be encouraged to participate in interactive group discussions/presentations.


This module is at CQFW Level 7