BEHIND THE SCENES: Legal & Business

Everything you need to know about the legal wheelings and dealings of the music industry

While the initial attraction to a career in music is the opportunity to work in an exciting creative industry, the reality is there are important legal and business principles that must be clearly understood if your career is going to flourish.

This stream provides accurate and clear explanations of legal areas such as contract, copyright (and other aspects of intellectual property) and the law of agency that frames the relationships of managers, agents and other representatives who play a vital role in the careers of artists.

I have known Andrew Watt for over two decades since he started InPress.

There are few people who have a broader overview of Australian music culture, and there are fewer still who are such articulate advocates for its importance to our cultural ecology.

Andrew’s book is a great resource and will prove invaluable to musicians and music professionals alike. His creation of the online Music Business Modules will help transform the way music business is taught and provides much needed focus for the energies of young musicians wanting to 'make it' in an incredibly competitive world (much of which is located more than 20 hours flying time from here).

Andrew is a passionate and generous person and a great teacher. It is fantastic that he has decided to devote some of his considerable energies to developing ways of sharing his knowledge. I recommend him and the resources he has created without reservation.

- Peter Knight, Australian Arts Orchestra




This module gives an overview of the legal system in Australia. The music industries, as with all other businesses, operate in a legal system and this module provides an important understanding of that legal system which provides a foundation of other modules concerned with intellectual property, contracts and consumer laws.


This module introduces the legal principle of copyright - the dominant form of intellectual property in the content industries - and and a concept that forms the cornerstone of the creation of value and revenue in the music industry.


This module looks at copyright as it operates in the music industry and explains the hugely important distinction between copyright for songwriters and copyright for recording artists and the business and contractual implications of this distinction.


This module looks at branding in relation to the music industry and in particular intellectual property concepts such as trademark and ownership of brands - the subject of many music industry disputes in the recording and touring areas of the business.


This module examines the types of contracts that are typically used in the music industry and gives students a vital insight into the framework and content of those contracts. This is an essential module.


This module looks at the laws that provide the basis of management and representation arrangements in the music industry. Anyone wanting to be a manager or an agent or who intends to work with either of these vital two music industry service providers must be aware of the content of this module.


This module is essential for anyone who intends dealing with the recording or music publishing industries as it looks at the way participants in the music business deal and trade in their creative assets. These concepts also have application across all industries that have ownership and rights in creative assets as a part of their business.


Your Instructor

Andrew Watt
Andrew Watt

Andrew Watt, author of Welcome To The Jungle – Navigating the Music Business In Australia, an anecdotal textbook for the music business in Australia, teaches a number of music industry related subjects at tertiary colleges including Melbourne University, Victoria University, Collarts and RMIT.

Andrew's exceptional career in the music industry began as the founder, editor and publisher of music-centric street magazine InPress. Andrew went on to become a music publisher with the Paul Dainty Corporation, an artist manager of high profile acts both in Australia and the USA, a television producer with multiple network credits including Executive Producer of Rock Soldiers (a documentary on the Australian concert touring world) and a music journalist and commentator.

Andrew has a wealth of anecdotal hilarity from years of backstage fun and misadventure, he doesn't just teach the music endustry - he lives in it. Read more about Andrew Watt here.

Not only did Andrew provide an exceptional insight and understanding into the Music and Entertainment industry, but with his ongoing support and encouragement, he helped me break into the Film and Television industry of which I now hold a full time position and potential life-long career.

Andrew is an inspiring educator, lecturer and all round great human being who has given me a whole new way to look at the Entertainment Industry and my life moving forward, and for this I am forever grateful.

- Daina, Student

Get started now!

Frequently Asked Questions

Who should do this course?
Anyone who wants to be a productive and successful participant in the music industry - whether as an artist (performer, songwriter, producer, performer) or someone working in the business of music (managers, record labels, agents, promoters etc). The course is suited to beginners and also to those already with their foot in the door of the industry and wanting to accelerate their career progress.

What will I learn from this course?
Knowledge! Genuine, real knowledge. The Music Business Education course has been designed to provide students with no-nonsense, no-hype, accurate and current knowledge about the realities and operation of the music industry. The course has been designed by a professional educator who has also successfully worked in the music industry as an entertainment lawyer, international artist manager, music journalist and music publisher and draws on years of personal experience and relationships with hundreds of real major players in the music industry. You will learn the structure, roles and realities of the industry, in the language used by industry insiders and the proven practices used by successful participants in the industry.

More FAQ's