SOAS University of London

School of Law

Copyright Law

Module Code:
Year of study:
Year 3
Taught in:
Term 1

This module will introduce students to the general principles of copyright law in the UK. Since the UK is a member of the WTO, it is required to comply with the TRIPS Agreement. Therefore, this course will cover the relevant copyright provisions of the TRIPS Agreement. Similarly, since the UK is a member of the EU, it is required to comply with a number of copyright Directives. Accordingly, this course will also cover the relevant provisions of the copyright Directives and the compliance of UK copyright law with its European obligations. As such, each topic on the syllabus will be examined from international, European and domestic law point of view.

In addition to the traditional methods of exploiting copyright works, through printing, public performance, broadcasting and cabling, the module will cover the dissemination of works through direct broadcasting by satellite, internet video streaming and hyperlinking. The module will be taught through a critical engagement with domestic case law, decisions of the CJEU and legal writings on the subject.


Objectives and learning outcomes of the module

  • demonstrate an understanding of the evolution of the copyright system of the UK and that of the EU;
  • demonstrate sound knowledge of the general principles governing subsistence and scope of protection;
  • demonstrate clear understanding of the impact of EU law on the copyright system of the UK; AND
  • demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the impact of new technologies on UK copyright law.

Method of assessment

Coursework: 100% (5000 words)

Suggested reading

  • Aplin, T and J Davis, Intellectual Property Law: Text, Cases and Materials 3rd ed (OUP, 2017)
  • Bently & Sherman, Intellectual Property Law 4th ed (OUP, 2014)
  • Davies, G and Garnett, K, Moral Rights 2nd ed (London: Sweet & Maxwell, 2016)
  • Derclaye (ed), Research Handbook on the Future of EU Copyright Law (Edward Elgar, 2009)
  • Makeen, M, Copyright in a Global Information Society: The Scope of Copyright Protection Under International, US, UK and French Law (Kluwer, 2000)


Important notice regarding changes to programmes and modules