• CISAC logo

Copyright and the Business of Creative Industries

Explore the role of copyright in the creative and cultural industries.

8,177 enrolled on this course

A painting brush mixing a colourful paint palette
  • Duration

    4 weeks
  • Weekly study

    3 hours
  • Accreditation

    AvailableMore info

Understand the role of copyright in cultural and creative industries

On this course, you will explore the role and importance of copyright in the business of cultural and creative industries. We will examine the practical aspects of the business where copyright plays a central role, and focus on its impact in different sectors.

You will also learn how copyright rules apply and how the flow of economic benefits operates between creators, rightsholders, and users of creative works.

Upon completion of this course, you will build an understanding of copyright as an invaluable tool for creators and people hoping to build a career in cultural and creative industries.

Skip to 0 minutes and 6 seconds hello my name is Angelique Kidjo. I am a singer and a songwriter. I am here to invite you to join CISAC University’s new Massive Open Online Course. After exploring the history of copyright, we will be learning about creative industries. Creative industries allow us to create and enjoy works that make our culture and our lives meaningful. But how do these industries work and contribute to the economy? And how does copyright fit into all of this? Visual artists, composers, filmmakers, writers, photographers, designers, actors, singers and dancers … they all produce original works. Material which is used by the creative industries to produce artistic goods and services.

Skip to 0 minutes and 57 seconds Creators have an exclusive right over their work: this is copyright. We will see the central role copyright plays in the creative industries, and how it allows creators to earn a living like workers in other industries. Whether you work in the creative sector or are simply curious, enrol free on Future Learn. Spread the news and invite your friends to share this learning experience with you.


  • Week 1


    • About cultural and creative industries

      Define cultural and creative industries (CCI) and delineate its scope for the purposes of the course.

    • About copyright

      Learn what is copyright, how the legal framework has developed and became an essential tool for the business of creative industries.

    • Combining definitions

      Analyse sectors’ revenues and the contribution of copyright to revenue production.

    • Looking ahead to Week 2

      Enjoy a summary of definitions, concepts and main topics discussed.

  • Week 2


    • Creators, contractors and their rights

      Find out who are the players in each sector, what are their rights and how these rights shape their relationships.

    • Economics of copyright

      Understand the production and distribution of creative industries' goods and services and the split of results between business players.

    • Comparing sectors

      Compare sectors using as a criteria rights and business practices connecting the players.

    • Checking out what we've learnt

      Check what you’ve learnt and prepare to what is yet to come.

  • Week 3


    • Royalty collection

      Understand the process of royalty production and collection around the world.

    • Commercial exploitation

      Learn about the different forms of commercial exploitation of copyright protected works and productions.

    • Tips for creators

      Read about things creators should know to get the best out of their specific markets.

    • Conclusions to note

      Enjoy a summary of the main topics analysed during the week

  • Week 4

    Creative industries and the Internet of Things

    • Challenges and opportunities in the music industry

      Think about the challenges and opportunities for the music industry raised by the fast-changing technology that connects people and things.

    • The film industry and the online market

      Learn about the film streaming services new business models as compared to the industry’s business-as-usual.

    • Other sector cases

      Consider the impact of the technology in the other sectors of creative industries.

    • Finalising a guide

      Put together the ideas and concepts explored in the course, take note of the key topics and create your own “how to” of the creative industries.

Who is this accredited by?

The CPD Certification Service
The CPD Certification Service:

This course has been certified by the CPD Certification Service as conforming to continuing professional development principles.

Learning on this course

On every step of the course you can meet other learners, share your ideas and join in with active discussions in the comments.

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you‘ll be able to...

  • Compare the business models of the different sectors of creative industries deriving from the specific kind of goods commercialised by each one.
  • Explain who the creators in each sector of creative industries are, the rights they have on their artistic works and who owns the copyright.
  • Identify the legal requirements to operate a business that commercialises goods and services containing artistic works protected by copyright.
  • Summarise the role of copyright in the creative industries in defining who gets what from the wealth these industries produce.
  • Describe the essential elements of the contracts that regulate relationships between creators, publishers and producers.

Who is the course for?

This course is for creators of artistic works of any kind, producers, publishers, broadcasters, digital service providers, professionals involved directly or indirectly in the creative industries, and anyone interested in cultural and creative industries (CCI). It will also be very useful to anyone working in copyright or copyright-related industries.

This course is available also in Portuguese and in Spanish.

Who will you learn with?

I worked as a musician and music teacher. I became a lawyer in copyrights. I did a Doctorate in International Relations and worked as CEO in a composer’s association. Now I’m an educator again.

Who developed the course?

International Confederation of Societies of Authors and Composers (CISAC)

CISAC, the International Confederation of Societies of Authors and Composers, is the world’s leading network of authors’ societies.

Learning on FutureLearn

Your learning, your rules

  • Courses are split into weeks, activities, and steps to help you keep track of your learning
  • Learn through a mix of bite-sized videos, long- and short-form articles, audio, and practical activities
  • Stay motivated by using the Progress page to keep track of your step completion and assessment scores

Join a global classroom

  • Experience the power of social learning, and get inspired by an international network of learners
  • Share ideas with your peers and course educators on every step of the course
  • Join the conversation by reading, @ing, liking, bookmarking, and replying to comments from others

Map your progress

  • As you work through the course, use notifications and the Progress page to guide your learning
  • Whenever you’re ready, mark each step as complete, you’re in control
  • Complete 90% of course steps and all of the assessments to earn your certificate

Want to know more about learning on FutureLearn? Using FutureLearn

Learner reviews

Learner reviews cannot be loaded due to your cookie settings. Please and refresh the page to view this content.

Do you know someone who'd love this course? Tell them about it...

You can use the hashtag #FLCopyrightBusiness to talk about this course on social media.