Mr Benjamin McDermott


Bachelor of Music (Honours)/ Arts

Discipline: Music

Name: Benjamin McDermott

Program: Music (Honours) / Arts

Year: 4th

How did you first find out about your program at UNSW?

I knew that I wanted to study music. So I did a search of the available programs across NSW. This search led me to UNSW, which impressed me with its variety and open-minded approach.

What attracted you most to the program?

What was most attractive was the flexibility of the degree. As opposed to other options, UNSW made clear that I would have the choice to follow what I was interested in while still being enrolled in the Jazz program.

What do you enjoy most about the program and why?

The opportunities that it presents me. Under the degree, whatever I have put in, I have got back in abundance. Whether it has been academically or compositionally, If I have had an idea and shown clear interest in getting it done, I have been given the opportunity to explore it.

What type of career do you hope to have and do you feel well equipped for it?

I hope to have a career in Music Law, mainly working in music copyright infringement cases. Naturally, this profession denotes to both music and law. For the music side, I can say with confidence that studying at UNSW has resulted in me feeling rigorously prepared to argue facts on music. Within the Arts component of my degree, I have majored in Criminology and minored in Psychology. This study qualified me for an internship at the Australian Copyright Council, which resulted in me gaining relevant experience to form the foundation for my future career goal. All that remains is to complete a postgraduate law degree.

What inspires you most about your area of interest?

Music law is an up-and-coming and complex area of intellectual property law. In particular with the use of illicit sampling and commonality in contemporary pop music composition, it is a field with a large grey area. As a result, musicians find it difficult to navigate the distinction between legal and illegal music composition. I intend to work to make this distinction easier to understand and fairer to work with, so that musicians can compose without the fear of committing unintentional copyright infringement.