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Composer's agreement for film music

author/source: Geoff Caesar
(c) Holly Jade O'Leary

Under this agreement, a production company commissions music for a film or TV soundtrack. It is designed for higher-budget productions requiring a substantial amount of music. As a courtesy to the commissionee, who will often be a well-known figure with an established reputation, it is customary to call such an agreement a "composer's agreement" rather than a commissioning agreement. For an agreement suitable for lower-value deals, see our film music commissioning agreement.

As the person who writes and performs (or conducts and arranges for the performance of) the music, the composer will automatically be the first owner of the copyright in it. This agreement therefore contains an assignment of rights in the musical and literary works embodied in the commissioned music, and in the master recording of that music that is to be used in the soundtrack.

Alinea Law Members can download the template agreement here:

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