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Composers Against Buyouts

More media composers are being asked for buyouts than ever before. But it doesn’t have to be that way.

Composers Against Buyouts

35% of media composers have taken buyouts or work for hire deals

41% had to give away more of their mechanical rights than they wanted to

64% believe the commissioning environment is coercive

There’s already a fair and established way of paying composers: a commissioning fee upfront and royalties over time.

Media composers should receive a fee that covers their costs including their labour, and also hold on to at least some of their rights as creators that could generate royalties for years to come.

And if you’re offered a buyout, you should be able to negotiate a deal that’s right for you.

That’s why we’ve partnered with the MU to campaign against buyouts and for our Fair Commissioning Manifesto.

What are buyouts?

Read our guide to buyouts for media composers

Back the Fair Commissioning Manifesto

The Fair Commissioning Manifesto calls for an end to buyouts and a pitching process that works for media composers as well as commissioners.

Created by The Ivors Academy and Musicians’ Union, it outlines our vision for the future starting with three core principles:

  1. Copyright rests with the author. This is enshrined in copyright law and is the moral starting point of every negotiation.
  2. Music creates unique emotional connections and financial value in an audiovisual production. Composers should receive a fair share of the value they create.
  3. Only composers should decide how much of their rights they give away. The Exclusive Assignment of Performing Rights is the best way to safeguard value over the long term.

Read the Fair Commissioning Manifesto in full as a web page, PDF or plain text version and share it with media composers you know.

Are you a media composer, or interested in media composing as part of your future? 

Be part of Composers Against Buyouts.

  • Add the hashtag #ComposersAgainstBuyouts to your social media bios
  • Send this page to media composers you know

Your support is crucial. It will help us start conversations about fair commissioning, ending buyouts, and protecting your rights – and keep those conversations going.

Your music your future international

Take a look at Your Music Your Future International, a campaign to help media composers everywhere understand their options when it comes to royalties and copyright buyouts.

It was founded by composers, for composers in the US, with the help of CISAC –  the global confederation of authors societies.


Help strengthen our campaigning power by adding your voice to ours.

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