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Fair Score

We’re campaigning with the Musicians’ Union to create a fairer environment for media composers.

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

Media composers deserve to work in an environment that is fair, where their rights are respected, the pitching process is transparent and there is a level playing field of opportunity. That’s why we have partnered with the Musicians’ Union (MU) on our campaign Fair Score.

This campaign builds on and continues the work of Composers Against Buyouts and will provide even greater opportunities for composers and allies to come together and demand a future where media commissioning is fair for all. 

What are buyouts?

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. 

To address this and other issues of unfairness in the media commissioning sphere we’ve partnered with the MU to campaign against buyouts as part of Fair Score and for our Fair Commissioning Manifesto. 

Read our guide to buyouts for media composers

Download the Fair Score specimen agreement

The Fair Score specimen agreement provides composers with an example of what a comprehensive commissioning agreement looks like and will help members looking to negotiate fair deals with a commissioners – from small independent production companies with modest budgets through to global broadcasters.

In order to help composers understand what a comprehensive commissioning agreement looks like, we have worked with lawyers to draw up a specimen agreement for use within the TV commissioning process. The agreement is accompanied by a separate set of notes which provide more information about the agreement clauses, their purpose and meaning.

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 Fair Score.

  • Add the hashtag #FairScore 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 coercive 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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