Skip to Content

Member Forum: Fair Score Specimen TV Commissioning Agreement Launch Part 2/2

Rejoin our panellists for Part 2/2 talking through the content of our Fair Score specimen agreement and their experiences negotiating contracts.

Three years ago the Musicians’ Union (MU) and Ivors Academy launched a campaign (initially called Composers Against Buyouts) in order to raise awareness about, and to tackle, unfair royalty buyouts in media commissioning contracts. As our work in this space developed, we became increasingly aware of other problems in the commissioning process, including a general lack of transparency, package deals incorporating low fees, coercion, and in some cases a complete lack of contracts or confirmation of agreed terms. In addition to our efforts behind the scenes, we have identified the growing need to provide resources for composers to ensure that they feel equipped and empowered to negotiate fair deals, which involves understanding the expected clauses within an agreement, and the appropriate terminology.

Whilst acknowledging that composers can be commissioned by anyone from a very small independent production company with a modest budget, all the way through to a global broadcaster, the fundamentals of a commissioning deal remain the same; it should be clear, represent a fair deal in terms of the fee and any bought out elements, and it should be negotiated in advance, allowing the composer time to seek legal advice where necessary.

In order to help composers understand what a comprehensive commissioning agreement looks like, our lawyers have drawn up a specimen agreement for use within the TV commissioning process. The agreement is accompanied by a notes document to provide additional information in relation to the clauses and information within.

We will be launching the agreement at this online event, where our panellists will talk through the content, their own experiences of negotiating contracts, and also the wider sector and how composers are navigate their careers.

The event is free to MU and Ivors Academy members (although registration is required), and it will be of use to media composers of all levels – from those aspiring to get into the sector to those already well established who are keen to better understand the commissioning process and how improvements to contracts can be negotiated.

The panel will feature composers including: Claire Batchelor, Kevin Sargent, Bankey Ojo and also Charlie Phillips and Jenny Goodwin of the Ivors Academy, and Kelly Wood from the MU.

This is a member only event – find out more about joining here.


Back to top