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Fair Commissioning For Screen Manifesto

The Ivors Academy and Musicians' Union have produced this Manifesto for the Composers Against Buyouts campaign.

Commissioning for Screen Manifesto principles

AS COMPOSERS WE ASSERT THAT

  • Copyright rests with the author. This is enshrined in copyright law and is the moral starting point of every negotiation.
  • Music creates unique emotional connections and financial value in an audiovisual production. Composers should receive a fair share of the value they create.
  • 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.

WE CALL ON COMMISSIONERS TO

  • Appreciate the value that music brings. Commissioners should not expect to acquire rights without genuine negotiation reflecting the true value of music and composition.
  • Only take a share of future royalty income if they are going to act like a commercial publisher. This means finding uses for the music beyond its original purpose, administering the copyright properly, and paying composers fairly for the acquired rights and royalties.
  • Actively champion equality, diversity and inclusion. This includes collecting and publishing diversity statistics from the commissioning process, and seeking and supporting underrepresented groups to pitch for work.
  • Pay composers. No-one should ever be asked to work for free.
  • Respect composers’ time and resources. Where pitching is expected, there should be a clear stylistic or musical brief, the number of candidates competing for the job should be stated upfront, and composers’ reasonable expenses reimbursed.
  • Protect composers’ copyright. All work that is pitched remains the property of the composer, whether the pitch is successful or not. The composer should also remain the owner of all works unused by a production.

Read and share this Manifesto as a PDF

Find out more about the Composers Against Buyouts campaign

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