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Ivors Academy and Musicians’ Union launch Fair Score specimen agreement to support composers writing music for TV

The Fair Score specimen agreement, with accompanying notes, 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.

Photo by Scott Graham on Unsplash

Three years ago the Ivors Academy and Musicians’ Union (MU) launched Composers Against Buyouts, a campaign designed 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, the lack of diversity in those being commissioned and, in some cases, a complete lack of contracts or confirmation of agreed terms.

In 2023, the campaign was rebranded Fair Score to take this into account. In addition to our efforts behind the scenes to secure improvements, we have identified the importance of providing resources for composers to ensure that they feel equipped and empowered to negotiate fair deals.

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.

Specimen agreement

Specimen agreement notes

To launch the agreement, we will be running an online webinar with composers Claire Batchelor, Kevin Sargent and Bankey Ojo, plus Charlie Phillips and Jenny Goodwin of the Ivors Academy and Kelly Wood from the MU. They will talk through the content of the agreement, their own experiences of negotiating contracts and what composers can do to navigate negotiations as successfully as possible.


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