An education campaign created in the U.S. to inform creators on the growing practice of copyright buyouts is being extended globally with a new online resource, Your Music Your Future International. The global education site explains creators’ remuneration options, and the ramifications of accepting buyouts for their work.
Composers and songwriters for film, television and other audio-visual media have depended for more than a century on a “typical deal” which allows them to collect royalty income in exchange for granting their copyrights to broadcasters, digital streaming services, and other users of their works.
Today, across the globe, that 100-year precedent is increasingly being challenged by companies who insist that composers accept buyouts of their rights (including performing rights) as a condition of being employed or commissioned for a project. In this scenario, composers are expected to create music in exchange for a one-time fee, instead of receiving continuing income for their work.
The new website covers topics including the options of royalties vs. buyouts, the typical use of buyout clauses in contracts, and the different laws governing buyouts internationally. The initiative is also supported by CIAM, the International Council of Music Creators.
CISAC President, ABBA co-founder Björn Ulvaeus says, “In the post-COVID world, the issue of copyright buyouts matters more to creators than ever before. Artists, composers, and authors have to be aware of their rights, understand their options, and make informed choices on the way they’re paid. Their future livelihoods depend on it.”