This is the sixth installment of an 11-part series on music industry agreements by attorney and legal author Steve Gordon, author of The Future of the Music Business (Hal Leonard 4th Ed 2015). Steve’s earlier installments covered contracts for indie producers, synchronization licensing, management agreements, music publishing agreements, and production agreements (from hell). Robert Seigel is a co-author of this piece.
In this installment, we will discuss two different forms of agreement: composer deals for the creation of music to be used throughout a movie, and an agreement for the recording and licensing of a previously written but unreleased single song for a film. If you are a filmmaker seeking previously recorded and commercially released music, you may be interested in reading Part II of my book, The Future of the Music Business, which includes a comprehensive discussion on how to clear music for movies.
Producers should be aware of at least one fact: licensing popular prerecorded music can be very expensive!
For instance, one of the authors of this article recently received a quote of $50,000 for a Tom Petty song for a feature film..Read More