Your Music Your Future partners with CISAC to educate creators globally on royalties and copyright buyouts

Glob­al edu­ca­tion site explains cre­ators’ remu­ner­a­tion options and the ram­i­fi­ca­tions of accept­ing buy­outs for their work.

An edu­ca­tion cam­paign cre­at­ed in the Unit­ed States to inform cre­ators on the grow­ing prac­tice of copy­right buy­outs is being extend­ed glob­al­ly with a new online resource, “Your Music Your Future Inter­na­tion­al

Com­posers and song­writ­ers for film, tele­vi­sion and oth­er audio­vi­su­al 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 works of song­writ­ers and com­posers (just as of screen­writ­ers and direc­tors) are an invalu­able and inex­tri­ca­ble part of the sto­ry­telling in film, TV and all oth­er audio­vi­su­al media. Tra­di­tion­al­ly, roy­al­ty income has been the only depend­able source of earn­ings for these cre­ators. The grow­ing prac­tice of buy­ing out their rights (includ­ing per­form­ing rights) changes the remu­ner­a­tion equa­tion with impor­tant impli­ca­tions for cre­ators’ careers.

To raise aware­ness of this glob­al issue for cre­ators, a new inter­na­tion­al edu­ca­tion resource is now being made avail­able, bring­ing togeth­er the US music cre­ators’ move­ment Your Music Your Future and CISAC, the glob­al con­fed­er­a­tion of authors soci­eties with 230 mem­bers in over 120 coun­tries and territories.

Your Music Your Future was found­ed by com­posers, for com­posers in the US in 2019 and is ded­i­cat­ed to edu­cat­ing fel­low cre­ators about their options for com­pen­sa­tion and the ram­i­fi­ca­tions of their choic­es, includ­ing accept­ing total buy­outs of their work. The cam­paign is strict­ly edu­ca­tion­al, tak­ing no sides in the debate, and has built a com­mu­ni­ty of more than 15,000 members.

With the help of CISAC, the cam­paign is now being extend­ed to help edu­cate com­posers and song­writ­ers across the world. A new web­site, Your Music Your Future Inter­na­tion­al, 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 are paid. Their future liveli­hoods depend on it”.

Your Music Your Future founder, com­pos­er Joel Beck­er­man said: “This is a move­ment, for com­posers by com­posers, to edu­cate our com­mu­ni­ty on the choic­es with respect to per­form­ing roy­al­ties. The aim is to bring this vital edu­ca­tion­al mes­sage to all music cre­ators every­where. As music cre­ators we are all in this togeth­er, and edu­ca­tion is the key to ensur­ing their abil­i­ty to sup­port their fam­i­lies and put food on the table”.

CISAC Direc­tor-Gen­er­al Gadi Oron said: “Copy­right buy­outs are a grow­ing con­cern for cre­ators and for CISAC soci­eties which rep­re­sent them and pro­tect their inter­ests. By part­ner­ing with Your Music Your Future, CISAC helps fill the infor­ma­tion gap and pro­vide a prac­ti­cal and use­ful edu­ca­tion­al resource about buy-out con­tracts and cre­ators remu­ner­a­tion. This should assist cre­ators in mak­ing an informed deci­sion about con­tracts they’re offered and their options”.

Key top­ics on the web­site include:
• what are total buy­outs?
• why buy­outs are becom­ing more preva­lent
• how “buy­out claus­es” work in con­tracts
• roy­al­ties vs lump sum: weigh­ing up the options
• vary­ing laws sur­round­ing total buy­outs in dif­fer­ent regions and ter­ri­to­ries
• how cre­ators can raise aware­ness for greater legal pro­tec­tion of their works

CISAC – the Inter­na­tion­al Con­fed­er­a­tion of Soci­eties of Authors and Com­posers – is the world’s lead­ing net­work of authors’ soci­eties (also referred to as Col­lec­tive Man­age­ment Organ­i­sa­tions, or CMOs). CISAC pro­tects the rights and rep­re­sents the inter­ests of cre­ators world­wide. With 230 mem­ber soci­eties in 121 coun­tries, CISAC rep­re­sents over four mil­lion cre­ators of music, audio-visu­al, dra­ma, lit­er­a­ture, and visu­al arts. | Twit­ter: @CISACNews | Face­book: CISACWorldwide.