Commission of original music
Type of use
Commissioning music for movies, TV productions, ads, podcasts, audio books, etc. For example, the original soundtrack for a film, a custom intro for a TV program, the theme song of a podcast, music in video games, etc.
What To Do
- Choose a composer with whom you wish to conclude an agreement for the creation of original music for your production.
- As soon as you start negotiating, ask whether they are a member of one or more professional associations such as SPACQ, SAC or SCGC as well as one of the many rights management collectives such as SOCAN, CMRRA, etc.
- Enquire as to whether this composer is under an exclusive contract with a copyright management professionals and support the career development of creators; one could say publishers are the managers of songwriters and of their work.
Here is a short video that explains the role of a music publisher.">music publisher whom you’ll then need to contact, or if they are self-published.
- You can then negotiate with the composer and their publisher, if that’s the case, a contractual agreement that complies to the standards of the audiovisual industry and the collective agreements between the associations of audiovisual producers and the professional associations of composers.
Royalty-free music libraries
You can also obtain so-called “royalty-free” music from music libraries, meaning that this company has already obtained the permissions required to grant a licence for that music. Here is a list of some of those music libraries.
Clarifications and cautionary statement
Agreements between an audiovisual producer and a composer are governed by various collective agreements between the associations of audiovisual producers and the professional associations of composers. We strongly recommend that you contact those associations if you have any questions about your contract and the standards of the industry.
For questions concerning copyrights and publishing agreements, talk to the composer’s publisher, their manager (if the composer is not linked to a publisher), or to an entertainment or copyright lawyer.
Be aware that subsequent reproductions of the music associated to your images, such as broadcast incidental copies, copies for the web as well as DVD copies for promotional or commercial purposes are governed by general licences between reproduction rights societies such as SOCAN and/or CMRRA and broadcasters and digital platforms. Public performance of the music associated to images is also governed by general licences concluded between SOCAN and the broadcasters, cable operators and digital platforms.
The material on this web site is provided for informational purposes only.