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Specimen Sync Licences

The right to synchronise music into films, TV programmes, adverts and computer games can be a valuable additional revenue stream. 'Sync rights' can also generate publicity and raise an artist’s profile.

Last updated: 11 June 2021

The MU has a range of resources to help musicians negotiate synchronisation deals and agree appropriate terms for the use of their music. We have produced template sync licences for TV, film and advertising, and these can be adapted to each particular deal’s variables, whether it is for the rights in the composition or use of the master recording itself.

Key parts of the MU specimen licences to consider are:

Territory: can they exhibit their production in specific countries (UK only, UK and RoI etc.) or worldwide? Clearly, a larger the geographical territory means a greater potential audience so command a higher fee.

Term: how long does their licence last for before they need to come back to you. Feature Films will frequently want to be able to use the music in  perpetuity whereas for Advertising more limited terms are more normal.

Media: For instance can they exhibit at Film Festivals only or does the licence allow them to show the production on broadcast television, online etc.

Exclusivity: The MU template licences are Non-Exclusive meaning you are free to licence the music to other people. Particularly in advertising, the licensee might want to place some limits to prevent the possibility of a rival brand using the same music at the same time. Any such limits require careful consideration as they could force you to pass up other opportunities.

As with any deal, before signing on the dotted line, Union members are urged to consult the MU Contract Advisory Service for guidance.

Specimen sync licences

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Collective Bargaining

The MU negotiates collective bargaining agreements with broadcasters and umbrella organisations for other regular employers of session musicians.

Read more about Collective Bargaining

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