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Recordings for News Reporting

Updated: 27 October 2022 | 14:15 PM

The MU’s News Access Code of Practice governs sound recordings made specifically for news reporting purposes.

In the event the duration of the recorded performance communicated to the public in one news item exceeds these time limits then the broadcaster/production company shall pay the musicians a fee to be agreed with the MU.

  1. News items which include the musical performances of musicians may be recorded under the terms of this code of practice without the further agreement of the MU or those it represents.
  2. Such news items may only be “communicated to the public” (as defined under the Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988 (referring to ss.20 and 30) in news and current affairs bulletins, and/or listings programmes, and may NOT be communicated to the public in general magazine, documentary or any other types of programme, without the musicians’ written consent and the payment of a fee to be agreed with the MU.
  3. The broadcaster/production company filming the news item shall ensure that all recording of the musicians’ performances will be completed within ONE HOUR of commencement of filming.
  4. The maximum duration of recorded performance that may be communicated to the public in one news item shall be:
    1. one minute of featured music (ie. not background or otherwise incidental), and/or
    2. one minute of non-featured music (ie. heard in the background of an interview or under a voice over)
  5. Nothing in this code of practice shall prevent any musician requesting the broadcaster / production company not to record his or her performance and the broadcaster / production company shall not record a musician who has made such a request.
  6. The broadcaster / production company shall ensure the musicians are not called upon to exceed the duties for which they are contracted and are not directed to alter their performance or repeat it for the purpose of retakes for the recording of the news item.
  7. News items made hereunder must be first communicated to the public within EIGHT days of the recording date, unless the prior written agreement of the MU is obtained, but thereafter may be communicated to the public throughout the world in perpetuity for the purposes of reporting the news and/or as archived news items.
  8. Provided news item recordings are made and used strictly in accordance with this code of practice, the MU agrees on behalf of those it represents not to require any written consents to be obtained from or further fees to be paid to the musicians.
  9. Save as set out in this code of practice, nothing shall restrict the rights of performers and/or the MU under the Act or otherwise.

All queries regarding the terms of this code of practice should be referred to the MU Recording & Broadcasting department.

Member services for recording musicians