Composer Work-for-Hire Agreement (w/ Album Rights)

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This Composer Agreement/Work for Hire with Album Rights is between a producer and a composer who will furnish a musical score for a motion picture. This written agreement effectively sets out the terms of the parties' arrangement. This form is available for immediate download.

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This Composer Agreement is a mutual agreement between a producer and a composer who will furnish a musical score for a motion picture. This agreement is in letter format and effectively sets out the arrangement between the parties. Terms contained within this agreement are the compensation paid to composer and all works will be considered as “work for hire” and belong to producer. This agreement also contains provisions regarding royalties paid for commercial distribution of the score in an album format. It is vital that this business arrangement be set out in writing. A written Composer Agreement/Work for Hire with Album Rights will prove invaluable if there are misunderstandings or disagreements between the parties.

This Composer Agreement/Work for Hire with Album Rights contains the following provisions:
  • Parties: The identities of both composer and producer;
  • Compensation: The amount of compensation producer agrees to pay composer;
  • Employment: Producer employs composer to write, compose, record and submit suitable music as a complete score for the motion picture;
  • Name and Likeness: Composer grants producer perpetual rights to use his/her name and likeness for publicity purposes;
  • Work for Hire Status: Composer agrees that all works are considered as “work for hire” and are the sole property of producer;
  • Screen Credit: Composer will receive screen credit if score is satisfactorily completed;
  • Album Rights: If the score is embodied in an album or similar format, producer will pay composer royalties as set out within this agreement;
  • Royalty Statements: Composer has the right to object to royalty statements in writing within one year of statement and inspect books and records at composer’s expense;
  • Signatures: By signing this agreement composer accepts and agrees to its terms;
  • Certificate of Authorship: Composer certifies that the musical score was written pursuant to a work for hire agreement and all copyrights are the property of producer.

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This attorney-prepared packet contains:
  1. General Information
  2. Composer Agreement/Work for Hire with Album Rights
State Law Compliance: This form complies with the laws of all states
Number of Pages8
DimensionsDesigned for Letter Size (8.5" x 11")
EditableYes (.doc, .wpd and .rtf)
UsageUnlimited number of prints
Product number#27997
This is the content of the form and is provided for your convenience. It is not necessarily what the actual form looks like and does not include the information, instructions and other materials that come with the form you would purchase. An actual sample can also be viewed by clicking on the "Sample Form" near the top left of this page.
Movie Composer  Work for Hire
(With Album Rights and
Short-Form Assignment)


[Composer Name and address]
Dear Composer:
This letter when signed by you (the “Composer”) will confirm our mutual agreement whereby _____ Motion Pictures, Inc. (the “Producer”) has engaged you as an employee for hire to render certain services and to compose, arrange and furnish music for a score (the “Work”) for the motion picture “_____” (the “Picture”).
Producer agrees to pay composer as full compensation for all services required of Producer in connection with the Picture and for all the rights granted by the Composer, upon condition that the Composer shall fully and faithfully perform all the services required of him hereunder, the sum of _________ dollars ($____) and other valuable consideration including one DVD copy of the Picture with musical score and a credit in the picture.
Producer employs Composer to write, compose, orchestrate, perform, record and submit to Producer music suitable for use as the complete score for the Picture.
The Composer grants the Producer the perpetual nonexclusive right to use and license others to use his name and likeness in connection with any advertising or exploitation of the Picture.
The Composer agrees that Producer may perpetually use or authorize others to use any of the rights herein granted for commercial advertising or publicity in connection with any product, commodity or service manufactured, distributed or offered by the Producer or others, provided such advertising refers to the Picture, or to the Composers employment by the Producer.
The Composer hereby warrants that all material written, composed, prepared or submitted by him during the term hereof or any extension thereof shall be wholly original with him and shall not be copied in whole or in part from any other work, except that submitted to the Composer by the Producer as a basis for such material. The Composer further warrants that said material will not infringe upon the copyright, literary, dramatic or photoplay rights of any person. Composer warrants and agrees to indemnify and hold Producer and Producers officers, shareholders, employees, successors and assigns, harmless from and against any claim, demand, damage, debt, liability, account, reckoning, obligation, cost, expense, lien, action and cause of action (including the payment of attorneys fees and costs actually incurred) arising out of any breach or failure of any of Composers warranties, representations or covenants herein contained.
The Composer further agrees that all the said material which he may write, compose, prepare or submit under this agreement shall be the sole property of the Producer and that all of said material shall be written, composed, prepared and submitted by him as the employee of the Producer, and not otherwise, and that the Producer shall be the author and first proprietor of the copyright thereof, and that the Composer shall have no right, title or interest thereto or therein, and that the Producer shall have the right to obtain copyrights, patents and/or other protection therefor. In the event that any of proceeds of Composers work are not considered a work for hire, then Composers copyright to such work is hereby assigned to Producer.
The Composer further agrees to execute, verify, acknowledge, and deliver any and all documents which the Producer shall deem necessary or advisable to evidence, establish, maintain, protect, enforce or defend its rights and/or title in or to the said material or any part thereof. Producer shall have the right, but not the duty, to use, adapt, edit, add to, subtract from, arrange, rearrange, revise and change said material or any part thereof, and to vend, copy, publish, reproduce, record, transmit, broadcast by radio and/or television, perform, photograph with or without sound, including spoken works, dialogue and/or music synchronously recorded, and to communicate the same by any means now known or hereafter devised, either publicly and for profit, or otherwise.
Producer, its successors and assigns, shall in addition to the Composers services be entitled to and own in perpetuity, solely and exclusively, all of the results and proceeds of said services and material, including all rights throughout the world of production, manufacture, recordation and reproduction by any art or method, whether now known or hereafter devised, and whether such results and proceeds consist of literary, dramatic, musical, motion picture, mechanical, or any other form of work, theme, idea, composition, creation or product.
The Composer will at the request of the Producer execute such assignments or other instruments as the Producer may deem necessary or desirable to evidence, establish or defend his right or title in the Work. The Composer hereby appoints the Producer the true and lawful attorney-in-fact of the Composer irrevocably to execute, verify, acknowledge and deliver any and all such instruments or documents which the Composer shall fail or refuse to execute.
Producer shall have and is hereby granted the complete control of the publication of all or any of the musical material written by the Composer hereunder.
Notwithstanding anything to the contrary contained in this Agreement, Producer, its lessees, licensees and all other persons permitted by Producer to distribute, exhibit or exploit any picture in connection with which any material written, prepared or composed by Composer hereunder is used, shall have the free and unrestricted right to use any such material and to make mechanical reproductions thereof without the payment of any sums whatsoever, and in no event shall Composer be permitted or entitled to participate in any rentals or other forms of royalty received by Producer, its licensees or any other persons permitted by Producer to use any such material or mechanical reproductions thereof in connection with the exhibition, distribution, exploitation or advertising of any present or future kind of motion picture, nor shall Producer be obligated to account to Composer for any sums received by Producer from any other persons from the sale or licensing or other disposition of any material written, created, or composed by Composer hereunder in connection with the exhibition, distribution, exploitation or advertising of any motion picture. Without limiting the foregoing, Composer shall not be entitled to any portion of any synchronization fee by reason of the use of the material or any portion thereof in motion pictures produced by Producer or by any of its subsidiaries, affiliates or related companies.
Provided Composer fully and satisfactorily renders his services pursuant to the terms and conditions of this Agreement, and that all of the original music contained in the Picture as released is the product of Composers services, Producer shall accord Composer billing on a separate card by the phrase, “_____________ by ____(Composer) _____” or a phrase substantially similar thereto on the positive prints of said Picture. Except as set forth in the preceding sentence, all other matters pertaining to billing shall be determined in Producers sole discretion.
If Producer, its successors or assigns shall exercise their right hereunder to make, distribute and sell, or authorize others to make, distribute and sell, commercial phonograph records (including, without limitation discs of any speed or size, tape and wire demos and any and all other demos, whether now known or unknown, for the recording of sound) embodying the material for the Picture, Composer shall receive as royalties:
   (a) With respect to the exploitation of the score if embodied on the Album or other phonograph records derived therefrom, Producer shall pay to Composer a basic royalty at the rate of one half of one percent (.005%) percent (the “Basic Album Rate”) of the applicable suggested retail list price (“SRLP”) in respect of net sales of Albums sold through normal retail channels in the United States in the form of black vinyl discs and cassettes.
   (b) Except as otherwise provided in this Agreement, Composers royalties hereunder shall be computed, determined, calculated and paid to Composer on the same basis (e.g., packaging deductions, free goods, reserves, definition of suggested retail list price, percentage of sales, discounts, returns policy, taxes, etc.) an at the same times as royalties are paid to Producer by the applicable Distributor.  
   (c) Notwithstanding anything to the contrary contained in this Agreement, (i) Composer shall not be entitled to receive any record royalties at all with respect to records sold prior to the recoupment of all Recording Costs and Conversion Costs from the royalties otherwise payable to Composer hereunder; and (ii) following such recoupment Composers royalties shall be credited to Composers account hereunder solely in respect of records thereafter sold which embody the Composers work. The term “Recording Costs” shall mean all direct costs incurred in the course of producing and recording the Master hereunder including, without limitation, the cost of studio time, musician fees, union payments, instrument rentals, producers fees and advances and the costs of tape, editing, mixing, re-mixing and mastering and other similar costs customarily regarded as recording costs in the phonograph record industry. The term “Conversion Costs” shall mean all direct costs incurred in connection with the conversion of the Master from use in the Picture to use in the Album and other phonograph records derived therefrom including, without limitation, new-use, re- use, re-mixing, and re-editing costs and all other costs which are now or hereafter recognized as conversion costs in the phonograph record and motion picture industries.  
   (d) Composer shall be deemed to have consented to all royalty statements and all other accounts rendered by Producer, unless specific objection in writing, stating the basis thereof, is given by Composer to Producer within one (1) year from the date such statement is rendered. During this one (1) year period, Composer may, at its expense, but not more than once annually, audit the books and records of Producer, solely in connection with royalties payable to Composer pursuant to this Agreement, provided such audit is conducted by a reputable certified public accountant, during business hours and upon reasonable written notice. Composer shall be foreclosed from maintaining any action, claim or proceeding against Producer in any forum or tribunal with respect to any statement or accounting rendered hereunder unless such action, claim or proceeding is commenced against Producer in an arbitration proceeding within one (1) year after the date on which Producer receives Composers written objection.
Composers sole remedy for any breach hereof shall be an action at law for damages, if any. In no event shall Composer have the right to rescind this Agreement or any of the rights granted hereunder nor to seek or obtain injunctions or other equitable relief restraining or enjoining the production, exhibition or exploitation of any motion pictures based upon or utilizing any portion of the Work.
Nothing contained in this Agreement shall be deemed to require Producer or its assigns to publish, record, reproduce or otherwise use the Work or any part thereof, whether in connection with the Picture or otherwise.
This instrument constitutes the entire Agreement between the parties and cannot be modified except by a written instrument signed by the Composer and an authorized officer of the Producer.
This agreement shall be deemed to have been made in the State of ___________ and its validity, construction and effect shall be governed by and construed under the laws and judicial decisions of the State of ___________ applicable to agreements wholly performed therein.
Very truly yours,
_________________ Motion Pictures, Inc.
I hereby certify that I wrote the musical score of the motion picture, “_____,” as an employee of _____ Motion Pictures, Inc. pursuant to a work for hire agreement dated the    day of    ____, in performance of my duties thereunder, and in the regular course of employment, and that said _____ Motion Pictures, Inc. is the author thereof and entitled to the copyright therein and thereto, with the right to make such changes therein and such uses thereof, as it may determine as such author.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereto set my hands this __________day of ____.
KNOW ALL MEN BY THESE PRESENTS that, in consideration of One Dollar ($1.00) and other good and valuable consideration, receipt of which is hereby acknowledged, the undersigned Composer _____ (“Assignor”) does hereby sell, grant, convey and assign unto _____ Motion Pictures, Inc. (“Assignee”), its successors, assigns and licensees forever, all right, title and interest including but not limited to the exclusive worldwide Motion Picture and allied rights of Assignor in and to that certain musical work to wit: the score for the Motion Picture “_____” and all drafts, revisions, arrangements, adaptations, dramatizations, translations, sequels and other versions of the score which may heretofore have been written or which may hereafter be written with the sanction of Assignor.
Dated this ___ day of ________________, 20____.
President, _____
_____________________Motion Pictures, Inc.
STATE OF ___________       )       
                            ) ss:
COUNTY OF             )
   On the ___ day of _______________, before me personally came _____________ _______________________ to me known and known to be the individual described in and who executed the foregoing instrument, and he did duly acknowledge to me that he executed the same.
                           Notary Public

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