5 things to look out for in a music remixer agreement

Remixes are adaptations of an original work or derivatives of an original work. You therefore need permission from the original rights holders to remix their original work.

Have you just heard the latest hit and thought you’d love to remix and put your own spin on it?  First you need to ensure you have the legal rights to do so. Likewise if you’re a professional producer and regularly make remixes of existing music, you should consider securing the legal right to produce remixes with a Music Remixer Agreement.

Official Remix vs Unofficial Remix

Remixes are adaptations of an original work or derivatives of an original work.  You therefore need permission from the original rights holders to remix their original work.

An ‘unofficial remix’ is where a producer hears a song, loves it, remixes it, uploads it online or plays it in a public venue without being granted the legal rights to do so by the original rights holder(s) – this is technically illegal and the original work’s owner does have the legal right to pursue you for copyright infringement, so it’s important to weigh up the risks if you do this.

An ‘official remix’ is where the producer or remixer has been granted specific legal rights to remix an original work.  Artists and labels often hire producers, DJs and other musicians to remix original songs for the purposes of promotion or publicity.  When an artist, label or production company hires a producer to remix a song, it’s important everyone’s legal rights and obligations are laid out in a written Music Remixer Agreement.

5 Things To Look Out For In A Music Remixer Agreement

If you’re a producer who has been granted the rights to make an ‘official remix’, or if you’re an artist or label hiring a producer to remix your songs, here’s 5 categories of questions you should ask when drafting or signing a Music Remixer Agreement.

1. What is being remixed and delivered?

  • What are the titles of the original musical works being used in the remix? Is there a license fee to use these works? If so, how much is the license fee?
  • How many tracks or versions are being remixed?
  • Will the tracks be delivered as fully mixed and mastered remixes?
  • What are the deliverables i.e. are stem files, instrumentals or digital session files expected?

2. How will the remix be credited?

  • Will the producer or remixer be credited for their work?
  • Will there be any limits on using and/or publishing the remixer’s or producer’s name, biographical material or image?

3. How will the remixer or producer earn money from the remix?

  • Will the remixer or producer receive money from producing the remix(es)? If so, who is responsible for paying the remixer or producer?
  • Will the remixer or producer receive a ‘fee’ only or will they be entitled to receive a royalty (i.e. a percentage share of profits) from the remix?

4. Who will own the copyright in the remix?

  • Will the remixer or producer own any copyright in the remix?
  • Who will own how much of the newly created remix?

5. Who will have rights of approval over the remix?

  • Who will be able to approval any synch licences, timing of the remix release or sample usage in the remix?
  • Who will have the rights to adapt, edit or delete the remix?
  • Will there be any restrictions on the use of the remix or the original track?

Need help putting together a Music Remixer Agreement?

When making remixes it’s easy to forget the legal implications of adapting an original musical work, and the consequences of producing a remix in terms of delivering, publishing and monetising it. Our Entertainment Lawyers can advise on, review or draft a Music Remixer Agreement ensuring your particular needs are reflected in the contract.

If you need a Music Remixer Agreement, use our Remixer Agreement Checklist to give us the details of your needs and circumstances and we’ll be able to draft a tailored agreement for you.

If you have would like to have a chat with us about your Music Remixer Agreement, get in touch via the form below or email us at info@creativelawyers.com.au!

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