Sample Assignment Agreements for Obtaining Music Rights

Sample Assignment Agreements for Obtaining Music Rights photo by Clarke Condé – Pyragraph
Photo by Clarke Condé.

Click here for the Sample Assignment Agreements for Obtaining Music Rights, details below. If you are not a Pyragraph Premium subscriber, you will be prompted to subscribe. More info about Pyragraph Premium here. Just $15/year! (See all our Premium Resources here.)

When you’re paying a musician to create something for you — for example, to play on an album, record a song for a film, or to create a soundtrack for a commercial you’re producing — you may think you’re automatically acquiring copyright ownership. After all, you’re paying for the work, right? But payment doesn’t guarantee copyright. You need some documentation that shows the musician agrees to transfer the copyright to you.

The most reliable form of documentation is an assignment. Basically, in an assignment, the musician is saying to you, “In consideration of your payment, I sell you the copyright and I agree to cooperate with you in preparing any necessary paperwork needed to protect that copyright.” You can also file the assignment with the U.S. Copyright Office thereby putting the world on notice that you are the owner (or “assignee”) of the copyright.

Like all legal documents, assignments require specific language. Below you’ll find two sample assignments you can use: One is a basic all-purpose assignment, and the other is specifically for recording musicians.

This eGuide gives the lowdown on copyright, assignments, works for hire and licenses, and includes two sample assignment agreements—one for artists in general, the other specifically for musicians—to use when selling copyright to your works.

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