Do you understand the dangers of "Buyouts" of your music tracks?

I would never sell a track and transfer ownership of my intellectual property to a client, ever. Even if you are offered $1000 to $5000, how do you know that the track can not go on and earn you 10 times that throughout your life?


Totally true

100% fact. The gaming companies are notorious for this. They make a composer feel "important’ and “wanted” by asking them to write a piece for $1000. Sounds like a nice pay day right? However, did you ever stop and think about the downside of transferring ownership of that cue to the gaming company?
The downside is what the track may earn right here or on another platform, or through PRO performance royalties. When you transfer your intellectual property over to a company for fast, short term compensation, you completely kill all future and potential earnings of that track. I highly advise all to always insist that the client license the track in perpetuity as opposed to “selling” the music asset outright.

Frankly, when producers at Gaming companies ask for buyouts, I really do not even think they know what that means. Always change the wording in the contract to “License for use in the game or video in perpetuity” but never transfer your ownership. If they insist on the transfer then you better ask for a huge sum of money and $1000 is not even close to what it should be.

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I got offered multiple times to buy out everything but often a client does indeed know what it exactly means. For me buying out the “master” is fine for a decent fee but not the underlying composition and neighbouring rights.
We as composers should be aware of our rights first and foremost of course.