Top tips for deciphering Remix Agreements

An insight in to fee structures, publishing splits, contracts and more. [Written by Ilona Smyth, Legal & Business Affairs Manager at Beggars Group]

What is a Remix?

Put simply, remixing is the process of taking an existing recording and creating a new recording from the stems.

How does the Remixer get Paid?

Commonly, remixers are paid a “buy-out” fee (i.e. on a “work for hire” basis). The fee is usually paid on delivery of the remix. This means the remixer will relinquish all rights to the remix to the original master owner. The fee can range from £1-£3,000 + depending on the remixer’s bargaining power and standing.

What about Publishing?

Usually, a remixer will not receive a share of the publishing as they are deemed, in most cases, not to have added any new copyright to the composition. However, remixers with a lot of clout may be able to negotiate a few percentage points of publishing.

Common Terms Found in a Remix Agreement

1. Definitions

It is important to set out clearly the title of the original master, the artist, the agreed remix title and the remixer.

2. Territory

This is likely to be the world unless the original master is owned or licensed in specific territories only.

3. Engagement

This should set out that the remixer is being engaged to provide their remixing skills to the best of their skill and ability and the delivery requirements.

4. Recording Costs

The recording costs of remixes are usually borne by the remixer (unless the remixer has been commissioned to do the remixer by the label, in which case the label will pay in accordance with the artist’s agreement).

5. Rights

The original master owner will usually own the copyright in the remix.

6. Warranties

The remixer should warrant that they have not included any recording samples or compositions which could infringe the rights of a third party.

Unauthorised Remixes

Although there are thousands of unauthorised remixes out there, it is always advisable to approach the master owner and writer/publisher for clearance prior to releasing a remix.



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