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Music matters: can we help you commission musical works?

Are you an organisation or a business that wants to commission a musical work for a project or promotions?

Commissioning original music work is great for businesses and composers alike. However, it’s really important to discuss copyright in depth and come to an agreement.

Our experienced lawyers can work with you to create an agreement that will secure the rights for you to make a recording of the musical work and to use it for all the purposes you intend. It’s important to consider terms such as ownership of copyright, performers rights, moral rights, fees and royalties.

If your project involves the commission of Indigenous music you may need to consider the use of traditional Indigenous songs and consult with Indigenous community about adapting or publishing this material We specialise in Indigenous Cultural and Intellectual Property (ICIP) and are able to assist you to navigate these cultural issues. We have developed protocols with the Australia Council as a starting point for you.

Some examples of our work:

  • We have written composer agreements for commissioned music for film and dance theatre.

  • We have advised a national organisation on a project that created a theme song for its national awareness campaign.

  • We have drafted copyright clearance forms for music used on promotional videos for businesses.

  • We worked with Musica Viva Australia and Miwi-inyeri Pelepi-ambi Aboriginal Corporation to determine intellectual property and traditional knowledge rights and ownership in relation to language resources developed in consultation with the Ngarrindjeri community. We also prepared licence agreements and cultural consents for use of the language resources in technology, including software programs, to assist in reviving and maintaining the Ngarrindjeri language.

  • We worked with IBN Corporation and WA arts organisation, FORM, to develop a Consultant Agreement as well as culturally appropriate and best practice Participant, Contributor and Cultural Consent Agreements, for the Remember Me project that collected and exhibited stories and Aboriginal land management knowledge regarding plants and botany from the Yinhawangka, Banyijima and Nyiyparli people.

  • We also worked with IBN Corporation and the Nintirri Centre to prepare all chain of title documentation, including Writer, Producer, Director, Actor and Commissioning Agreements for the production of the early childhood travelling performance program, All Aboard the Spinifex Express, in the Pilbara region of WA.

Terri Janke and Company is Australia’s leading Indigenous law firm. Please contact us to engage our services at (02) 9693 2577 or

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