Composers say 'coercive' deals are cutting TV pay

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The Independent Online

Composers who write music for television programmes are taking Britain's broadcasters to the Office of Fair Trading in a dispute over contracts they claim are destroying their potential incomes.

Composers who write music for television programmes are taking Britain's broadcasters to the Office of Fair Trading in a dispute over contracts they claim are destroying their potential incomes.

Television firms pay composers a fee for theme tunes and other incidental music. But often the most valuable source of income is royalties paid when the music is performed or broadcast in another context.

The British Academy of Composers and Songwriters says broadcasters are increasingly offering commissions only if the composer signs over most of these other royalties, cutting incomes by as much as 35 per cent.

It claims the practice, known as "coercion", is used by all the major broadcasters and is anti-competitive.

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