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Website tackles problem of licensing film scores for TV

TV productions that want to use film scores can tap into a new website that aims to avoid potentially tricky licensing issues.

Music used in films can sit outside the scope of PRS for Music and PPL blanket licences, but because Cutting Edge Film Scores (CEFS) funds film scores, it controls master and publishing rights.

Cutting Edge Group managing director Phil Hope said: “Previously, it has been difficult to reuse fi lm scores because you need the permission of the publisher and the owner of the master recording rights, which might be a studio that isn’t interested in licensing its soundtracks.

“Because of those licensing complexities, broadcasters often say ‘don’t use film scores’, but programmes like Top Gear, The Apprentice and Master- Chef love their dramatic effect.”

As well as financing film scores, Cutting Edge has provided funding for soundtracks to BBC drama Parade’s End, UK/Canadian co-production Combat Hospital and NBC’s The Firm.

Hope said CEFS was keen to work on more British TV productions. “Our catalogue started with fi lms we had financed and now we are doing deals with other music owners, so the site will grow, but we are being very careful about quality; we won’t supply generic production music,” he said.

CEFS, which has a catalogue of 200 soundtracks including The King’s Speech, Drive and Looper, this week launched a website that includes ‘Sonic Search’, which allows users to upload a track to search for similar music if their original choice is unavailable or unaffordable.

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