The American Federation of Musicians (AFM) represents the musicians and (some) librarians that are employed by some symphony orchestras.  The terms and conditions governing their participation in an electronic media activity are specified either in the basic local collective bargaining agreement (CBA) or a national union agreement, or subject to local negotiation on a case by case basis.  

This section contains basic guidelines on which AFM agreement applies and links to most of the current national agreements

Media agreements to use: Here is a chart, which indicates the appropriate electronic media contractual agreement to use to obtain the rights of musicians in your orchestra.

  • Audio Internet Agreement: Covers distribution of audio content recorded at regularly scheduled performances– streaming or downloads – over the Internet. The agreement covers newly recorded as well archived performances. Distribution of hard CDs is not covered by this agreement.
  • Audio Visual Agreement: Covers creation and distribution of audio-visual content via television (all formats) throughout the world; home video all formats including DVDs; and the Internet.
  • Audio Visual Local Side Letter: Clarifies authority for negotiating terms and conditions for Local Television Broadcasts.
  • Motion Picture Film and TV Summary: Covers scales and working conditions for motion picture and television programming where the symphony orchestra content is peripheral to the product and the orchestra is not the copyright owner.
  • Live Recording Agreement: Covers the creation and distribution of audio recordings from live performances via CD and downloads.
  • Sound Recording Labor Agreement: Negotiated by recording companies and the AFM for creation of audio recordings from studio sessions with some provisions for recordings created during live performances: pdf srlafinal2002_5;
  • Limited Pressing Agreement: Provides for lower recording rates than the Sound Recording Labor Agreement, but limits distribution to 10,000 units (CDs or downloads). If distribution exceeds 10,000 units than payments step up to rates of the Sound Recording Labor Agreement:
    Symphonic_Limited_Pressing_ Rev403

Links to AFM reporting forms:

  • If you create and distribute content under the terms of AFM agreements, there are a variety of report forms required to be completed. The links are listed below. Your orchestra personnel manager and/or your local union will need to submit the required forms to the AFM. Please contact Michael Bronson at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and Joe Kluger at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to be sure that you understand which of these forms apply to your project.
  • Live Recording Agreement:
  • Audio Visual Agreement:
    B-11_Form_ Audio_Visual_Agreement;
    B-11_Instructions; AV_Financing_Report_Form;
  • Audio Internet Agreement: Bform_Internet_Audio_12100