As an athlete using music in your routine, you need to respect the legal rights in the music used. This applies to any sports discipline where music is a core element, such as artistic and rhythmic gymnastics; figure skating, synchronized swimming and dressage.

If you are a parent or guardian of a child athlete using music, please read this guidance carefully on your child’s behalf.


The music that you use during your routine may well be protected by copyright. The writers and performers of the composition, together with the person that recorded it, may well have legal rights in the music – even if the music seems to be in the public domain.

As such, the music rights-holders are usually entitled to be paid for your use of the music. So, if the music is used without their permission and without payment of the relevant royalties, that would usually infringe their rights.

The first step is to obtain a copy of the music from a reliable and lawful source, such as a CD shop or legitimate online store (or the actual record producer direct, if you have commissioned the music). You then need to provide details of the music to the organizer of the sporting competition.

For the right permission to be obtained from the music rights-holders (and for them to be paid the relevant royalties), it is critical that you provide the correct details of the music to the organizer.

The organizer is responsible for providing this information to the relevant collecting management organizations – known as “CMOs”. If the event is broadcast on television or online, the broadcasters need to receive this information too, as they also need to provide it to CMOs. Based on this information, the CMOs can then collect any relevant royalties from the organizer and broadcasters and distribute the royalties to the music rights-holders.

To identify the music effectively, you need to provide the following information:

  1. Track list: list all music tracks that you are using, following the order of your routine (including warm-up tracks, if any).
  2. Track details: for each track, please provide the following details:
    a) Title: state the full title of the track, as given in the track list of the record.
    b) Duration: confirm the length of the track as used in your routine (minutes and seconds).
    c) Artist(s): provide the name(s) of the singer, band, orchestra or other artist who performed the track.
    d) Record label: give the name of the record label (or, if none, the name of the record producer).
    e) Year of release: state the year of the track’s first release to the public (or, if unreleased, the year it was produced).
    f) Writer(s): indicate the name(s) of the writer(s) of the composition/lyrics.
    g) Arranger(s): if the original composition has been altered, state the name(s) of the arranger(s) (or, if none, “N/A”).
    h) Publisher(s): confirm the publisher(s) of the composition (or, if none, state “copyright control”).
    i) Special commission: indicate if the track was specially commissioned by you (yes/no).

Please use the music submission form provided by the organizer. Failing that, you can use the FORM provided on this site.

You can obtain it from the packaging of the CD containing the music, or from the information appearing in the online music store where you obtained the music (which should also be embedded in the digital data for a download file).

For tips on where to look, please refer to the examples set out on the ITUNES and CD pages of this website.

For music that you specially commissioned, please see below under the question “WHAT TO DO IF THE MUSIC WAS SPECIALLY COMMISSIONED?

You must ensure that the person providing you with the music either assigns the rights in the music to you or grants you a suitable license. In particular, you must ensure that you can legally make a copy of the music, allow its reproduction and performance by the organizer at the event and permit the organizer to allow the broadcast of the event (via television and online). The appropriate way to do this is under a written contract. Also, the music provider must provide you with the track information that you need to pass on to the organizer of the event.

The national federation of your sport may be able to help you with this process. You may also be able to seek further assistance from local organizations such as collecting management organizations (also know as “CMOs”, guilds and unions that represent composers, performers and producers, or international entities such as CISAC, FIM and IFPI .

It is important that your choice and use of music does not cause any harm or offence.

For instance, you should select music that :

is appropriate for an international audience and a mixed age-group (including children and young adults); and
does not convey any inappropriate messages (overt or implied).

Further information

The World Intellectual property organisation has further information on Copyright, Intellectual Property and Sports, etc. This guidance is provided for general information purposes only and is not legal advice. We recommend that you take expert advice on your actual use of music.


If you have questions about the music in sport please contact the IOC at music.sport@olympics.com.