Most-Favored Nations (MFN)

Most-Favored Nations (MFN) is a principle used in the music industry and various other agreements, ensuring that one party receives terms at least as favorable as those provided to any other similar party.


In the context of music licensing, an MFN clause plays a vital role in maintaining fairness and equality. For example, when a master rights owner demands a certain amount for the license of specific usage, the publishing rights owner must receive or demand the same amount. Both parties, the master rights owner, and the publishing rights owner, must receive the same amount for that specific usage, unless one party explicitly waives its MFN right.


This example illustrates how MFN can ensure equity between different rights holders in the distribution of licensing revenue. It helps maintain balanced relationships and prevents discrimination between various parties involved.


MFN clauses can be found in licensing agreements, collaboration agreements between artists, producers, and songwriters, and distribution agreements. While promoting fairness, they might lead to complexities, administrative burdens, and potential legal challenges.


The application and interpretation of MFN can be highly context-specific, so professional legal advice is often sought to handle these clauses effectively.


In the music industry, MFN is a vital tool that fosters equitable relationships, but it requires thoughtful consideration to prevent unintended complications or disputes.