As the snow starts to melt, and the days get longer, those of us in Canada tend to get pretty excited about the return of spring. The warmer weather is upon us and there’s no better time to do a little spring cleaning, CMRRA-style.
As much for newcomers to CMRRA, as for those who have been with us for a long time, it’s always a good idea to step back and take stock – and figure out how to make your music/songs/rights work for you in the best way possible.
Firstly, and most importantly, it’s a good idea to make sure all of the songs that you represent are properly registered. If you’re a new client, make sure you have access to CMRRA’s client portal – CMRRA Direct. Once that is done, there are several ways to register your songs (also known as your musical works in the rights and royalties world).
Before jumping in, make sure you have the following information handy:
- Work Title (name of song)
- Songwriter contributors (share splits – i.e. who owns what % of the song)
- International Standard Recording Codes (ISRC’s) for any known recordings of your songs
Let’s say you have a hit song burning up the charts, you’ll probably want to consider registering that song with our single song registration tool. Located in the CMRRA Direct portal, this method of registration is the quickest, most direct, and easiest way to get the song registered into our system.
However, if you own or administer the rights for a larger catalogue and you’d prefer to register in bulk, you have two options – you can use our CMRRA Song Registration spreadsheet (which can be found here), or you can use Common Works Registration (CWR) to deliver a bulk data file. CWR is an industry developed standard format for the registration and revision of musical works data that is used mainly by mid to large-sized music publishers. Not everyone has access to the software needed to use the CWR option, so it’s best to consult our FAQ to learn whether this is a viable option for your business. As always, if you have questions about registering your songs with CMRRA, the best way to contact us is via [email protected].
Spring is a great time to plan getaways and we suggest you take a virtual one to explore our Unclaimed Works Portal. This special and unique tool allows for unprecedented and transparent access to search the unclaimed repertoire of Online Music Services operating in Canada. Within the portal, you can link recordings to musical works and provide any missing ownership share information for the works that you own or control. Watch the video about the Unclaimed Works Portal here. The added benefit of how we have designed the portal and claiming process is that once your claim is verified, we are able to apply your claim for the song and linked recording across the activity reported by all DSP’s who use that same recording. In cases where you are registering an ownership claim for the song, this will automatically be applied to all other instances where your song is already linked to a recording. Finally, we are able to evaluate all reported usage back to the date of launch for each service in order to ensure royalties for all uses get invoiced and paid through to you.
While you’re thinking of spring cleaning, it’s always a good idea to make sure you are maximizing your collections for the rights you hold. CMRRA added several licensing and royalty collection services in the area of audio-visual post-synchronization licensing in the last couple of years, so make sure you are opted-in for these new collections that you may be missing out on:
NEW in Audio-visual post-synchronization licensing:
Launched in 2019, we now license the reproduction of music embedded in existing content on Facebook and the rest of the Meta family: Instagram, Messenger and Oculus VR. To sign up for this area of collections simply download the addendum from this link and send it to [email protected]
Possibly the biggest change in the music landscape in the last few years has been the arrival of TikTok. This is a platform with explosive potential for breaking new music and breathing life into older songs. In 2021, we became the first Canadian collective to have an agreement in place with TikTok to collect digital mechanicals, find out more here.
Did you know that since 2021 we have been working with new global partners to provide music publishers and self-published songwriters a streamlined option to facilitate international licensing and royalty collection? In the US, we’ve teamed up with the Mechanical Licensing Collective (the MLC) and for territories outside of North America, we’ve partnered with IMPEL, a London, England-based collective, to collect digital mechanical royalties. The MLC will provide royalties from music-only services while IMPEL covers music-only plus audiovisual services such as Facebook and YouTube. More details on International Collections and how to sign up can be found here.
There is something to be said about that feeling of accomplishment we get from doing some much needed spring cleaning! It’s a chance to declutter, to regroup, to plan ahead, and to enjoy the gorgeous weather! Don’t hesitate to reach out to us if you have any questions. If you email us at [email protected], our policy is to get back to you within 48 business hours!
Thinking about becoming a client of CMRRA? Already a client but you have questions? Email us at [email protected] and we’ll get you the answers you need.