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The importance of registering your musical works with a CMO

3 min read

When and why should you register your musical work?

It’s important to register your musical works as soon as they’ve been created.

Here, we talk about the , not the , with a . To dive into registering your sound recordings, visit the Registering Sound Recordings section.

When registering your musical works with a CMO, who is responsible for doing it will depend on your situation and whether you have involved or work . We explore this further in our Getting Credited and Paid topic.

Either way, if it's not done right, you may not get and paid correctly, if at all. So, understanding the role of a music publisher and CMO in all of this will help you get it right every time.

Learn more about each of them in our topic, The Music Ecosystem.

Briefly, though, music publishers manage and protect the in on behalf of the songwriters. If you work with a music publisher, they may register your works for you.

CMOs manage rights and pay to and music publishers when their musical works are used. If you work independently, without a music publisher, you must register your works directly with a CMO.

Keep reading to learn more.

Why you should register your musical work with a CMO as soon as it is created

Registering musical works with a CMO is essential for two key reasons:

  • It enables songwriters to get paid for those uses that are managed by CMOs

  • It helps songwriters get credited when their work is used.

When should you register your musical work?

It's best practice to register a musical work with a CMO once it's confirmed for, but always before, its .

If you're a member of a CMO, you should register all your musical works with that CMO. A membership with a CMO means that you entrust the CMO to manage some of your in your musical works and collect the money on your behalf when the works are used. Both and songwriters should ensure the registration is done correctly. If you’re a songwriter to a music publisher, the registration of your musical works is usually done by the music publisher.

How to become a member and register your work can vary between Collective Management Organizations, so contact your CMO to find out how.

Are there other places I might wish to register my musical work?

Registering a work with a CMO is a different process from registering works with, for example, a , or a national library or .

Image credit: Martin Fabricius Rasmussen