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Song Registration - FAQs

1. Why is important for me to register my songs with PRS for Music ?

It is important to register your songs with PRS for Music so that we have the best
available information to match to possible uses of your music. This will ensure
that we can licence and distribute your songs correctly should they be used.

2. Which songs should I register?

You are only required to register music which has previously been or which you
expect to be recorded, broadcast or performed.

3. How do I register my songs?

Registering your songs with PRS for Music is a straightforward process. Simply
launch the service at the ‘Register or amend your music’ page. For step by step
instructions refer to the ‘Guide To Register/Amend My Music’ (available to
download on the ‘Register or amend your music’ page).

4. What happens to the information once you receive it?

Registration details for each song we receive are downloaded onto our systems
and an auto match is carried out against existing song data. New entries are
loaded as supplied to the main copyright database and are only reviewed again
once they are either broadcast, performed or recorded. Song registrations that
match with, or require amendment to an existing entry are manually reviewed to
reconcile information before upload to the main system. Once the registration has
been loaded, an automated e-mail will be sent to you detailing the tunecode of
your work and to confirm that processing has been completed.

5. What is a CAE number? Why is it important? Is it different from an IPI


A CAE (composer/author/editor) number is a specific and unique number

allocated to interested parties (writers, publishers, arrangers etc) in musical
works/songs. The CAE (or IPI number as it is now becoming known) is an
International standard and is administered by the Swiss society, SUISA. At PRS
for Music we are able to request CAE/IPI numbers for parties and a number is
given to members upon registration to the society. These numbers are key for
identification purposes and we use them to search our database, update files and
to link other ancillary details regarding your membership (such as address and
contact details) via the use of this number. Whenever you register your songs,
always quote us your CAE number. IPI (interested party information) numbers
are essentially the same as CAE numbers but are now being used for wider
identification of rights purposes and look slightly different as they usually have a
few zeros that prefix the number. IPI numbers will eventually replace CAE
numbers which are being gradually phased out.

6. I don’t have a CAE number, what should I do?

You should contact your our Member Services department. They will be able to
assist you in obtaining a number.

7. I don’t know the CAE number of a writer that I want to include on my

registration, what should I do?

The Online Works registration form and the PRS for Music Online Enquiry system
both provide access to the CAE/IPI file and this can be searched to try and
identify the correct number. If, having searched these systems, you do not know
the CAE number of a writer then please include the person’s name and ideally
their address. This should be sufficient information for us to adequately process
the initial registration.

8. I am a writer but I have a publishing deal, what should I do about

registering my songs?

If you already have an agreement with a publishing company, then you do not
have to register your songs with us – your publisher is responsible for submitting
the registrations on your behalf.

9. I composed a song with some co-writers and I am registering my share.

Do I have to state on my registration who the co-writers of the song are
and what share they should be receiving?

Yes please. I would also urge your co-writers to join PRS for Music to ensure that
they also receive the royalties that they are due. We need full and comprehensive
details of who all the writers are on songs that are registered with us. You should
also apportion all shares available on a work to the other parties where you know
this information. Our system works by matching new information with existing
registrations currently on our database. If we do not have the full and
comprehensive details on songs submitted to us then we cannot adequately
match your registration to other registrations. This can lead to duplicated entries
being set up for the same song, but with different composer details; in such
circumstances, there is a risk that songs cannot be licensed or distributed

10.I am a writer but I have my own publishing company – the online form
doesn’t seem to let me register under the publishing company name,
what should I do?

In the event of a situation such as this, contact Member Services so that they can
help you with ensuring you are registering under the correct details.

11.I am a publisher with several companies but the online form does not
seem to let me register on behalf of all of them, what should I do?

In the event of a situation such as this, contact Member Services. They will
ensure that all your affiliated companies are linked to your main company on our
internal systems so when you register you can log in under your main company
name you can register the works of all your affiliate publishing companies without
having to have separate login details for each company.

12.Why is the information on the Online Enquiry system different to the

information I have registered?

On occasion, in the event that a publishing company acquires a new catalogue of

songs from another company the online system will hold Performing Right details
of the previous publishers’ interest until that company has been paid all the
monies owed from the prior quarter or relevant collection term.

13.Do I have to specify shares for the parties that I’m not connected with?
Why so?

You need to do this as we need full interested party information about any songs
registered with us. Works that do not have 100% of mechanical shares and 100%
of performing shares accounted for are not deemed by us to be registrations that
are fit enough to process for data-integrity reasons. We need the best possible
data-integrity information about works held on our database to allow us to
accurately distribute any monies accrued in a timely fashion. Registrations with
incomplete IP and share details run the risk of delays in processing, royalty
distribution and the registrations department having to get in contact with you to
clarify the share allocation. The way to avoid any processing delays is to ensure
that all IP details are correct and share divisions cumulatively add up to 100% for
both rights.

14. I’m a writer member who is signed to a publisher. I’ve noticed some
discrepancies when I’ve viewed my works online that I feel need
correcting. Should I submit amendments for the works in question?

If you feel that your works have not been registered correctly by your publisher
then you should take the matter up with them in the first instance. If you were to
send in registrations in these circumstances then we would have to contact your
publisher to ascertain their position which would be an unnecessary
administrative burden for us. If you contact your publisher to resolve the matter
then they can just submit an amended registration which we can process in a
straightforward manner.

15. I’m a writer who is no longer affiliated to a publisher. I’ve scrutinized

your online database and my songs still have my old publisher on them.
Can I submit amendments to have my old publisher removed?

Yes, if you’re sure that you’re no longer with a publisher then send in your
registrations and we will consult with your old publisher. If all is okay then we will
amend the works in your favour. If your old publisher has a different reading of
the matter then we may have to place your song into the duplicate claims

16. What is a work?

A work is simply the details of a musical song comprising the title, share details,
composer/author/arranger details and/or details regarding the publisher(s) of the
piece. The word “work” is the technical name we use in reference to songs (see

17. What is a classical work?

A classical work is a work that is composed in a classical tradition and intended as

serious art, especially as distinguished from popular or folk music. A work can
also be flagged as classical if it is an arrangement of a non-copyright work i.e.,
the composer has been dead for more than 70 years so it is no longer protected
by copyright.
18. Do I need to include instrumentation details for any classical music
registrations I intend to submit?

Yes. Instrumentation details should be included in your registration to aid us in

identifying any performances of your work.

19. Can I register a submission for an arrangement of a work that is still in

copyright? (Unauthorised arrangement)

Arrangements based on copyright material must obtain the permission of the

copyright owner. Once permission is granted the original copyright owner, not the
arranger, will register the arrangement with us. Please note: arrangements
incorporating copyright material will not be accepted without the permission of
the original copyright owner.

20. What is a public domain writer and can I allocate them shares?

A public domain (DP) writer has been deceased for over 70 years so is no longer
protected by copyright. Works composed by DP writers can therefore be
arranged. DP composers are not allocated shares because they are not protected
by copyright.

21. Do I need to include the name of the original composer on the work that
I have arranged?

Yes, you should always include the name of the public domain writer on your
notification. If the work is traditional, and the original writer is not known, then
please add “TRAD” to aid identification. If the work is not traditional and the
name of the original non-copyright writer is unknown, then please add “DP”.
Giving us as much information as you can will enable us to ensure that your work
is registered correctly.

22. Should I include translations of non-English titles in my registration?

Yes, if the title of your work in non-English, then it may help us to identify your
work if you include an English translation.

23. Should I scrutinize your database before submitting a registration

through your online service to see if my work has already been uploaded
or assigned a tunecode?

Yes, this would be massively helpful to us. If you examine our database and find
that your work is already on our database then please go through the “Amend An
Existing Work” section of the online form, quote the tunecode and go through the
steps of the form to submit your amendment.

Glossary of terms:
Work: A work is a musical song.

Active work: An active work is a song that has generated payable mechanical
or performance royalties.

Distribution: A distribution is a point in the calendar year when PRS for Music
distributes mechanical and performance monies accrued during a given period.

Mechanical right/royalty: A mechanical royalty is a royalty that is paid by a

record company for the use and exploitation of a musical work.

Performing right/royalty: A performance royalty is a royalty that is paid

whenever a work is used in public. These royalties are typically paid by radio
stations, cafes, restaurants and shops who must obtain PRS licences to play

Fastrack: A registration service whereby a song registration submitted to us will

be processed and viewable on our database within 5 working days of receipt.

Non-fastrack: A registration service whereby a song registration submitted to us

will be processed and viewable on our database within 20 to 25 working days of

Tunecode: A 7 digit and 1 letter unique quotable signifier for every work on our

OLR: Online registration. An internet-based work registration service method

where members can submit song registrations via the PRS for Music website. This
is through the use of an automated form.

ENJW reference: A unique quotable reference number for every online

registration submitted to us. Consists of a prefix of 6 digits (the date the work
was submitted in MMDDYY format) and a suffix of 4 additional random digits i.e.

Interested party (IP): Someone who has an interest in a work, be it a

composer, author or publisher.
Share: A unit expressed as a percentage for both the mechanical and performing
rights. Cumulative shares for both rights must total 100%.

Public Domain (DP) writer: A writer that has been dead for over 70 years so is
no longer protected by copyright statutes.