The basic principle is very simple: you follow the instructions and enter the songwriters, their IPI numbers and split percentages as described clearly in the sample license. And if you have have publisher, they will do the registration for you.
The practical reality is more complicated: different publishing rights organisations allow for different types of registrations, some of them split up writer and publisher rights into two different pies/parts, some of them have a 100% pie and others 200%. Often there is also a difference between what you can register as a copyright control songwriter, and what a publisher can register.
The membership service at your local PRO can help you register the work correctly. But if you don’t want to deal with song registrations yourself, you can just sign up with our partner Songtrust and they will help you. Use the code ”Tracklib” and get 15% off the normal rate. Worldwide registration to 43 PROs as well as global revenue collection is included.
If you still want to do it yourself, outlined below is how it works with the most common PROs in the world. But for any society, the following guidelines should apply.
- Register 100% of the song including the writers of the original composition you have sampled as well as the writers of the new work including the sample. In the examples below, we will use a 15s sample of a Category C track, meaning that 7.5% is allotted to the original songwriters, and the remaining 92.5% is to be split between you and any co-writers on the new work.
- For example, if the sample was written by 2 writers, each of those writers would have 3.75% of the total new work. Then if you wrote the new song with one co-writer and agreed to split your shares evenly, each of you would receive 46.25%, or half of 92.5%.
- Don’t worry about including Tracklib on your registration. We will register our share (in accordance with our sample license agreement) once you provide the details of your new work to us.
- When you have completed and submitted your registration – share the Song Title and Runtime with us as well as the name of the CMO you are registering with. We then send this information to the publisher who owns the song you have sampled from, so that they can register their share correctly. We also need you to share as much information as possible with us about the work registration – the new songwriter(s) and publisher(s) as well as the splits.
- Please also share the ISRC code with us once the song has been released. This will make it easier for you to account revenues from the recording later on.
- We strongly recommend that you first release the new song so that you get an ISRC code from either your label or distributor, and then immediately do the song registration.
REGISTERING WITH SESAC
SESAC calculates splits on a 100% scale, 50% writer’s share and 50% publisher’s share. This means that all percentages based on 100% writer’s share need to be cut in half. If neither you nor your co-writers have a publisher, you only have to worry about registering the 50% writer’s share. However, if there are any publisher’s on the work, you will have to register the entire 100%.
Example: For the example we’re using throughout this guide (see intro), you co-wrote the song with one co-writer and agreed to split the publishing evenly, and the two sample writers are due 7.5%. In this scenario below, you are the only writer with a publisher. You would register the work as follows:
New Writer A, 23.125%*
New Writer B, 23.125%*
Sample Writer A, 1.875%*
Sample Writer B, 1.875%*
New Writer A Publishing, 23.225%*
Unknown Publisher, 26.775%*
*you may have to round to 2 decimal places
If no writers have a publisher, register the 50% writer’s share only.