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10 Things to Do Before You Release Your Album

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  • #16
    5.) Register for an International Standard Recording Code (ISRC) for your songs. The ISRC is a unique international identifier for songs (tracks) on sound recordings. The ISRC functions as a digital "fingerprint" for each track. Unlike a Universal Product Code (UPC), the ISRC is tied to the track and not the carrier of the track (CD, cassette, etc). In addition, the ISRC remains allocated to a track regardless of changes in ownership. It is an extremely powerful tool for royalty collection, administration, and anti-piracy safeguards in the digital arena. The ISRC is usually inserted onto the CD master during the mastering session.

    - There is not one country which collects royalties on the data base of the ISRC code.

    - The ISRC code does not protect you in any way from theft by piracy.

    - The ISRC code is not used for administration nor any other kind of bookkeeping at record companies, and also not used at any digital music sales shop worldwide.

    - There is no ISRC code data bank where you can find a particular song when you know only the ISRC code.

    The ISRC code is an attempt by UFPI (represented in the USA by RIAA), to give each song an unique code for identifying the country of origin, the record company which owns the distribution rights and an unique number for each song.


  • #17

    Several important things are missing:


    11) Register your song with an authors society, or you will never see a cent of mechanical or digital mechanical royalties.

    12) Allocate an ISRC code for every song, or you never see a cent of broadcast royalties, mechanical or digital mechanical royalties.


    13) There are basically three ways to fill in a publisher:

    a) Fill in "Copyright Contol," that means you add your IPI-Number, name and adress and your authors society, eventually with you bank acount, and all royalties go directly to you. This is the common way for independent artists.

    b) Publisher: You fill in your publisher, and the royalties go to the publisher and the publisher handles your royalties.

    c) You give your music to an aggregator. Check and compare the business models and modus operandi of the aggregators, and choose the best for you purpose.


    14) Authors societies worldwide pay to each other the royalties. American repertoire is played all over the world. For example a little country like Switzerland pays $12 million USD every year to AMRA, ASCAP, BMI, HFA, SESAC, NMPA, Rightsflow and PBS  for American music publicly broadcasted in Switzerland.


    15) Performing Rights Organizations, usually called authors Society, collects your royalties worldwide.

    16) Performance Right organisations collect your royalties for live performances, and pays this royalties to the musicians.


    17) Non-American authors should exclude the territory of the USA with from their national authors society, and register the songs with an American authors society. That way you get more royalties. 
    The US authors societies are the only societies worldwide which pay more royalties to their own US members, and less to foreign authors.