Every song has two sets of rights:
- Master Recording
- Composition Publishing
Both sets of rights must be cleared before monetizing.
Until they are cleared, ads cannot be served against a track.
How Rights Work
Rights determine how you’re compensated for your tracks.
There are two different kinds types of rights:
- Master Recording Rights = rights to the recording of a track
- All recording rights have an associated ISRC (International Standard Recording Code) which means they can be permanently identified across any format, distribution channel or product.
- It’s essential that a track only has one ISRC associated with it.
- Rightsholders can license tracks for other uses
- Please use an existing ISRC for licensed tracks
- Do not create a duplicate ISRC if you don’t have the original
- Publishing Rights = rights to the musical work, not the recording
- Includes lyrics, notations and compositions
How does SoundCloud obtain publishing clearances?
- Section 115: Notice of Intent to Obtain a Compulsory License
- Provides a compulsory license to SoundCloud to distribute recordings, once a recording of a work has been distributed to the public in the US under authority of the copyright owner
- Subject to certain terms and conditions of use
- Includes the right of the compulsory licensee (SoundCloud) to distribute/authorize the distribution of a recording of a musical work by means of a digital transmission (which constitutes a digital delivery)
The publishing clearance process has two main steps
Due to the compulsory license in the U.S., notice is enough.
- Identify and confirm the publisher
- Notify the publisher of the intent to monetize (NOI)
To enable a track for monetization:
- You must confirm you own the rights to the master in the US and provide SoundCloud with the ISRC for the track.
- Music Reports Inc. (MRI) reviews and confirms publishing clearance
For tracks to be identified by MRI you must provide: Title, artist, label, and ISRC.
Tip: Providing additional composer/writer and publisher details can shorten the timeline of the clearance process with MRI.
Steps to monetize an existing track:
- Complete the ISRC, publisher, and monetization information (This only applies to content you own US rights for)
- If you do not have publisher information and an artist is self published, please provide contact details for MRI to confirm with the artist’s representative
- MRI reviews and confirms the publishing clearance
Note: The time to clear a track can vary from 48 hours to 1 month