Registering for a PRO - How should I go about it?

Registering with a Publishing Rights Organization (PRO) is pretty much mandatory for any composer who plans on earning royalties for their work, but I have a question related to first-time projects.

Let’s say I haven’t signed up for a PRO yet, and I have received an offer to compose music for a documentary film.

In this hypothetical situation, let’s say I accepted and made agreements with the movie director, and now I am starting to compose music. At this point I decide go ahead and sign up with one of the PROs available to me.

My 2 questions are:

  • Is it my job to register my soundtrack in the first place, or should I leave this to the movie publisher?
  • If yes, do I have to register my soundtrack with a PRO before or after the movie is released?

Hi @Mirza,

it’s your job to register your work at a PRO if it’s a relatively small project, where not a lot of people are participating. I believe if you write for a blockbuster, you don’t need to do anything, as you have a publisher who is doing it for you as they release the soundtrack. In small projects, you probably won’t have any publisher working with you.

If you have a publisher for your music (production music), you don’t have to register your work, as they do it for you automatically, however, you can if you want to. But this is “no must”.

  1. I would register a piece or cue before it’s released. You make sure that no one will copy your composition and register themselves. You always get an email from the PRO when registration is done (date). So it’s one thing which secures you the point, that you did it before and it’s yours. (Although copyright is another topic and only that you registered something at a PRO doesn’t guarantee you the “real” copyright).

Kind regards,
Alexey :slight_smile:

PS: Registration at a PRO should be quite fast. It shouldn’t take you more than 5 minutes (BMI).


Thanks for asking this question- I don’t know about PRO. Something I need to investigate/research.