Artist Protection Guide


A Short Music Protection Guide

As an artist, no matter what point you are at in your career, you want to make sure you understand the process of protecting your music Consult a lawyer if you don't understand the process of making money off your Music. We have made a brief guide to help you through this process.

1. Register with SOCAN. If you are a resident of the United States, you have a choice of registering with ASCAP or BMI

SOCAN (the Society of Composers, Authors and Music Publishers of Canada) is a not-for-profit organization that represents the Canadian performing rights of millions of Canadian and international music creators and publishers. SOCAN is proud to play a leading role in supporting the long-term success of its more than 100,000 Canadian members, as well as the Canadian music industry. Through licenses, SOCAN gives businesses that use music the freedom to use any music they want, legally and ethically. SOCAN licenses more than 125,000 businesses coast to coast and distributes royalties to its members and peer organizations around the world. SOCAN also distributes royalties to its members for the use of Canadian music around the world in collaboration with its peer societies. In addition, SOCAN plays a leadership role in mentoring emerging creators on various aspects of the craft and business of music. We also advocate on behalf of our members to ensure that copyright is respected and those creators are appropriately remunerated for the use of their work.

2. Obtain A Copyright - for International protection, we suggest ($35.00)Copyright is a legal concept, enacted by most governments, that grants the creator of an original work exclusive rights to its use and distribution, usually for a limited time, with the intention of enabling the creator of intellectual wealth (e.g. the photographer of a photograph or the author of a book) to receive compensation for their work and be able to financially support themselves.

3.  Register as a member and for ISRC -

 Consider Getting A ISRC CODE (FREE)  ISRC (International Standard Recording Code) is the international identification system for sound recordings and music video recordings. Each ISRC is a unique and permanent identifier for a specific recording that is assigned as its digital fingerprint. ISRCs provide the means to track and identify recordings and are used widely by digital services and retailers. The ISRC system is the key to royalty collection for recordings in the digital information age. ISRC is a unique, reliable, international identification system. ISRC provides a unique tool for the purpose of rights administration and is a useful identification system in the electronic distribution of music. ISRC coding is compatible with standards developed in the field of consumer electronics and is readable by hardware already used in the recording industry. ISRC is cost-effective - it can be put into operation without requiring special investment in equipment or technologies. The ISRC consists of twelve characters representing country (2 characters), registrant (3 characters), year of reference (2 digits), and designation (5 digits).

4. Consider registering with Nielsen Sound Scan. Register at the link


  addition to monitoring radio airplay, online streaming, and music consumer behavior, Nielsen is the authority in tracking what music people are buying both in-store and digitally. Nielsen compiles data from more than 39,000 retail outlets globally, to help record labels, publishers, artists, artist management, and performance rights organizations understand what albums, singles, and music videos people are buying, and where they’re buying them. On a weekly basis, Nielsen collects point-of-sale (POS) data in 19 countries across the U.S., Canada, Europe, and Oceania. In the U.S. and Canada, physical and digital titles from venues, mass merchants, retail chains, independent record stores, and digital download providers can be viewed by UPC, ISRC, artist, market, retailer type, or genre. In Europe and Oceania, digital track and song sales are available in Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the U.K., Australia, and New Zealand. For more than two decades, Nielsen’s sales tools have been a trusted and vital resource for companies that want a full picture of music sales, overall market performance, and artist activity. Nielsen’s data serves as a major source for the Billboard charts and is widely cited by numerous publications and broadcasters as the standard for music industry measurement

5. Consider Starting a music publishing company and finding co-publishers or contact music publishers. Collect all 13 royalties, not just 2! A good manager will Submit your music to publishers directly. Search the databases of,,, in the U.S.A., or the performing rights organization in your country. Look for song titles and writers in your genre, find out who publishes them, and research how you can submit your songs. Another way to find publishers is to pick up Billboard Magazine, look up songs on the Hot 100, R&B, or Country charts in your genre, and see the accompanying list of publishers. Call the publisher to confirm who you should send your music to, and in what format. Note: Music publisher generally makes their income only when the writers have made theirs. Therefore it is mostly music publishers that belong to major record labels that pay advance to staff writers unless you are a songwriter with major credits to have the power to negotiate for receiving an advance. Advances are therefore recoupable upon the income generated by the song/s published. Most independent music publishers would market your song for free until the song generates income for both the writer/s and publisher. Songwriters should not expect music publishers to pay them just for taking their songs on board. Songwriters are paid when the song generates income or advance is paid when there are good indications that the song will generate income.

6. Obtain a Music Manager- Do you have anything to manage? I know – sounds like a stupid question, but is it? I’m not asking you if you have lots of work that you could use help with, nor am I making light of the pure volume of work that is the creation of both recorded and live music. What I am asking you is do you have something ready to bring to market that needs managing or are you still building out your product? There is no shame (I’ll repeat it again) NO SHAME in being in the developmental phases of your career. We live in an instant gratification kind of world, which is why when I write articles like this I know statistically that a majority of people won’t have made it this far because they were looking for a “get famous now” button. Take your time and develop your product – this will help you rise above the MILLIONS of other people who went out to guitar center purchased their first instrument and recording gear and had the first song they ever wrote up on My Space the next day hoping for some kind of miracle won’t ever come. Back to management – let’s talk about what you should have together before even considering approaching someone to invest in your career. *** Notice I said invest because whether or not they spend a dime on your management is an enormous expenditure of someone’s time*** Before approaching anyone to manage you, have most of these together:

1. Recordings of your music

2. Professional-looking photos of you or your group

3. A basic – findable website (custom URL) you can update yourself

4. A Mailing list and a place where people can sign up on the said list

5. A social network presence (twitter, facebook, myspace, youtube)

6. Live performance footage (preferably in front of a crowd)

7. A well written Bio highlighting your accomplishments

8.If you need help with any of this contact us today!

hese are the building blocks and the marketing materials you will use over and over and over again. There are no words, no email sales pitch, and probably not even naked photos of an executive in compromising positions that will get you taken more seriously than having the items above in place. Many of these items can get pricey so do your homework and shop around if you feel that any of these items are best done by work for hire. Having these materials will get your more gigs, will get you taken more seriously by your peers and potential fans, and ultimately (if you have a product people want) will help you build a business in music.