Sub-Publishing with
That Green Thing
Music Publishing Software

That Green Thing supports sub-publishing. But, if you want to register all the works in several countries directly, you don’t need the sub-publishing plan. Because this is not really sub-publishing. Or is it?


A short explanation is that sub-publishing is an archaic concept from sheet music times, taken over from book publishing. In this concept, each publisher deals only in their own territory, and for other territories uses services of other publishers. The reason for this concept was the slowness of communication, no collective management organisations, etc.

Ideally, a publisher should be able to register in one society and collect world-wide. No sub-publishers should be needed for this (sync might be another story), and CMOs would be efficient and have much lower fees. In the real world, it is CMOs and large publishers who have the actual power, and most CMOs have a monopoly. They are doing everything they can to slow down the changes.

So, less-than-half way from 19th century concepts to the ideal register-once-collect-everywhere, we have this weird situation where a publisher has to register as their own sub-publisher. Sometimes even have a different publishing entity (not necessarily a different legal entity, just a different name and IPI number).


In the screenshot above, there is a single registration in CWR format, when registering in one country. Below is an example for registering directly in five countries. While the publisher names are imaginary, this is what a registration looks like when registering in the UK, US, Canada, Belgium and Netherlands.


Never mind the details, the point is that the registration gets more complicated. Not just the registration files, there are three different publishing entities here. And this is the simplest possible case - a work with only one writer. If there were two, affiliated with different US PROs, there would be four publishing entities: the original publisher, two publishing entities in the US, one in Canada, acting as sub-publishers. And for Belgium and Netherlands, the original publisher has to become it’s own sub-publisher.

However, this is not real sub-publishing. This is just mumbo-jumbo, replacing one publishing entity with another, while in reality, there is only one publisher registering the same work in five countries, and actually collecting world-wide.

The actual sub-publishing is different, and the registrations will look a bit different as well. You don’t collect world-wide, most definitely not in the home territory of the original publisher. And you most definitely don’t want to get in conflict with your client. In CWR 2.2, the differences might not seem huge when you look at the registration, but the difference between SPT and OPT is huge. You claim with SPTs, you don’t with OPTs.


When self-sub-publishing, all controlled chains are practically the same. When you offer sub-publishing services, you will have more than one client and they may opt for different territories and options. This is why Basic plan covers the first two examples, while the third requires Sub-Publishing (or Full) plan.