What is Common Works Registration (CWR)?

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Common Works Registration, usually referred to as CWR, is a protocol and a data format for batch registration of musical works with collecting societies, also known as PROs, CMOs, etc.

CWR is one of several formats being developed by Society-Publisher Forum, and officially published by CISAC, the society of collecting societies world-wide.

HDRPB000000199DMP DEMO PUBLISHING                          01.102019021516052620190215
REV0000000000000000THE ONE                                                       DMP000001                00000000            UNC000000Y      ORI                                                   N00000000000                                                   N
SPU000000000000000101DMP      DMP DEMO PUBLISHING                           E 00000000000000000199              052050000441000004410000 N
SPT0000000000000002DMP            050001000010000I2136N001
SWR0000000000000003W000001  SMITH                                        JOHN JAMES                     CA0000000000000000039521 05000   00000   00000 N
SWT0000000000000004W000001  050000000000000I2136N001
PWR0000000000000005DMP      DMP DEMO PUBLISHING                                        SAAN12345     W000001
ALT0000000000000006THE ONE BED                                                 AT
ALT0000000000000007THE ONE DRUMS ONLY                                          AT
ALT0000000000000008THE ONE NO DRUMS                                            AT
ALT0000000000000009THE ONE STING                                               AT
PER0000000000000010THE BAND
REC000000000000001100000000                                                            000000                                                                 DML
ORN0000000000000012LIB                                                            INTERNET       0000DMP DEMO LIBRARY                                                                                                                                                                  0000
REV0000000100000000SECOND BEST                                                   DMP000002                00000000            UNC000000U      ORI                                                   N00000000000                                                   N
SPU000000010000000101DMP      DMP DEMO PUBLISHING                           E 00000000000000000199              052025000440500004405000 N
SPT0000000100000002DMP            025000500005000I2136N001
SWR0000000100000003W000001  SMITH                                        JOHN JAMES                     CA0000000000000000039521 02500   00000   00000 N
SWT0000000100000004W000001  025000000000000I2136N001
PWR0000000100000005DMP      DMP DEMO PUBLISHING                                        SAAN12345     W000001
OWR0000000100000006W000003  ADAMS                                        AARON                          CA00000000000000000000   05000   05000   05000
ALT0000000100000007SECOND PLACE                                                AT
GRT000010000000200000023   0000000000

A CWR file is a text file, quite unreadable to most people. In this example, we have a registration for two musical works. It is clear that such files can not me created manually.

It is also a protocol. Oversimplified, publishers send registrations and societies send acknowledgements.

Not all registrations are accepted, and this is described in acknowledgement files. They are also in the same unreadable format.

CWR requires specialised software, one that can manage music metadata, export music catalogue in CWR format, process CWR acknowledgements. (And process royalty statements!)

By using such software, a publisher can have all the data in one place. And reduce costs by removing repetitive manual work and thereby reduce the number of human errors. For small publishers, such software is free. (See DMP for details.)

This is Music Metadata Basics section. If you want to know more, we have a dedicated section of articles about CWR.