CWR Versions

For well over a decade, there was a single active version of CWR. For a while, revisions were coming out. Revision 7 came out in 2013. Then, nothing new happened until 2019.

At the beginning of 2020, we have 4 versions of CWR being actively revised! Yes, something is very wrong here. But let us deal with the facts first.

CWR 2.1

This is de facto CWR for just about everyone in the music industry. Since 2013, there was only one minor change in 2019, due to the fact that an ever-increasing number of publishers with IPI name numbers with 10 digits were not able to use it. Now they can. Well, according to the specification, at least. It is unclear how many of the societies actually implemented it.

With this revision, CISAC effectively admitted that CWR 2.1 is here to stay for a while longer, something that has been obvious for a while now.

Unless stated otherwise, the examples on this website are CWR 2.1.

CWR 2.2

This is a version that was not supposed to come out. Now that it did, everyone wishes it did not. At the time of writing (June 2020), the functional specification for this version is NOT available on the CISAC website, for over 6 months. It is probably just being “between revisions”. Hopefully, gone forever.

The rationale for its release was that there were several urgent issues that can not wait until 3.0. Of these urgent issues, the only actually urgent one was the aforementioned 10-digit IPI issue, now solved in 2.1. Most additions in 2.2 are gone in 3.0 anyway. And, very few societies implemented 2.2.

CWR 3.0

The long-awaited panacea. It is actually not that bad, except that it failed. Completely and utterly failed. And, honestly, no-one saw that coming. Or, at least, I did not. I actually implemented it in Django Music Publisher, wrote very positive articles about it (and some rants), and had high hopes for it. And then the French pulled the plug.

Until I reorganize the articles, they can be found here.


Well, the new great hope is almost here. “Almost” in the CISAC sense, meaning a long time away.