Delivery of Common Works Registration Files

If you need a quick way to deliver CWR files to FTP/SFTP/FTPS servers, we use FileZilla for that purpose.


All versions of CWR state that the delivery should be done via FTP protocol to the receiver’s servers. Pure FTP protocol, however, is not used nowadays, as it is not secure against man-in-the-middle and many other types of attacks. Therefore societies mostly use FTPS or SFTP protocols.

When it comes to manual delivery, there is very little difference between these protocols. From the coding perspective, it may be required to do the same job twice if the software is to deliver to various societies. Two largest administrative agencies use different protocols, Musicmark uses FTPS, while ICE Services uses SFTP.


Incredibly, some societies only accept CWR files sent by email. Automating that is a pain …


In most societies and in both aforementioned administrative agencies, one has to pass a test before giving access to production servers. This requires sending a valid CWR file, usually over the email. Depending on the society, the required number of works in this file may differ, but in most 20 works just fine.

Once you pass the test, you will be given access to the production FTP server, and in rare cases also to a testing FTP server (Kudos Musicmark).

At that point, you will also be given the folder structure for that particular receiver. Starting with CWR 3.0, the folder structure is a part of the official documentation. For CWR 2.x, it is different for every receiver.

Manual Delivery

As stated above, we use FileZilla. When it comes to delivering CWR 2.x files, it is very simple. You just drop your file to the appropriate IN folder and, after a while, there will be one or more acknowledgement files in the OUT folder.

Many societies will also send you an email about your delivery and about their acknowledgement files being ready.

Please note that if you put your CWR files in a wrong folder, nothing will happen. There will be no feedback at all.

With CWR 3.x, the specification made things far more complicated. But, as it is not in real use yet, this topic will be skipped.

Automated Delivery

Whether to integrate CWR delivery into publishing administration software is not a straightforward decision. So far, when it comes to open source solutions, I chose not to do it yet, while we have it in proprietary code. Technically, this is not complicated. Keeping track of different addresses, usernames, passwords, folder structures and other peculiarities for all societies, DSPs and sub-publishers is not a small task.

Still, if you use software that has that functionality, and it works for you, then there is absolutely no reason to hassle with the files.


Societies will put their acknowledgements and other responses into your FTP account. When using automated delivery, the process of checking for them and importing them back into the software is an important part of the process.

If you are picking them up manually, please note that only some societies send notifications about their responses by email.

Various software solutions process the acknowledgement files in different ways. DMP, open-source solution for CWR registrations, only imports status codes, remote (society) work IDs and ISWCs.