FAQ - Minimal CWR

There are frequently asked questions related to Minimal Common Works Registration Tool.

General Questions

What is Common Works Registration?

Common Works Registration (CWR) is a standard data format used by music publishers and societies for the registration of musical works worldwide.

So, this is a very specialized tool for a very specialized purpose?

Exactly. If you do not know what music publishers do, what is the difference between authors and performers etc., then this is definitely not a tool you need.

I am still interested. What are the benefits compared to the web registration form at my local society?

Probably none. You can definitely use CWR to send a far more detailed registration, but then you need a better tool than this one. This is more of a proof of concept and a learning tool. But one that actually works and is free.
I have downloaded a file. What now?
We encourage you to upload the file to the Visual CWR Validator and hover over the values for explanations. If you are serious about doing registrations yourself, you should check the official CWR documentation on the CISAC site.

Will this file be accepted by all societies?

It can be used only for sender’s society. Although the file is completely compliant with the specification, some societies may reject it for various reasons. We would appreciate your feedback in order to improve this tool.

I have made a successful registration and received an acknowledgment file. How can I read it?

Please upload the file to our Visual CWR Validator. If the file is valid, you will most probably figure it out. If it is not, and many societies do not send valid acknowledgments, please contact us. Although we will not provide you with support, we will extend the validator so it works with acknowledgments from your society.

Technical Questions

What are Sender Code, IPI Name and IPI Base numbers? Can I just make them up?

You need to acquire them from your local society.

If you just want to test the tool, without sending it to society, you can just make something up. Smallest valid IPI Name numbers are 199, 297, 395, 493, 591.

Where can I add original publishers for authors we do not control?

You can not. That information is not required and therefore does not fall under “minimal”.

We are 2-5 people with different original publishers. Can we still use this tool?

Yes. You can use it for each original publisher separately. Without a subpublisher or an administrator, this is the only legal way CWR allows you to register anyway.

Can I repeatedly use this tool?

Yes, for up to 20 works per sender. Please read this very carefully!

You must use different Work ID for each work. This is very important because if you use the same ID, society will either reject the registration or, even worse, overwrite your old one. For each person, if they appear in multiple registrations, even for different original publishers, you must be careful to use the same first and last name.

Why do you have this 20 registration limit?

If you have registered 20 works, you are beyond the point when you need to use a professional tool or find an administrator or sub-publisher.

What you can not do

I want to register more than one work in one registration. Can I still use this tool?

No. If you are a musician or a band and want to be your own Original Publisher, you spend some time in creating each of your works. In this case, registering one work at a time makes sense.

Can I use this tool for sub-publishing?

No. If music publishing is significant part of what you do, you need a better tool.

I want to register people as Arrangers, Sub-composers, Translators etc. Can I still use this tool?

No. This is usually a very bad idea, unless you really know what you are doing. Even if you do, the answer is still “no”.

There are more than 5 authors in a work. Can I still use this tool?


I have a registration with two different people with the same name. Can I still use this tool?

Really? No.

This registration is for POPular music, and I do SERious/JAZz/WTF or I want to register a MODification, not an ORIginal work or anything with Grand Rights, First Recording Refusal etc. Can I still use this tool?

No. All this requires extra information and knowledge and goes way beyond “minimal”.

We use different share splits for different territories. Can we still use this tool?


I have used this tool for original registration, now I need to create a revision. Can I still use this tool?


Can you export our data?

No. We don’t save any of your data.

Can I download a file and than manually edit it, so I can work around your limitations?

Can you? Probably not, but you are free to try.