EBR (Electronic Batch Registration) is a format used by US and Canadian music publishers for submitting registrations to ASCAP, BMI and SOCAN. Here it is compared to CWR, with special emphasis on conversions and sub-publishing.
Electronic Batch Registration
The idea behind EBR is to avoid CWR. CWR is complex and requires specialized tools. EBR was conceived as a much simpler format that can be created and edited in MS Excel. All one has to do is fill the data into the template and deliver it to your PRO through MusicMark.
Please note that EBR is not used outside US and Canada. And these three Performing Rights Organizations, as the name suggests, only deal with performing rights, not mechanical or sync.
EBR compared to CWR
EBR is inferior to CWR in many respects, and there is no downside to CWR. But, most of the tools that output CWR are expensive and probably too complex for the average user. And many actually produce invalid CWR. If your software supports CWR exports, use it for all registrations. If it does not, or you are not using any specialized software, EBR is the way to go.
Converting EBR to CWR
If EBR contains writers that are not in ASCAP, BMI or SOCAN, in some cases, there is nothing one can do. Not always, only in some cases… it is a long story. Anyway, in these cases, it takes a significant amount of manual work to change the data so it can be converted to CWR.
EBR does not have all the required data to be converted to valid and complete CWR that can be sent to societies (PROs) directly. Of course, there are ways to add data, but that again requires some manual work.
In both cases, we can provide the required manual work as a service.
EBR can easily be converted to CWR that will get imported into your sub-publisher’s system. We have a publicly available free and unlimited EBR to CWR Conversion Tool, however you are using it at your own risk and with no support. We do provide it as a paid service, where each conversion is additionally validated by an expert.
Societies No, Sub-Publishers Yes?
Exactly. Here goes the explanation.
EBR file has no data on mechanical or sync rights shares or affiliated societies. So, the first task is to create those shares. In most cases, it is as simple as “zeros on writers, double performing on publishers”.
The missing affiliate societies are not really an issue since the sub-publisher will add themselves to the chain with their affiliate societies and pay you directly. So they do not need to know your PR or SR affiliation, and neither does their society. All is required is writers’ performing rights affiliation, which is required information in EBR.
On the other hand, societies require more information, at least the mentioned PR and SR shares and affiliations. Some societies require even more data, like agreement numbers and IPI Base Numbers in addition to or instead of more usual IPI Name Numbers.
Creating complete CWR files from EBR to be sent to societies
Unlike the free EBR to CWR Conversion Tool, our internal conversion tool actually accepts few additional columns in EBR and, depending on receiving society, adds the rest of the missing data by preset default values during the conversion process. Please have a look at our services for details.