EBR (Electronic Batch Registration) is a format used by US and Canadian music publishers for submitting registrations to ASCAP, BMI and SOCAN. (It is also informally accepted by SESAC.) 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 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 the US and Canada. And these three Performing Rights Organizations, as the name suggests, only deal with performing rights, not mechanical or sync. There is a rumour that EBR will be extended now that SOCAN acquired SODRAC (now SOCAN RR), but nothing has been specified yet,
EBR compared to CWR
Until very recently, tools that output CWR used to be rare and expensive and probably too complex for a small publisher. And many have been producing invalid CWR. The situation has changed dramatically in 2018, partly due to the tools on this website.
If your software supports CWR exports, use it for all registrations, as there is no downside. If it does not, or you are not using any specialized software, but want to register in batches, EBR is the way to go.
EBR is also easier to create from legacy databases, especially ones made in Access and File Maker.
Converting EBR to CWR
EBR to CWR Conversion Tool has been successfully used to convert hundreds of EBR into CWR, which were then either used for registrations ad PRS/MCPS and other societies or sent to the sub-publishers.
If EBR contains writers that are not in ASCAP, BMI or SOCAN, in some rare cases, there is nothing one can do. Not always, only in some cases… it is a long story.
EBR does not have all the required data to be converted to valid and complete CWR that can be sent to collecting societies directly. So plain EBR is not an option. There are workarounds in most cases, and one is to use the custom extensions to the EBR format, and subsequently our subscription-based conversion tool.
EBR can easily be converted to CWR that will get imported into your sub-publisher’s system. If the data fits into the Standard EBR template, then our free tool can do it, otherwise, you need the “Full” subscription.
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”, and that is what our conversion tool does automatically.
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. So, the EBR file has to be extended with this data before being converted to CWR. This requires the “Plus” subscription.
EBR to CWR Conversion Tool
Please have a look at the EBR to CWR Conversion for details.