Can I be registered with both my local collecting society and Soundreef?

Probably!

You can often register your music with us and remain registered with your usual collecting society. For example, US right holders can be members of ASCAP, BMI and SESAC and be registered with Soundreef at the same time. You can also choose to manage your royalties by using different collecting societies in different territories, so you could choose Soundreef to represent you only in certain territories.

In 2008, the European Commission has confirmed that European right holders (that is, publishers and writers) have the right to split their music rights across different collecting societies and territories. The European Parliament and the Council of the European Union encourage publishers and writers to make use of this right in their latest proposal for a directive on collective management of copyright and related rights, and multi-territorial licensing of rights in musical works for online uses in the internal market (see https://netzpolitik.org/wp-upload/EU-RL-VerwG-131126.pdf).

In theory, this means that European artists should be able to limit their agreement with your national collecting society so that someone else can manage a certain type of licensing for them (for example, licensing your music to be used as background music for stores) within a certain territory (for example, Europe).

Unfortunately, this can be awkward in practice. Every European collecting society requires their members to follow a different procedure to limit the way their music is licensed. To find out what your local collecting society requires, email them and ask how to revoke the assignment of background music rights so that you can handle them yourself. We can carry out this procedure on your behalf if your local collecting society is in Spain, USA, Italy or UK.

We’d love to hear about the response you get from local collecting societies in other countries, as we might be able to help you if you encounter a problem or your local collecting society refuses to provide you with appropriate information.

For more detail on the law and how it works in practice, see our blog post on this subject.

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