Assignment Guidelines

1. If you have applied as a rights owner, you should only use your Registrant Code to assign ISRCs for recordings that you own. If you are working on behalf of someone else, you cannot use this Registrant Code, and you should ask the owner of the recordings to apply for a Registrant Code themselves so that they can assign ISRCs.

  • Separate arrangements are available where you can get a Registrant Code for use with other people's recordings (see above ISRC Manager information)
  • We also have provisions in place to allow for the assignment of ISRCs for content that you license. This is available only for licensees who have tried to, but cannot, obtain an ISRC from the licensor.
  • If you have applied as a non-rights owner, you may refer to the guidelines you reviewed prior to being allocated your Registrant Code. This rule does not apply.
  • Additional details can be obtained by making an inquiry to: isrc@riaa.com

2. An ISRC should remain with its recording for the life of the recording regardless of changes in ownership, licensing, territory or method of distribution. The rights may vary territory by territory but the ISRC remains the same.

3. You should take particular care to ensure that you (i) never assign the same ISRC to two different recordings and (ii) never assign an ISRC to a recording that already has an ISRC issued.

4. You should keep good records of the ISRCs that you assign using this/these code(s). As a minimum you should store the information necessary to distinguish one ISRC from another but you will probably find that you need much more than this for your own purposes.

5. Although you do not need to inform us of the ISRCs that you assign, we recommend that you register the recordings and their ISRCs with the local performance rights organization that deals with sound and/or video recordings (as distinct from the organization that deals with songwriters rights - who you may also want to contact if you are the songwriter). In the US, this organization is SoundExchange. This should help you if you are eligible for royalties from public performances, for example on satellite radio and internet streaming.

6. You should review the ISRC Handbook and other information on the ISRC web site at isrc.ifpi.org/en/, and you should be very careful to comply with all the ISRC rules. New information is posted to that site from time to time and you should look for it.

7. You should comply with the relevant copyright law. Normally this will require you to have permission for the owner for any recorded material included in your recording.

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