Updated: Dec 14, 2019
Q: Someone might be recording my song! Now what do I need to do?
A: Congratulations! It’s an awesome feeling as a songwriter when someone wants to record your original music.
Now is when your music biz skill set needs to kick in.
The short answer of what you need to do when someone cuts your song is (for those doing business in the United States):
Register your song with the Copyright Office here and
Register your song with your PRO (ASCAP, BMI or SESAC) [sign up for one of these if you are not already a member - they collect your performance income]
When your song does get recorded, you’ll want to be ready with your mechanical license.
These requests for licensing might come directly to you from your artist or their rep, or you might receive a notice in the mail if your artist uses an independent distribution service online.
If you don’t receive either, and know that your artist has released your song, then you can contact the artist directly, and nicely make sure that they know about the need for licensing from the songwriter/publisher.
For more information about how to license your material, and to understand how all the licensing processes work for various uses, you can get our Getting Started the Right Way in the New Millennium of Music Business workbook here.