Understanding the ISAN (International Standard Audiovisual Number) for Songwriters
The music industry relies on a variety of identification systems to facilitate accurate rights management and royalty distribution. For songwriters who contribute to audiovisual works, such as film and television, understanding the International Standard Audiovisual Number (ISAN) is essential. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the ISAN, its importance for songwriters, and how to use it effectively to protect your intellectual property and maximize your earnings.
Table of Contents
What is the International Standard Audiovisual Number (ISAN)?
1. What is the International Standard Audiovisual Number (ISAN)?
The International Standard Audiovisual Number (ISAN) is a unique identifier for audiovisual works, including films, television programs, and video games. Established under the ISO 15706-2002 standard, the ISAN system aims to provide a standardized way to identify audiovisual works, facilitating accurate rights management and royalty distribution on a global scale.
An ISAN consists of a 24-digit hexadecimal number that is linked to an audiovisual work's metadata, such as the title, production company, and creators. This identifier is used to track the usage of audiovisual works, ensuring that royalties are paid to the correct parties.
2. Why is ISAN Important for Songwriters?
For songwriters who contribute to audiovisual works, understanding and using the ISAN system is essential for several reasons:
Accurate Royalty Distribution: The ISAN system enables rights management organizations, collecting societies, and other stakeholders to accurately identify audiovisual works and distribute royalties to the appropriate parties, including songwriters.
Simplifying Rights Management: By providing a unique identifier for each audiovisual work, the ISAN system simplifies the process of managing rights and tracking contributions across different works, collaborators, and territories.
Global Recognition: The ISAN system is recognized and used by organizations worldwide, ensuring that songwriters can protect their rights and receive royalties on a global scale.
3. How to Obtain an ISAN for Your Audiovisual Work
To obtain an ISAN for an audiovisual work, follow these steps:
Identify Your Local ISAN Registration Agency: ISAN registration agencies are responsible for assigning ISANs to audiovisual works in their respective countries or regions. Locate your local ISAN registration agency by visiting the official ISAN website.
Submit an ISAN Application: Complete and submit an application for an ISAN with your local registration agency. This application will require information about the audiovisual work, including its title, production company, and creators. You may also need to provide information about your role as a songwriter or composer.
Receive Your ISAN: Once your application is approved, your local registration agency will assign an ISAN to your audiovisual work. This ISAN should be included in the work's metadata to ensure accurate rights management and royalty distribution.
4. How to Use ISAN as a Songwriter
Once an ISAN has been assigned to an audiovisual work you have contributed to, it is crucial to use it effectively to protect your rights and maximize your earnings. Here are some ways to use the ISAN as a songwriter:
Register Your Contribution: Inform your collecting society or rights management organization about your contribution to the audiovisual work and provide them with the ISAN. This ensures accurate identification and royalty distribution.
Collaborate with Other Creators: When collaborating with other creators on audiovisual projects, exchange ISANs to facilitate accurate rights management and royalty distribution.
Track Your Royalties: Use the ISAN to monitor your royalty statements and ensure that you are receiving the correct payments for your work.
Manage Your Rights: Provide the ISAN when negotiating licenses, sublicenses, and other rights agreements to ensure accurate rights management and compensation.
5. Best Practices for Managing Your ISAN Information
To ensure that your ISAN information remains accurate and up-to-date, follow these best practices:
Update Your Information: Regularly review and update your personal information, contact details, and work catalog with your collecting society or rights management organization to ensure accurate rights management and royalty distribution.
Communicate Changes: If you change your name, contact information, or affiliations, notify your collecting society or rights management organization and other relevant organizations to update your ISAN information accordingly.
Maintain Accurate Records: Keep detailed records of your work catalog, collaborations, and rights agreements to facilitate accurate rights management and royalty distribution.
Verify Your ISAN Information: Periodically verify your ISAN information with your local registration agency and other relevant organizations to ensure its accuracy and address any discrepancies.
6. ISAN and Other Music Identifiers
In addition to ISANs, the music industry uses several other identifiers to track and manage rights and royalties, such as the Interested Party Information (IPI), International Standard Musical Work Code (ISWC), and International Standard Recording Code (ISRC). These identifiers serve different purposes:
IPI: The IPI is a unique identifier for songwriters, composers, publishers, and other rights holders in the music industry. It is used to track the ownership of intellectual property and ensure that royalties are paid to the correct parties.
ISWC: The ISWC is a unique identifier for musical works, including compositions and lyrics. It is used to track the use of these works and facilitate the distribution of royalties.
ISRC: The ISRC is a unique identifier for sound recordings and music video recordings. It is used to track the use of these recordings and facilitate the distribution of royalties.
As a songwriter, it is essential to understand and use these identifiers in conjunction with the ISAN to ensure accurate rights management and royalty distribution across your entire work catalog.
ISANs play a vital role in helping songwriters who contribute to audiovisual works protect their intellectual property and receive fair compensation for their work. By understanding the ISAN system, obtaining an ISAN for your audiovisual work, and using it effectively, songwriters can streamline rights management, maximize their earnings, and focus on their creative pursuits.
As the music industry continues to evolve and embrace new technologies, the importance of ISANs and other music identifiers is only set to grow. By staying informed and adapting to these changes, songwriters can ensure they remain at the forefront of the industry and continue to thrive in the ever-evolving digital music landscape.