International Music Creators

Frequently asked questions

ASCAP international

  • Music creators outside the US
I am affiliated with a Performing Rights Organization (PRO) outside the US. What does ASCAP have to do with my royalties?
We have reciprocal relationships with over 100 societies around the world. When your music gets played in the United States, ASCAP monitors the performances, collects licensing fees from the businesses that performed your music, and sends royalties to your local society. Your society then distributes the royalties to you.
What’s the advantage of licensing US performances of my music through ASCAP?
There are many advantages to licensing through ASCAP, including our operating efficiency, our close partnerships with foreign societies and our leading role in developing sophisticated programs to monitor performances. All of these can pay off for the international writers and publishers that we represent. Visit The ASCAP International Advantage page for more details.
I have a question about a US performance of my music. How can I contact ASCAP?
Contact the society that you are affiliated with. They will contact ASCAP on your behalf.
Do I need a relationship with an ASCAP publishing company to earn publishing income from ASCAP?
No. We will send your local society the equivalent of your writer and publisher shares, even if you are not represented in the US by an ASCAP publisher.
My local PRO also handles mechanical rights in addition to collecting performance royalties. Does ASCAP do that?
Copyright law differs from territory to territory. Currently, ASCAP is only permitted to license the public performance of our members' music - we do not handle mechanical royalties or other types of music rights. Read our About Us page for more information about what we do. 
Do I have to register my music with ASCAP as well as my local society?
No, you only need to register your music with your local society. They will share data about their repertory with us, so when your music is performed in the US, we will know who the writers and publishers are, and where to send the royalties.
Can I be a member of both my local performing rights organization and ASCAP?
ASCAP does permit "split" memberships, but not every society does. Check with your local society to see if they allow you to be a member of two societies at once.
I currently license my music in the US through another PRO. Can I switch to ASCAP? 
Yes, you may elect to move your music to ASCAP for US performances. Contact your local PRO, who can submit a written request to ASCAP. Alternately, if you are published/sub-published in the US by a company with an ASCAP membership, your publisher can contact us to switch your music into the ASCAP repertory for US performances. The rules governing foreign-originated works are set forth in section 2.10 of the Compendium of ASCAP Rules and Regulations, available on our Governing Documents page.
How long does it take to receive my royalties from US performances of my music?
We send performance data and any collected royalties to each international society, once per quarter. The time it takes for you to receive those royalties will depend on your local society’s schedule.
I am not an American citizen and I don't have a US Social Security Number. Can I still join ASCAP directly?
If you are not a US citizen, you may join ASCAP directly; however, if you do not have a valid US Social Security Number, you will need to provide additional income reporting documentation with your application. Go to the Internal Revenue Service website (irs.gov) to obtain a W8-BEN form. When you have completed the application please mail the original, completed W8-BEN, with your ASCAP application number written on the top, to:

ASCAP 
Attn: Applications 
7920 West Sunset Blvd. 
Third Floor 
Los Angeles, CA 90046
Will I earn ASCAP royalties if I perform my music on tour in the US?
Yes indeed. You must submit a claim to your local society per their specific procedures. Each society will then forward the information to ASCAP for processing as part of our International Awards program.

ASCAP International home page

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