If you plan to record music on a CD, vinyl or concert DVD, there are certain rights you need to clear first.
We recommend that you contact an NCB-registered factory before you start the application. You’ll find them in the web application.
When the master is ready you can start the web application. Note that, in some cases, you need to contact the rights holder first. You can find more information about this below.
You can pay by credit card right away or pay later. Either way you will receive an invoice by email, that is also your license. Once your license is cleared, we’ll inform the factory that they can produce and release your copies.
Now, choose one of the factories that have signed our manufacturing contract to duplicate your CD or vinyl record.Factories
Almost there! The last step is to complete this web application. You’ll get guidance throughout the procedure but, if you’re unsure, check out the user’s guide.Application
Information required on the recording
Physical copies containing licensed music must include the following information:
NCB’s audio standard agreement (“Sound Carrier Contract”) is generally the appropriate license for record companies that have both a number of current releases and ongoing sales. The standard agreement covers most physical products (e.g. CD, DVD audio, vinyl).
Standard agreement – Audio
If you hold an NCB standard agreement there are a number of reporting obligations and accounting deadlines that you have to observe. These instances recur every six month (equivalent to an accounting period). However, registration of releases should be made on a regular basis whenever you market a new release.
The standard agreement may not be suitable for small labels because of the ongoing registration and reporting obligations that are required to comply with the agreement. Besides holders of a standard agreement have to be approved by NCB, provide a financial guarantee and pay monthly advances to NCB.Standard agreement audio
Additional agreement – Music video
NCB’s music video agreement is a supplementary agreement to the audio standard agreement. This agreement covers physical audio-visual products on DVDs or Blu-ray discs where music is the primary content e.g. video clips and concert videos.Music video agreement
Below you will find information about release registration, formats and minimum rates, record companies and plants with NCB agreement, third party labels, as well as related products that are not covered by any standard agreement.
You must register all new releases with NCB before they are marketed. There are two ways in which you can register your releases – either using our web-based application (WebCover) or using an Excel spreadsheet.
Web-based application (WebCover)
Using WebCover makes it easy to:
An alternative to using WebCover is reporting made by using an Excel spreadsheet. NCB has designed a special Excel template for this purpose.
Formats and minimum rates
Below you will find a list of applicable formats and minimum rates covered by NCB’s standard agreement.
Third party labels
This list shows all the labels for which record companies with NCB Standard Contract are responsible for the payment of copyright – in addition to their own labels.
Covermounts, premiums and kiosk deals
Covermounts, premiums and kiosk deals are not covered by any of NCB’s standard agreements. Consequently, you will have to apply for a license and pay copyright on a case-to-case basis.
A covermount is a CD or DVD audio bagged with or affixed to a newspaper or magazine and supplied free or against a token amount – e.g. to cover handling, forwarding charges or the like.
A premium product is a CD or DVD audio supplied free with another merchandise or service or against a token amount – e.g. to cover handling, forwarding charges or the like.
A kiosk deal is a CD or DVD audio that is sold together with a newspaper or magazine – usually at a favorable price. The CD or DVD audio cannot be bought separately; however, you can still buy the newspaper/magazine at its ordinary price without the CD/DVD audio.
The application is pretty straightforward, but if you run into trouble, don’t hesitate to contact us.
The rights granted by copyright fall into two categories: economic rights and moral rights.
Economic rights give the rights holder the opportunity to make commercial gain from the exploitation of his/her work. This would usually be by licensing others to use the work/music piece in another production, e.g. to copy a work, to distribute copies of a work on a physical production, e.g. CD/vinyl.
Moral rights refer to the rights holders right to be recognized as the author of a work and the right not to have his/her work subjected to offensive treatment.
The copyright lasts until 70 years after the death of the composer/lyricist. However, there might be new versions of copyright-free music that are still protected. Therefore, you should always contact NCB to make sure.
NCB manages mechanical rights (synchronization, recording and copying rights) and the national agencies handle performing rights (the right to perform and communicate the music in public). We explain more here.
Yes, but you only pay an administrative fee. Remember to also register the music at your national performance rights society (STIM/TONO/KODA/TEOSTO/STEF).
The factories that have signed an agreement with us are not allowed to print records until they get a clearance email from NCB that the copyright is paid for. If you choose an NCB registered factory, you can get royalty-free promotional copies of your recording. Read more here.
Yes, you can, but NCB prefers that you choose an NCB registered one. If you choose one that doesn’t have an agreement with us, you will not be able to receive royalty-free promotional copies.
We pay royalties twice a year, in June and December.
All releases need an identification number, which you are free to create yourself. It must consist of 2-7 letters followed by 1-7 digits.
A medley is a track that mixes different parts of various songs. If you use other rights holders’ songs in your medley, you need permission from these to sample fragments.
If you make a release of several units together, it is considered a box release. For example, two CDs, or a CD together with a vinyl record.
If you plan to release a digital track this should not be registered with NCB. However, you must ensure that your Digital Service Provider receives all relevant track information such as track title, composer, song writer, ISRC code and name of the artist. You should also contact your national performing rights society.
Sharing your own music
When you share your own music, you do not have to register this with NCB. You must be sure though, that there are no other rights holders involved. It is your responsibility to make sure that the production is solely yours.
Sharing existing music
It must be registered on the web application. You need to choose re-release and fill in the catalogue number.
If the content of the production is the same on all formats, just choose that option in the web application. If the contents differ, you need to register the production on separate applications.
The NCB logo and for each track title:
You should also indicate year of release as well as the name of your record company
It is a release where all recorded tracks have been released at least one year before release date of your new release or re-release. Copyright is calculated as usual, but lower minimum prices are valid. On the web application you need to state that it is a budget rate release, in the comments box and then click below this, to ensure that the application will be processed manually by NCB.
When producers and copyright holders want to donate their royalties for charity purpose the following guidelines should be applied:
a) When royalties are distributed to the copyright owner he can redistribute the royalties to the charitable organisation.
b) The performing rights society can offer to register a transport of the royalties to the charitable organisation within a specific period of time which has been agreed.
c) The performing rights society can agree to the fact that the mechanical copyright of the work in question can be assigned to the charitable organisation in question. This means that all royalties as far as this work is concerned will be distributed to the charitable organisation forever or within a specific period of time, which has been agreed. However, the performing rights societies are unwilling to agree to this, and if they do so, it is only if royalties are donated in case of a catastrophe – for instance the tsunami in 2004. The performing rights societies cannot agree to an assignment of the mechanical copyright when a donation is made only for the purpose of the organisation’s ordinary relief work.
Option a) or b) result in the fact that the copyright holder will be liable to pay tax whereas option c) results in the fact that the charitable organisation will be liable to pay tax.
When extreme catastrophes happen cf. option c) above NCB’ management will make a decision whether or not NCB should refrain from calculating commission before the royalties are distributed to the charitable organisation.
The performing rights societies make a decision on the performing rights income, if any, to be part of the donations in question.