Three easy steps

If you plan to record music on a CD, vinyl or concert DVD, there are certain rights you need to clear first. See more information below or download our step-by-step guide here.

Find a factory

We recommend that you contact an NCB-registered factory before you start the application. Find a list of factories within the Nordic region below.


Fill 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.


Make the payment

You can pay by credit card right away or pay later. Once your license is paid, we’ll inform the factory that they can release your copies.

What kind of recording are you planning?

Need to find the rights holder?

You can try to find the information using these links: All Music or ASCAP. If you want us to help you find the information, feel free to contact us.

Credit the rights holder

Information required on the actual physical recording

Physical copies containing licensed music must include the following information:

  • NCB logo (recordings distributed in the NCB area). Find it here.
  • BIEM/NCB logo (recordings distributed outside the NCB area). Find it here.
  • Names of composer(s), lyricist(s) and arrangers/publishers (if any) for each track title. This information can be given on the cover or in an enclosed booklet.
  • Year of release and name of the record company, or your name if you release the recording as a private individual.
  • The following wording: “All rights reserved.”


Find the answers to the frequently asked questions below. Don’t hesitate to get in touch if anything is unclear.

What is copyright?

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.

Isn’t there such a thing as free music?

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.

What is the difference between NCB and the national performance rights societies STIM/TONO/KODA/TEOSTO/STEF?

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.

Do I have a license when I have completed the application?

In certain cases, you need the rights holder’s permission before you can use the music. You’ll find all this information here. Otherwise, you have a license when you have paid the copyright fee.

How do I know who owns the rights?

You can try to find the information using these links: All Music, ASCAP or BMI. If you want us to help you find the information, feel free to contact us.

I am the only rights holder; do I still need to register it?

Yes, but you only pay an administrative fee. Please read further info in the subject ”Your own music“. Remember to also register the music at your national performance rights society (STIM/TONO/KODA/TEOSTO/STEF).

I plan to give away all copies, do I still have to pay?

Yes, but only a minimum fee per copy. Find all prices here.

What is an NCB registered factory?

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.

Can’t I use any factory I want?

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.

When does NCB distribute royalties to the rights holders?

We pay royalties twice a year, in June and December.

I can’t find my customer number and/or password.

If you aren’t already registered, please create an account in the web application. If you have forgotten your user data, please contact us:

What is a catalogue number?

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.

What is an ISRC code?

ISRC code (International Standard Recording Code) is the internationally recognized identification code for sound and music video tracks. You obtain the code from GRAMEX in Denmark, GRAMO in Norway, IFPI/SAMI in Sweden, IFPI in Finland and SFH in Iceland. You can register the ISRC code on web application, but if you receive them after the NCB-clearing please mail them to and we will update the tracks in question.

What is an EAN/bar code?

EAN is short for ”European Article Numbering” and is commonly known as a bar code, i.e. a code on the production if it is to be sold in shops. GS1 is the organisation that manages the EAN system worldwide and they have a complete list with contact information on the local GS1 offices.

What is a medley track?

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.

What is a box set?

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.

I only plan to release digital tracks. How do I register that?

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.

How do I register music shared by mail or link to a cloud service e.g Dropbox?

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

  • Commercial use: When you share music for commercial use, you have to register this with NCB and you will then receive an invoice for mechanical copyright according to existing tariffs.
  • Promotional use: When you share music for sales promotional use, you do not have to register this with NCB and you will not receive an invoice for mechanical copyright.
I plan a re-release, how does it work?

It must be registered on the web application. On the page ”My productions” you choose the production you want to register a re-release on and click ”Reprint”.

I plan to release my music on many formats

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.

Where do I find the NCB logo?

All physical copies containing NCB-licensed music must have the NCB logo on the label printing of the physical copy. You can download the logo and read more here.

Which information is necessary on the recording?

The NCB logo and for each track title:

  • names of composer(s)/lyricist(s) (and arranger and publisher, if any)
  • playing time in minutes and seconds

You should also indicate year of release as well as the name of your record company

What is a budget rate release?

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.

Charity releases

When producers and copyright holders want to donate their royalties for charity purpose the following guidelines should be applied:

  1. The producer submits his product for NCB-registration as usual.
  1. NCB invoices the product according to the stipulations of NCB’s licensing terms (work-by-work producers) or NCB’s standard contract(s) (signatories to the standard contract in question).
  1. The copyright holders have to approach their performing rights society in order to make an agreement of how the royalties are to be distributed. The copyright holders have the following three options:

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.