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The functional specification document for the Common Works Registration defines the reason for creating CWR:

"The purpose of the Common Works Registration (CWR) format is to provide publishers and societies with a standard format for the registration of works.”


DDEX's Musical Works Notification Message Suite Standard (MWN)  was designed to support a different set of use-cases to CWR, and in particular was designed to provide support for the complexities of works licensing in territories which do not have “central” licensing infrastructures - such as the USA (and Canada).

DDEX’s understanding is that CWR does not presently provide support for:

  • The Musical Work Licencing process
  • The Letters of Direction process
  • Communicating a UGC policy for a work (e.g. Track/Monetize/Block)
  • Sending audio files that relate to a work (e.g. for audio finger-printing)
  • Communicating Lyrics
  • Communicating information for Print rights
  • Communicating UseTypes (i.e. sub-categories of Mechanical/Performing/Synch Rights)

Additionally, DDEX’s MWN standard provides more a more rich conflict notification and resolution mechanism than is available in CWR.


Conversely, MWN presently has limited or no support for:

  • Communicating work origin information
  • Communicating cue information
  • Communicating a work’s instrumentation

In certain scenarios it is possible to use MWN alongside CWR. For example, a publisher may wish to send work registrations/claims to a licensee via CWR, but may wish to receive notification of conflicts back in MWN.

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