Inspecting CWR files

These free online tools for inspecting Common Works Registration files can help music publishers, and other entities, in several scenarios.

You created a CWR file, and want to have a look.

CWR is complicated. It takes a minute to get an impression of what CWR is. And hours, if not days, to double-check its content.

Visual CWR is the tool you need. It will provide syntax highlighting and additional information on mouse-over. Other tools may be useful as well.

Catalogue exports in CWR format

Most CMOs (collective societies, PROs, MROs) can export publisher's catalogue in CWR format. This is, without exception, the most comprehensive way to do it, though many CMOs offer other formats as well.

However, CWR is incomprehensible to most people. The following tools can help you with understanding the content of a CWR file:

  • Work Overview will provide you with a simple table with basic immutable data for the work (work ID, title, ISWC) and writers (last and first name, IPI name number and role).
  • Shares for a Country (a.k.a. Share Overview) provides a table with collectible shareholders for the chosen country.
  • Visual CWR - file upload is the last resort in this scenario. Providing syntax highlighting and additional information on mouse-over, it helps when digging into details.

You received an acknowledgement file for your CWR file

CWR is two-way communication. Publishers send registrations, and CMOs send acknowledgements. The latter are also in CWR format, and just as incomprehensible as registration files.

You absolutely need to have a look and see which of your works were accepted or rejected and why.

ACK tool is the tool you want to use first. If all registrations were accepted (sometimes 'with changes'), you are done.

Transaction accepted means that your registration has gone into the second step, and you will receive another acknowledgement file in due time.

No participation means that no IP in this work collects anything through this CMO.

Other statuses mean that you need to investigate with Visual CWR.

CWR file rejected

You would not need these tools if you used DMP or That Green Thing. For three reasons. Because they have the same functionality built-in. Because CWR files they create are technically valid. And because we are always supporting integration with CMOs on the file level, even for DMP.

Visual CWR may help you detect several typical issues with badly formatted CWR files. Even if you do, you will not be able to do much, unless you are a developer and able to fix the code of your not-so-CWR-capable software.

Matija Kolarić and his team offer other options to companies who want to integrate CWR into their workflow, raging from consulting to turn-key code.