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Frequently Asked Questions

What does the BMI Repertoire tell us?

The BMI Repertoire is a BMI song title database with information about the rights owners of the songs. In some cases, songwriters may have started their careers with another performing rights organization and affiliated with BMI sometime later, or may have affilated with BMI at the start, and then with another organization sometime later. In either case, the songwriter's songs may or may not have followed the songwriter. As such, BMI may license songs for songwriters who are not currently affiliated.

Does the Repertoire list all the songs licensed by BMI?

Although we update the Repertoire database nightly, and process hundreds of new registrations each day, there is a chance that you may have trouble finding some songs that are licensed by BMI due to circumstances beyond our control. This is a song title database. If the registered title of the song is different from what you have entered, for example, you may not find the title for which you are searching. In addition, due to royalty distribution schedules, songs are often played on the radio prior to registration with BMI.

* Copyright attaches to a songwriter's work the moment that the work is completed, irrespective of registration. BMI's agreement with its songwriters provides that unless specified otherwise, BMI licenses their copyrighted works, even prior to registration.

* If you do not find what you are looking for, it is important that you do not just assume that the song is not licensed by BMI. Please call the BMI research department toll-free number at (800) 800-9313.

What does Current Affiliation mean?

Current Affiliation represents the performing rights affiliation, foreign and domestic, of the songwriters and publishers listed.

* Please note that "Unknown" within this field indicates that BMI is uncertain as to the performing rights affiliation of the songwriters and/or publishers listed. Please call the research department toll-free number if you need additional assistance.

What does CAE/IPI # mean?

The CAE number is an international identification number assigned to songwriters and publishers.

What does a BMI Award Signify?

Each year, BMI presents the songwriters, composers, and music publishers of the year's most performed songs in different genres of music with awards. In addition, BMI recognizes the songwriters, composers and music publishers of songs that have achieved over one million performances, establishing a list of the most performed songs of all time in the BMI repertoire (You can scroll through these lists in the information section of bmi.com, under Awards & Honors). Since there are often several songs with the same title, this may help you find the one that you are looking for.

* The absence of an award flag does not signify that the particular song is unknown or unpopular. If you are looking for a song that you believe to be one of BMI's most performed songs, and are unable to locate the title with an award, please call the research department toll-free number.

Why are there only U.S. Publishers listed?

BMI licenses the right to publicly perform music in the United States on behalf of its songwriters and publishers. However, we may not have complete information with respect to publisher representation outside of the United States. As a result, we have listed the BMI publisher in the United States. We do have some of this information, however, and you can call the research department toll-free number for further assistance.

What does "Additional Publisher" mean?

The phrase "additional publisher(s)" is used in the Repertoire song title database to indicate one or more non-BMI publishers. In addition, this phrase may indicate that the particular work is, in fact, unpublished.

Why does a Writer Search sometimes bring back more than one Writer with the same name?

There are two possible reasons for this:

  1. There may indeed be instances where two or more songwriters have the same name.
  2. The same writer may have more than one account set up with BMI - used for internal processing. If you are looking for a specific song title, or wish to find all of the song titles for a writer, you may need to search the catalogs of all writer accounts listed.

When I am viewing a songwriter's catalog, why are there sometimes several titles with the same or similar names?

In the case of similar titles, this situation may indicate other titles under which the song can be found, similar to an "also known as," or a.k.a. In the instances where the titles are identical, it may indicate that there is a version with foreign lyrics. Please contact the research department toll-free if you need further assistance.

Can I search for a Songwriter using a pseudonym or a.k.a?

Where BMI has been made aware of pseudonyms or a.k.a.'s, we have maintained the link between the two different names, so that you will be able to find a songwriter by either his/her legal name or a.k.a. However, the database defaults to a writer's a.k.a., and will not automatically link the legal name with the a.k.a.

Do I need to know the complete song title in order to find it?

Similar to the way that we have linked songwriter pseudonyms or a.k.a.'s, we have, whenever possible, maintained the links between song title pseudonyms and a.k.a.'s in order to faciliate your ability to locate songs licensed by BMI. Also, the database will return the song titles that begin with whatever has been entered, so that the complete title may not be necessary.

Why doesn't my Artist Search bring up all results for that Artist?

We have recently added artist search capability to the Repertoire. In many cases, the songwriter is also the artist. In many other cases, however, the artist is not the writer of the song. Currently tens of thousands of songs have the artist information, but not all of our 13 Million works are covered. BMI will be adding artist information weekly, in addition to the songwriter information already provided, to facilitate this type of search. For now, please contact the research department toll-free or by email to assist you in finding the information for particular title in which you are interested.

Why do some song titles appear to begin with the songwriter's or composer's last name followed by a hyphen?

The songwriter's name, followed by a hyphen, is BMI's way of indicating that a particular title is a concert work.

How do I obtain the contact information for a particular publisher?

The results of a search for a particular BMI-affiliated publisher will return the contact information that BMI has available for that publisher. You can also click on the publisher name from a title search results page to access contact information.

For assistance with Publisher addresses and contact information, call (800) 800-9313.