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Obtaining Code

If you need to obtain ISRCs for recordings owned by others, including those owned by clients, independent artists and licensors, you should normally get the necessary ISRCs from the recording owner. Do not assign a second ISRC to the recording. There are two notable instances in which an ISRC may be assigned by someone other than the recording owner:

  • If you wish to assign ISRCs for independent artists or clients, please read about our ISRC Manager provision.
  • If you need ISRCs for licensed recordings and cannot obtain ISRCs from the licensors, please contact us at isrc@riaa.com

ISRCs can be obtained in one of two ways:

First, recording rights owners based in the United States can apply for a Registrant Code through the US ISRC Agency. This Registrant Code will allow that label, company or independent artist to assign ISRCs for its past, current and upcoming recordings. There is now a one-time $95 application fee for the allocation of a Registrant Code. This Registrant Code is yours for life, and it will allow you to assign up to 100,000 ISRCs each year. If you have not already obtained a Registrant Code, you can apply for one through this website: Apply Here

Second, the U.S. ISRC Agency has allocated Registrant Codes for ISRC Managers, which they can use to assign ISRCs on behalf of clients or customers. ISRC Managers can provide individual ISRCs to independent artists or to those who do not wish to manage their own ISRC assignment. ISRCs are issued as a part of the business arrangement between the company and an artist, and they are assigned to only those tracks that fall within this agreement.

ISRC Managers must register with the US Agency in order to obtain the Registrant Code necessary to assign ISRCs for recordings that they do not own. ISRC Managers must agree to comply with a set of terms available here in order to be properly registered with the US ISRC Agency. A list of ISRC Managers is available on request. If you would like a copy or if you have any questions about whether the company with which you are dealing is legitimately registered, please send an email to: isrc@riaa.com.

Regardless of how your ISRCs are obtained, you will be able to use them for the life of the recording - there is no distinction between ISRCs issued by ISRC Managers and those issued using your own Registrant Code.

Please visit our Application Page for more information on how to register or how to become an ISRC Manager.

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