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BMI question(s)


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Hopefully this is the correct sub-forum for this question.

I'm not sure exactly how to word this, but hopefully it makes sense.


I have been mainly doing production and mastering work for the last decade or so, but I'm planning on releasing some original music at some point this year. I need to register again with BMI since my old register was a collective with a former writing partner.


I am the sole writer/ performer for all of the music and I am also keeping my publishing rights.


My question(s): Do I need to register as a publisher and an artist/ songwriter, or do I just register as a publisher? Is there a way I can register as both simultaneously, or are they treated separately by BMI?


Thank you in advance! :)

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I don't know about BMI, only ASCAP, but it makes sense that you'd want to have separate writer's and publishing entities in any and all cases. If you're releasing your music yourself then of course you're not contractually bound by any kind of 3rd party to whom you might (in various circumstances) be obligated to give up a portion of your writers or publishing shares. However, in the event that someone wants to license your music, and in exchange they want a portion of your publishing (as is common) you will unquestionably want to have separation of writing and publishing entities so that your writer's share is not tied to your publishing share.


There are a thousand other reasons not to bundle both together, not that I think you could anyway with a PRO. But in short, being a writer and being a publisher are two entirely different things, even if you're self-publishing your music.

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