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Members’ Handbook – Membership

Section A – Membership

Category Provisional Member Associate Member Full Member (3)
Criteria(1) (2)
After 1 year’s provisional membership aggregate earnings of €952.30 (writer) and €3,809.21 (publisher) over a period not exceeding three continuous years.(4) (For transfer members, earnings while a PRS member will be counted.) After 1 year’s membership aggregate earnings of €6,348.69 (writer) and €25,394.76 (publisher) over a period not exceeding three continuous years (4) (For transfer members, earnings while a PRS member will be counted.)
Rights (i) Receive Report & Accounts
(ii) Attend General Meetings
(iii) 1 vote on a show of hands or on a postal ballot
(i) Receive Report & Accounts
(ii) Attend General Meetings
(iii) Eligible to nominate or be nominated to Board
(iv) 1 vote on a show of hands or 10 votes on a poll or postal ballot
(i) Receive Report & Accounts
(ii) Attend General meetings
(iii) Eligible to nominate or be nominated to Board
(iv) 1 vote on a show of hands: 50 votes on a poll or postal ballot plus 50 additional votes if either of the under-noted criteria is fulfilled(3) (5).


1. Discretion is retained by the Board of Directors to elect below the criteria in appropriate circumstances.

2. Promotions to Full and Associate membership are automatic. After the end of each financial year, members’ earnings are examined to determine those who qualify for promotion. They are then notified of their new member status. The new status is not lost by any subsequent decline in IMRO earnings below the level of current criteria.

3. Successors to deceased members are eligible for promotion to Full membership if they meet the same earnings criteria as publisher members. However, successors are not eligible for appointment to the Board of Directors, nor are they entitled to the fifty additional votes on a poll or postal ballot (note 5) unless also qualifying for Full membership as a writer or publisher in their own right.

4. The earnings criteria shown above are for promotions from 1996 onwards. They will be reviewed every five years.

Minimum criteria for additional FULL MEMBER VOTES
5. To qualify for additional Full Member Votes, a member must have aggregate IMRO or IMRO and PRS earnings of 10 times the full membership criterion as at the preceding 31st December, during the 20 years or less up to the preceding 31st December. The earnings required are €63,486.90 (writer) and €253,947.60 (publisher).

Membership Requirements
The criteria governing admission to Provisional membership of IMRO are as follows:

Songwriters, Composers, Lyricists and Arrangers of Public Domain Music, qualify for membership of IMRO if one of their works has been either:-

a) Commercially recorded (proof required is a photocopy of the CD inlay card containing a barcode/catalogue number and the applicant’s name as a composer/author/arranger of public domain works, OR evidence of a commercially available download of original material.) or

b) broadcast on TV or Radio within the past two years, or

c) performed in public on at least 12 occasions within the past two years.

Alternatively, the applicant may be:-

d) A classical composer whose work has been performed live at a concert or recital of classical music licensable by IMRO.

Applications for IMRO membership should be accompanied by suitable evidence such as a copy of the commercial recording, a letter / email from the broadcaster confirming that the broadcast took place or confirmation in a letter / email from the venue manager/owner or promoter that the qualifying performances took place.

Each applicant must also submit proof of identity in the form of a photocopy of a birth certificate, passport or driver’s licence.

In order to qualify for IMRO membership a music publisher must have a catalogue of at least 10 works, at least 5 of which must have received some form of commercial exploitation in the EU territory within the past two years. In addition:-

a) The writers of the 10 qualifying works must be members of IMRO, or of one of its affiliated societies.

b) The publisher must have acquired rights in at least 5 of the works for a territory within the European Union.

A copy of the recordings or of the sheet music must be submitted in support of the application for the qualifying 10 works. Copies of all assignments between the applicant and the writers in respect of the works concerned must also be supplied. A sheet of the publisher’s headed notepaper should be provided.

  • Individual applicants must also submit a copy of their birth certificate, passport or drivers licence.
  • Partnerships must provide a copy of the partnership agreement
  • Limited companies must provide a copy of the Memorandum and Articles of Association

Membership fees
There is no fee for IMRO membership for either writer or publisher applicants.

The following definitions apply to the admission criteria:

‘Broadcast’ means transmission by a television or radio broadcasting station and/or inclusion in a cable programme.

‘Film’, which includes videograms (whether in the form of cassettes or discs) as well as cinematograph films as defined in Section 18 of the Copyright Act 1963.

‘Commercially published’ means:

made available to the public by sale or hire in graphic (sheet music) form

‘Commercially recorded’ means:

(i) the work has been released to the public on a record label, or

(ii) the work has been recorded and made available to the public by inclusion in a catalogue of a recorded music (e.g. background or mood music) library, or

(iii) the work has been recorded and transmitted by a television or radio broadcasting station or included in a cable programme, or

(iv) the work has been recorded on the soundtrack of a film which has been released for public exploitation.

Termination of Membership
Provisional and Associate writer membership may be terminated if no royalties at all are credited to the writer over a five year period. Provisional publisher members whose royalties have not exceeded an aggregate of €317.43 over five years may also be terminated.

Successors to Deceased Members
Copyright in musical works lasts for the lifetime of the author (or in the case of co-written works, the lifetime of the last surviving contributor) and for 70 years following their death.

On the death of a member, IMRO should be notified as soon as possible so that it can be established to whom future royalties should be paid. Under the company’s Articles of Association membership of IMRO ceases upon death. IMRO will continue to pay royalties to the deceased members’ executors until December 31st of the seventh year following their death, or until a successor member is admitted, whichever is the earlier.

IMRO will admit to Successor membership persons eligible under the Articles of Association. Admission is carried out in such a way as to cause the royalties to be paid in accordance with the will or operation of law. Whatever arrangements are made, IMRO is strictly accountable to pay royalties to the executors in the first instance and then to the Successor member, if one is elected. If the deceased does not leave a will, the law prescribes who is to inherit his or her assets, including royalty payments from IMRO. IMRO is bound by the law. Therefore, in the absence of a valid will all royalties will be paid to those legally entitled.

The legal charges for making a will are quite small, and IMRO strongly advises that members make a will and recommend that a solicitor should be consulted as this is not always a straightforward process.

Successors to Provisional members are initially admitted to Provisional membership, whereas Successors to Associate or Full members are admitted to Associate membership (unless in the case of a deceased Full member the royalties over the last three years had fulfilled the criteria for Full Publisher membership). Once elected, Provisional Successor members are promoted to Associate membership status under the same criteria as living Writer members, and Associate Successor members are promoted to Full membership status in accordance with the criteria for Publisher members.

Unless a Successor member is elected, IMRO’s control of the rights in unpublished works will cease upon the expiry of the seven year period following the death of the last surviving interested party in the works. As regards published works, payment to the publishers will normally continue after the expiry of the seven year period, and include the former Writer share. The executors of the last member would no longer be entitled to receive that Writer share direct.

In conclusion, members should ensure that they have made a valid will specifically bequeathing their royalties (if appropriate), and to also include that a direction is given to close family and/or legal advisors to notify IMRO immediately after their death so that the above procedures can be put into effect swiftly.

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