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Music Licensing FAQs

About MCPS Ireland

Mechanical Copyright Protection Society Ireland Limited (MCPSI) is an organisation which represents thousands of composers and publishers of music. By way of agency agreement with MCPS and through their reciprocal agreements with other organisations around the world, MCPSI also represents the interests of many thousands of other music copyright owners in other countries. MCPSI licenses companies and individuals who record musical works and collects and distributes the royalties payable under those licences. This service is available to anybody who wants to recorded music including record companies, independent production companies, mobile and online companies and many others. MCPSI also licenses the importation of recordings from outside of the EU.

MCPS Ireland Contacts

Mechanical Copyright Protection Society (Ireland) Ltd (MCPSI) Copyright House Pembroke Row Lower Baggot Street Dublin 2 Ireland IMRO/MCPSI Director of Broadcasting & Online Sean Donegan T: +353 1 644 8058 E: Music Licensing Executive David Galligan T: +353 1 644 8023 E: Senior Licensing Executive JP Canning T: +353 1 644 8046 E:

Structure of the Music Industry in Ireland


I am an IMRO member – am I automatically a member of MCPS?

Membership of MCPS is separate to IMRO and not automatic.

What is Production Music?

Production music (sometimes referred to as library music) is music specifically written for inclusion in audio and audio-visual productions. This high quality and cost-effective music is obtained from MCPS production music libraries. For an extensive list of libraries within the MCPS Ireland repertoire, please click here and here  

What is Commercial Music?

Commercial music can be defined as any music produced that is being marketed directly to the general public by any medium. The only exception to the above is production music. This is music specifically written for inclusion in audio and audio-visual productions and is marketed on a business to business basis. Production music can only be obtained from a production music library.  

What are Synchronisation Rights?

Synchronisation is the pairing of music with another form of media. For example, when a piece of music is used in a Feature Film, the music is synchronised with the film footage. The terms ‘Synchronisation right’ and Synchronisation licence’ apply to the licensing of music in this way. Common examples of ‘Sync Licensing’ include music licensed for use in TV advertising, feature films and computer games.

What are Performing Rights?

The performing right is the right to perform a Musical Work or Sound Recording.

What are Mechanical Royalties?

Mechanical royalties are royalties generated from the reproduction of Musical Works.

What are ‘Musical Works’?

A musical composition – lyrics and music. For example: “To Make You Feel My Love” by Bob Dylan, published by Sony/ATV Music Publishing. Publishers usually control musical works / original composition rights

What are ‘Sound Recordings / Master Rights’?

A recording of a musical work. Usually owned by the person/company that paid for and facilitated the recording. For example: Sound recording rights for Adele’s version of Bob Dylan’s “To Make You Feel My Love” is controlled by Adele’s record company – XL Recordings. Record companies usually control sound recordings.

Can I record / release someone else’s song?

Without compromising the integrity of the original composition a person may release a cover version of a song once the appropriate licence has been obtained from MCPS.  Any changes to lyrics or arrangements licensing, must be sought direct from the copyright holder.

Can I record my own version of an Out Of Copyright Work?

Yes, once it is an original arrangement.

MCPS Ireland Membership

To be eligible to apply for MCPS writer membership you must:-
  • own or control the copyright in one or more piece of music (i.e. be unpublished)
  • have one or more pieces of music (unpublished) released for retail purposes by a record company (other than one you own), or recorded into radio, TV, audio-visual or multimedia production and download.
If both of these apply to you then membership should be considered. MCPS membership requires you to fill out the following form and also to read the attached Membership Agreement. Please return the MCPS Membership Form to: Mechanical Copyright Protection Society (Ireland) Ltd (MCPSI) Pembroke Row Lower Baggot Street Dublin 2 Ireland Please contact if you have any queries relating to MCPS membership.

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