Frequently Asked Questions
Is CASH a government department?
No. CASH, incorporated in Hong Kong and limited by guarantee, is an organisation for administering and enforcing the copyright owners' rights under the Copyright Ordinance. CASH issues licences to music users so that they can use musical works legally.
What kinds of musical works have copyright?
According to the Copyright Ordinance, copyright subsists in a musical work automatically at the time of creation and belongs to the creator(s) of that work. Duration of copyright protection of a musical work starts from the time of its creation and continues until the end of the period of 50 years from the death of the writer(s). Although classical music written by writers who have deceased for over 50 years is considered in public domain, i.e. it has no copyright; however, copyright shall subsist in any new arrangement of such a work and it shall belong to the arranger of this new version and a prior permission must be obtained from the arranger when performing this particular version.
How can I contact CASH members?
Due to personal privacy, CASH would not provide members' contact information to any third party.
- Membership - General
CASH will distribute all licence fees collected from music users to relevant copyright owners after deduction of administrative costs. All the accounts of CASH are audited by PricewaterhouseCoopers. In order to distribute the royalties accurately, the distribution will be based on the frequency of performance of each work, and CASH will also utilize the programme returns required to be submitted by the music users, such as titles of musical works performed, names of composers and authors, etc.
How to update my contact/bank information with CASH?
Can I receive mailing materials by email?
Yes. You can apply the Go Green Service by indicating your preference in Member Information Update. Currently, you are able to receive CASHFLOW and event information by one designated email. This will be your default email at CASH.
I have lost my membership card/certificate, what should I do?
Please submit a request by writing, or email to firstname.lastname@example.org, with the following details for processing:
- - Chinese & English name (as printed on HKID)
- HKID number
- Contact details (e.g. mobile/email/mailing address)
New membership card/certificate will be issued on a quarterly basis. CASH will post you the membership card/certificate once ready, so please make sure your address is updated in our record.
What special offers can I enjoy being a CASH membership card holder?
How to notify CASH of my new work?
Members may notify CASH of their new works either by
(1) Log in and register via 'DIVA Online Work Registration'; or
(2) Download the appropriate Notification form, then return the completed form to CASH Documentation & Distribution Department by post or fax: 852 - 2846 3261 or email: email@example.com
Notification of Work (CJ ST & Theme Song)
Notification of Audio-Visual Work
Notification of Works
I have written some new works, can CASH help to promote my works?
Currently, CASH does not provide any marketing/promotional service to our members. You may like to get in touch with the local music publishers to explore the opportunities.
Can I register works even if I am not a CASH member?
No. The service is exclusively for CASH members. Join CASH if you would like to register works with us. See the Admission Criteria.
- Membership - Application
What are the admission criteria for Writer/Publisher/Successor Member?
See the Admission Criteria for details.
What are the required documents for application?
Applicants are required to provide accurate information and submit the following documents for review. Those who fail to provide sufficient information or documents may delay the admission process.
Writer Member 1. Writer Application Form 2. Copy of HKID card 3. Work Notification 4. Copy of Agreement(s) signed with Publisher(s) or *Work's Copyright Declaration 5. Proofs of public performances or CD sample and list of retail locations 6. *Member Obligation Pledge 7. *Deed of Assignment
Publisher Member 1. Publisher Application Form 2. Copy of Business Registration Certificate 3. Copy of M&A and Annual Return (for limited company only) 4. Work Notification 5. Copy of your signed publishing agreements 6. CD sample and list of retail locations 7. *Member Obligation Pledge 8. *Deed of Assignment
* These documents will only be provided to eligible applicants by CASH who have submitted other documents for review.
What do you mean by proofs of public performances?
Proofs of public performances refer to either the following items that contains the full event/program details including the title of event, date, time, venue, organiser(s), songs lists with composers/lyricists' name credits.
- Event leaflet and program
- Official letter issued by the organiser(s)/broadcaster(s), etc
Which are the recognised venues by CASH? Can I have the list?
Generally, we recognise music events that take place in the venues/channels licensed by CASH, however, we do not have a list. You are most welcome to email us : firstname.lastname@example.org the full event details including the title of event, date, time, venue and organiser(s) for verification.
What do you mean by "commercially released"?
"Commercially released" refers to the works released in a standard format (e.g. CD, DVD) and being locally sold in Hong Kong. In this case, applicants are required to submit the CD sample and a list of retail locations with contact details for record.
What is the subscription and annual fee to become a member?
No subscription and annual fee are required.
I just submitted an online application, what should I do next?
Normally, it takes at least three to five working days to process your application at this initial stage. CASH will then contact you shortly by phone/email for pending information/documents. You may like to contact Membership Department to check the application status by email: email@example.com .
By what other means can I submit my application?
Apart from online application, you can submit your application by post (Attention to: Membership Department).
How long does it take to become a CASH member after I submit the application? How do I know my application status?
Upon receipt of all required documents, the application will then be placed at the Membership Sub-committee Meeting for first round approval, then the Council Meeting that follows for final approval. As the meetings of approval are scheduled quarterly, the duration depends on the time you submit the completed application and the schedule of both Meetings, which normally takes two months the fastest or longer time for other cases to undergo the process. You may like to contact Membership Department by email: firstname.lastname@example.org to check the application status.
Can I also be a CASH member the same time if I am already a member of other overseas music copyright societies of the same kind?
No. CASH does not accept dual membership as we administer the public performance right on behalf of our members worldwide. One will have to terminate his/her membership at other music copyright societies of the same kind before they join CASH.
Will my CASH membership expire? Can I terminate my membership?
There is no expiry date for CASH membership unless the member would like to terminate it. Members are requested to write us a termination request.
- Membership - Work Registration Online (DIVA Online)
I am totally new to DIVA Online, what can I do?
You may like to check out the comprehensive step by step User Guide.
What can I do if I forget my login details?
Please click "Forget Password". Simply input the User name (your English name on HKID) and IPI No., then click "Submit". The login details will be sent automatically by our system to your Default Email registered at CASH.
Why I can't receive the login details even though I have submitted password request online?
There may be two possibilities:
1. The email sent by our system may be regarded as spam mail sometimes by some email servers. Please check your spam mailbox as well. 2. This may also happen when you have changed your email without notifying CASH for the update. In this case, the login details will be sent to your old email registered with us. Please contact Membership Department to update the Default Email.
What is an IPI number?
Your IPI number is your CASH membership number. Every member is allocated a unique number that you will find printed on your membership card.
Can I update my contact/bank details/work information by myself online?
You can only update the work information of the Processing Registered Work by yourself. You can search and view the status of an earlier submission by selecting related work types under “Processing Registered Work”. If you would like to update your contact/bank details, simply download Member Information Update and return the completed form with authorised signature to Membership Department. If you would like to amend any processed work information, please contact Documentation & Distribution Department.
Can I view my full catalogue registered at CASH?
Yes. You can view the full catalogue by clicking "Full Personal Catalogue Listing" after login. Alternatively, please contact Documentation & Distribution Department for the printable version.
- Licensing - General
My company has engaged a writer to compose music for one of our company's projects and we have already paid him for that. How come CASH asked us to apply for a licence when we played the music in public and put it up on the Internet?
The fee charged by the writer actually covers his creative effort, production cost and in some cases synchronisation right (i.e. the right to synchronise music with a video, which normally occurs in the context of audio-visual production such as commercial jingle and film music). The writer's fee however does not cover the rights in relation to any subsequent performance in the public or on the Internet, which the writer does not administer by himself but has already entrusted the rights to CASH under his CASH membership. It is a common international practice for a music writer to assign such rights to a music copyright society like CASH for collective administration in order to monitor usage and secure protection not only in Hong Kong but also around the world through the international cooperation among music copyright societies worldwide.
Are we permitted to play or use any type of music after we have obtained a valid licence?
Yes. The licence issued by CASH is a "blanket licence". After obtaining a valid licence, one can play or use any type of music of members of CASH and its overseas affiliated Societies.
There is no need to pay royalty when performing or using foreign musical works?
CASH controls and administers the musical works of over 2 millions authors and composers all over the world through reciprocal representation agreements with similar overseas Societies. It is thus required to apply for a licence when performing or using foreign music.
- Licensing - Public Performance Licences
Is it required to pay royalty for performing music?
Yes. According to the Copyright Ordinance, one should seek permission from copyright owners prior to the public performance of copyright music. Provided that the copyright owners are members of CASH or its affiliated overseas Societies, one must obtain licences from CASH and pay royalties in order to perform their works.
We've already paid when we purchase a CD, haven't we? Why do we need to pay for a licence when we play the CD in public venues, in roadshows or in a store?
The warning note "Unauthorised Public Performance Prohibited" is usually printed on CDs for the reason that the purchase of a CD is solely for customer's home use. If a CD is played in public venues or used for commercial purpose, a separate licence should be obtained for the public performance of music contained in it.
Why does audition of radio, TV and internet/website programmes in a store require a licence?
Radio, TV and internet/website programmes contain copyright music, for example, programme themes and background music, pop songs, classical music, film music, commercial jingles, station I.D., etc. As such, public performance by means of audition of radio, TV and internet/website programmes requires a valid licence. Besides, radio, TV broadcasters and internet/website owners have paid licence fees only for broadcasting or streaming copyright music but not for public performance.
Why is a licence needed when music is performed in a store where the business does not rely on music?
According to the Copyright Ordinance, a prior permission must be obtained when copyright music is performed in a store regardless of the trade. CASH has taken into consideration the level of importance of music to various trades when establishing tariffs.
Why should I apply for licences from CASH and the representatives of record companies when playing CD in my store? It's double-charging, isn't it?
Copyright subsists in "musical work (melody) and literary work (lyrics)" as well as sound recordings such as CDs. The former is administered by CASH whereas the latter is administered by the representatives of record companies. If you play CDs in your stores, you do need to obtain the licences, from CASH for the public performance of musical and literary works and from the representatives of record companies for the public performance of sound recording. In fact, there is no double-charging as the royalties are for distinctive rights.
How is "Public Place" defined?
According to court's rulings, for the purpose of the Copyright Ordinance, "public places" refer to "non-domestic areas", e.g. retail shops, hair salons, etc.
- Licensing - Digital Online Licences
What kind of services providers in general should take up CASH Digital Online Licences?
In general, any providers of online music services, or online services offering general entertainment content or news with music in the background, should take up CASH Digital Online Licences, whether the services are offered on a free-of-charge or paid for basis.
I will develop a smartphone application with music elements. Should I take up CASH Digital Online Licences?
Yes, CASH grants licences to apps developers for music being used in smartphone or tablet applications. You may refer to Digital Online Licences for further information.
I am an advertiser with a plan to organise an online advertising campaign. I have obtained licences from music publishers in respect of the music used in the advertisements. Do I need a separate licence from CASH to make the advertisements available online?
Yes, please be aware that CASH licences in relation to online streaming are different from the synchronisation licences issued by music publishers. For the purposes of producing advertising materials with music elements and making the same available online, both the synchronisation licences from music publishers and CASH online licences are needed.
Do we need a Digital Online Licence to post lyrics online?
Yes, it is because the lyrics alone are under copyright protection. The Digital Online Licences from CASH would cover not only the melodies but also the lyrics.