What is a Cue Sheet?
Usually, if someone uses music for a production that is to be publicly performed on a television network, radio station, theatrical release (e.g. films or videos), etc., filling out a cue sheet is necessary. A cue sheet is a document that contains a detailed listing of each piece of music used in the production, including the names of all composers and publishers, the type of usage of the music (in the background, as the theme, etc.), the length of the music, and the title of each track. Cue sheets are an "industry standard". You can find a sample cue sheet here: (Sample cue sheet).
Who Should Fill Out Cue Sheets?
Cue sheets are usually prepared by producers or end-users (clients, owners) of a produced film, video, TV show, etc. Then the cue sheets are provided to a broadcaster, so that the broadcaster can report the use of the music to a performing rights organization ("PRO") every time a project is broadcast. It costs producers / users nothing.
When are You NOT Required to Use Cue Sheets?
If a composer is not a member of any performing rights organization, then producers and broadcasters are not required to use cue sheets, or to report use of the music to performing rights organizations.
How do Performing Rights Organizations Use Cue Sheets?
Performing rights organizations use the details provided on the cue sheets to identify and pay performance royalties to composers. All broadcast companies, as well as any companies that play music in public places (hotels, restaurants, cinemas, airports, theaters, athletic clubs, etc.), pay annual fees to their local performing rights organizations for the right to publicly perform music. Then these fees are divided among composers and publishers. So you just need to provide them with a cue sheet, and you will generally not be required to pay public performance royalties.
Where Can I Find the Information to Make a Cue Sheet?
You may find the information for your cue sheets in your license document (certificate). You can download the license document in your account at the "Download Center". If you see something like "no PRO affiliation" (or see nothing at the right of the composer's name) then the composer is not a member of any performing rights organization. This means that the song is free from any performance royalties and you are not required to use and submit a cue sheet for this song.
Performing Rights Organizations Worldwide
Brazil UBC, ECAD
Czech Republic OSA
Hong Kong CASH
New Zealand APRA
South Africa SAMRO
Trinidad & Tobago COTT
United Kingdom PRS
USA ASCAP, BMI, SESAC