Step 1: Create an account with an ISAN Registration Agency
Before registering a work or a work in project/development with ISAN, applicants need to have an active account with one of the appointed ISAN registration agencies. ISAN registrants are free to select the agency of their choice (see the list of appointed ISAN agencies) and can change their agency later.
- How to select an ISAN Registration Agency?
- Where can I order ISAN codes and how much does it cost?
- How to create an account with an ISAN registration agency?
Once registered with an ISAN registration agency, users receive their personal credentials to the ISAN system, enabling them to search and register online whenever they need an ISAN identifier.
Step 2: Submit registration metadata online
The easiest way to register a work or a work in project/development with ISAN is to connect online to the ISAN registry interface and fill in the online registration form to obtain (almost) instantaneously the ISAN. Excel based bulk registrations or API integration in your tools and process is also possible (read more: How to "bulk register" content with ISAN?).
To allocate an ISAN with descriptive information in the ISAN registry, registrants need to submit a few metadata (title, length, year, director, …). There are two cases to consider:
Case 1: Audiovisual work in project or development (Project ISAN)
The audiovisual work is in the stage of project or in development and the metadata (title, director, cast …) is still subject to change. As long as the descriptive information of the work is not stable, only a Project ISAN can be delivered. The Project ISAN has no public information and is therefore not searchable for reuse by others until the Project ISAN has been activated to become a regular ISAN.
Project ISAN shall be activated with final metadata once the project work is finalised. After activation, the ISAN remain unchanged but the metadata is public and the ISAN number can be used by others.
Note: "Project ISAN" were named "in-development ISAN" in the previous ISAN metadata schema.
To allocate a project ISAN, follow in the instructions detailed in Get a Project ISAN.
Case 2: Finished audiovisual work
The audiovisual work is released or in post-production and the metadata is no more subject to changes. Final work metadata need to be submitted in order to obtain the ISAN number:
- To allocate an ISAN for a single work, follow in the instructions detailed in Get an ISAN for a single work
- To allocate an ISAN for an episodic work, follow in the instructions detailed in Get an ISAN for an episodic work
The Project or active ISAN identifier is delivered almost instantaneously.
Note that registrants can update anytime the metadata associated to their ISAN. This is required for Project ISAN before activation and useful for active ISAN to add for example a new alternate title when the work is distributed in a new country.
Step 3: Obtain the ISAN
After submitting data for registration, the ISAN system performs a duplicate check to assess if an ISAN has already been allocated for the work.
When no matching work is found in the ISAN registry, the new ISAN is allocated and is added to the list My ISAN (accessible from the New ISAN menu). The ISAN allocation take usually a few seconds.
If the duplicate check detects possible duplicates in the ISAN registry, the ISAN request is paused for deduplication review by the registrant. See ISAN deduplication review.
You can follow anytime the status of your applications and retrieve your ISAN once it is allocated: refer to Where can I find my ISAN after registration?
Step 4: Activate the ISAN when the project is finalized (for Project ISAN only).
When the project is finalized, and the work descriptive metadata is no more subject to changes, the Project ISAN shall be activated to transform the Project ISAN in a final public ISAN searchable by everyone.
To update the metadata of your Project ISAN with final information and activate your ISAN to make it public and searchable, refer to Project ISAN: metadata update - activation
Step 5: Using the ISAN
ISAN is required in many film funding applications across Europe, Canada and Australia, by Collective Management Organizations (CMOs) for processing rights, and by VoD platforms for content distribution in some countries (e.g. Switzerland). ISAN is also used in many applications and must circulate and be available to all when the content is distributed.
- Authors that register a Project ISAN for film funding applications, shall transfer the Project ISAN to their producers when the project enters in production.
- Producers and co-producers shall use the same ISAN / Project ISAN for all film funding applications worldwide.
- Producers shall provide the same ISAN to authors, performers, etc. to enable them filling-in rights declarations with their CMO.
- Producers are encouraged to download and insert the ISAN barcode in the film credits.
- Producers shall provide the ISAN to Distributors and rights holders for use in distribution.
- Distributors and content owners should issue a V-ISAN and provide it to VoD platforms, broadcasters,...
Need more information?
- You can find more information on isan.org or on your ISAN registration agency web site (see ISAN registration agency list).
- ISAN support pages are available on http://support.isan.org, some pages are only available to ISAN users, sign-in (register if no credentials) to access the full support.
- Consult the ISAN FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions
- Contact your ISAN registration agency by email or phone (support in local language).
- Contact ISAN international agency help center by email email@example.com or by submitting a request on https://support.isan.org