International Songwriters Association (ISA) Songs And Songwriting Subscription Information
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ISA How To Manage Your Subscription


This page is for General Members who have paid subscriptions.

If you have Professional Membership, (in other words you do not pay a subscripton fee), then this page is not relevant.

Professional Members should instead log into the ISA Private Members Site and go to the Professional Membership page.


Our Subscription Policy for Paid Membership was designed to be absolutely transparent, so that once you joined the ISA, you totally controlled your own membership and your own subscription arrangements, and your bank/credit card information was never to be disclosed to us.

The full policy was as follows.

You join the ISA by arranging to pay your first membership fee by whatever means you choose.

You maintain your membership by arranging to continue payment of your membership fees.

You leave the ISA by arranging to cancel payment of your membership fees.

Accordingly, it is up to you to make the initial payment when you wish to join, to continue to make payments if you wish to remain on, and to cancel your payment when you wish to leave.

ISA cannot access your account to initiate subscription payments, to request or "take" payments, or to cancel payments.

Only you can can do any of these.

Questions & Answers

Would the ISA not think of taking payments by Direct Debit?
No. For two reasons....

(1) There are insufficient safeguards for the person paying by Direct Debit.

Direct Debits allow the company to whom you are paying money, to "request" periodic payments, which means that the firm has to be given all of your bank details, including your account number etc. Sometimes, you may even have to agree that the company can vary the amounts taken, or the frequency of the payments taken, if they so wish.

(2) Secondly, we do not wish to be responsible for storing your financial or banking information on our computers in the first place!

For those reasons, we have never operated nor have we ever accepted Direct Debits.

We will accept recurring payments either via a Bank Standing Order or PayPal, but you must set these up yourself either with your bank, or with PayPal.

Above all, please do not send us your Bank Account or PayPal Account information!

What is the difference between a Standing Order and a Direct Debit?
The best explanation of the difference between a Standing Order and a Direct Debit appears on the Moneyfacts UK website. Click here to read the entire text.

A summary of the relevant sections reads as follows...

Q. What is the difference between a Standing Order and a Direct Debit?

Essentially, a standing order is an instruction to your bank, whereas a direct debit gives permission to a company to take money from you. You are the only person who can change the date or payment amount on your standing order. This is the main difference to a direct debit, where these details can be changed by the person or organisation you're paying.

Q. How do I cancel a Standing Order?

You are the only person that can cancel a standing order. You can cancel a standing order at any point in branch, over the phone or via secure online banking. However, make sure you inform the person or organisation in receipt of the payment before you do, as you could incur fees or penalties for non-payment.

How can I arrange to make recurring payments to the ISA?
You can utilise either Bank Standing Orders, or PayPal Recurring Subscription Orders, but you will have to set these up yourself.

Bank Standing Orders/PayPal Recurring Subscription Orders are instructions which you set up to your specifications, to start payments when you want them to start, to end payments when you want them to end, paying only the sum which you have agreed to pay.

Most important of all, only you can initiate, alter or cancel a Bank Standing Order/PayPal Recurring Subscription, and consequently we get to see none of your financial information.

This means that we cannot "take" or "request" money from your account, nor can we change in any way, or increase in any way, the payment which you have authorised your Bank or PayPal to make to us, and nor can we cancel your membership unilaterally from our end.

Also, we receive no financial information whatsoever in relation to your arrangements. Therefore, we are never told the name of your bank, your account number, the name of your credit card provider, your card number etc.

Consequently, we cannot "get into" your account to initiate, change or cancel any Bank Standing Order or PayPal Recurring Subscription mandate you have set up.

You are the only person able to do that.

Which method of subscripton payment do you prefer?
Please feel free to choose whichever method suits you best.

In our opinion, Cheques are the most efficient method because they are generally safe if crossed, and we are more than happy to accept personal cheques in UK sterling, American dollars, Australian dollars and Canadian dollars, as well as cheques denominated in Euro. Indeed, we are even happy to activate a membership immediately up receipt of a cheque, without waiting for it to clear.

Although it is not possible to arrange recurring payments by cheque, it is a simple matter to make a note in your diary about when the next cheque is due.

Bank Standing Orders are safe as long as the bank follows your instructions correctly. The advantage is that they can be set up by you or your bank to renew periodically. You can get a form in your bank (although you will have to request our bank details from us), or you can download one from our site which will contains these details. However, you will still have to complete and send this on to your bank so that they can activate it.

PayPal Recurring Payments are in our experience, safe and can be set up by you using just our email address.

Two words of advice!

(1) If paying by Bank Standing Order, you should look at your bank statements from time to time to make sure that the payment is still being made as you wish it to be made. Unfortunately, the bank may not notify you, and will certainly not notify us, if for example, it stops the payment.

Similarly, if you decide to cancel the arrangement with your bank, please do check to make sure they have actually cancelled the payment. Remember, we cannot do this for you - we don't even know who your bank is!

(2) Secondly, every year we seem to end up with a number of payments made by Standing Order, which we are unable to link with any member's account simply because these payments come with insufficient information - or sometimes none at all!

Payments frequently arrive with simply a surname ("Smith"), or a common full name ("John Smith"), or are paid from a business account which has no obvious connection to the name of the subscriber ("ABC Builders"), or (worse of all), theh come bearing no name whatsoever - just a Bank Account number!

Remember, since we do not know your bank account details, we have no way of tracing this back to you, since your bank (even if we knew who they were), would not divulge identification or account information to us anyway.

So if you decide to set up a Standing Order via a bank, ask that it be paid using a an easily identifiable name. "John Smith" for example, might become "John James Smith".

Similarly, if you notice a payment going out of your account to International Songwriters Association which you had told the bank to cancel, or if a payment is going out more or indeed less frequently than you intended it to, or if you wonder if we are in fact getting any payments at all from you, simply check what instructions you gave your bank, and then contact the bank, and also us.

But the best advice of all is to check your bank account statements frequently!

Some of the above comments apply equally to payments made via PayPal, but with a number of very important exceptions.

PayPal always notifies you if it is going to cancel your payment for any reason and PayPal will also email you each and every time it makes a payment.

PayPal also automatically issues unique numerical identifiers so that we can easily match payment to subscriber. Banks will also do this, but often only on request from you.

How long does ISA membership last?
Membership of the International Songwriters Association lasts until you fail to send payment if you are paying by Cheque, or until payment is cancelled if you are paying by Bank Standing Order or Credit Card or PayPal.

How do I renew my ISA membership when it comes due?
This depends on how you took out your membership but we think we have made it as simple as possible.

If you enrolled by Cheque, we accept payments half-yearly or yearly (depending on which period you have chosen), and accordingly your membership renewal comes due either half-yearly or yearly. We do not issue reminders to renew.

If you enrolled by Bank Standing Order, we accept payments monthly, quarterly, half-yearly or yearly, and, depending on what order you signed with your bank, a Standing Order usually renews automatically until you instruct your Bank to cancel it.

If you enrolled by PayPal, the payment is usually monthly, half-yearly or yearly, and again usually renews automatically until you tell your Credit Card provider or PayPal to cancel.

How do I cancel my ISA membership?
We have also made this as simple as possible.

Obviously, if you paid by Cheque - just don't send us another one!

If you enrolled using a Bank Standing Order, simply notify your bank to stop payment. This can always be done by sending them a letter. In fact, most Bank Standing Order forms contain the phrase instructing the bank to maintain the payment "until cancelled by me in writing".

In most cases, cancellation can also be effected online, while some banks may even accept a cancellation by phone, although if they do, they will often require that it be followed up by a written or emailed instruction.

Please remember, the ISA cannot initiate, change, or cancel your Bank Standing Order. Only you can do this.

One piece of advice. When you cancel with your bank, get confirmation in writing from them that they have actually cancelled the payment! If they continue to pay, we will not know you have cancelled, and so your membership will remain active as far as we are concerned.

Finally, if you enrolled using PayPal, simply cancel the Recurring Subscription Arrangement you made with PayPal. Again there is no need to notify us. Cancelling your payment automatically cancels your membership.

Unlike banks, PayPal automatically sends you a notification acknowleding termination, and also sends us a copy of the membership cancellation.

So, as you can see, from the moment you join the ISA, you are in total control of your own membership and subscription arrangements and your banking privacy is always secure.

The PayPal cancellation system looks complicated. Can you advise?
Actually, it is not really complicated at all, and PayPal provides very clear instructions.

However, if you are in any way unsure how to cancel, please contact us, and we will go through it with you - it is actually quite simple.

I intended to cancel my recurring subscription, but seemingly I left it late, and while I was cancelling, the next payment went through. Have I now lost that payment?
Of course not. Just let us know as soon as you can, and the payment for the period in question will be instantly returned.

PayPal will cancel instantly, but Banks may or may not, because different banks have different policies. Some require 48 hours notice in writing, others will cancel immediately upon receipt of an email. Some may even cancel on receipt of a phone-call.

The important thing is to double-check that it has actually been cancelled!

As regards that extra payment, we will instantly repay the amount via PayPal, denominated in whatever currency you originally paid.

If you do not have a PayPal account, then we will post you a cheque denominated in Euro, but it your bank several weeks to clear cheques, so it is not quite as "instant" as PayPal!

I was sure I cancelled my subscription payment with the bank several periods ago, but I notice that it is still being paid. What should I do?
If you cancelled the Standing Order with your bank, first check the acknowledgment you got back from them.

Then contact them with this information, and they should reimburse you immediately you notify them.

However, make sure that this time that it has been really cancelled!

I was sure I cancelled my subscription payment several periods ago, but the bank insists that it did not receive my cancellation and are now refusing to reimburse me.
This is unusual, but we have seen it happen, First of all, cancel it again now anyway and get an acknowledgment from the bank that they have actually terminated it this time!

Secondly, even though it probably defies belief that somebody might not look at their bank statements or read their PayPal emails for several months in a row, it does happen, so tell us your story anyway. We will try - within reason of course - to help.

But best advice of all - get a confirmation for any instruction you give your bank, and look at your bank statements from time to time!

I am a paid-up member but have run into difficulties which mean I might have to cancel my membership. Can you help?
If your difficulties are financial or employment related, or are due to health, family or any similar problem, please let us know in total confidence.

We will be only too happy to continue your membership free of charge until things improve for you - no matter how long that may take.

I am a paid-up member but would like to cancel my membership temporarily. Will I be able to rejoin later at the same rates I now enjoy?
Of course, but read the above answer before cancelling. Could it be relevant in your case?

Finally, to sum up the ISA subscription process....
A member starts their ISA Membership by deciding on a payment method and sending us a payment.

A member ends their ISA Membership by terminating their payment.


Anything which International Songwriters Association Ltd supplies, is 100% guaranteed. If you are in any way unhappy with your membership of the ISA, then you will be refunded without question. 

In the case of subscriptions, your entire last subscription period (whether that be monthly, quarterly, half-yearly or annually, depending on how you set up the payment), will be returned in full. 

This has been ISA policy since 1967.

ISA International Songwriters Association (1967) Ltd
PO Box 46 Limerick City Ireland Tel 061-228837 Fax 061-2288379
ISA Website Editorial E-Mail

International Songwriters Association Limited
Registered In Dublin, Ireland Company Number 38917
Registered Address
High Chaperal, Raheen Heights, Limerick City, Ireland
Postal Address
PO Box 46, Limerick City, Ireland

For reasons of copyright, unsolicited material must not be sent to International Songwriters Association Limited. Any unsolicited material received may be destroyed. If you decide to send solicited material, send only copies of that material, and not the originals. International Songwriters Association Limited cannot and willl not accept liability for material sent to it

This site is published by the International Songwriters Association Ltd, and will introduce you to the world of songwriting. It will explain music business terms and help you understand the business concepts that you should be familiar with, thus enabling you to ask more intelligent questions when you meet with your accountant/CPA or solicitor/lawyer. However, although this website includes information about legal issues and legal developments as well as accounting issues and accounting developments, it is not meant to be a replacement for professional advice. Such materials are for informational purposes only and may not reflect the most current legal/accounting developments. Every effort has been made to make this site as complete and as accurate as possible, but no warranty or fitness is implied. The information provided is on an "as is" basis and the author(s) and the publisher shall have neither liability nor responsibility to any person or entity with respect to any loss or damages arising from the information contained on this site. No steps should be taken without seeking competent legal and/or accounting advice

Certain pictures used on this Web site are commercial stock footage images of businesses and office environments generally, rather than specific images of ISA, its personnel, facilities or clients. Other pictures used on this site, include library images supplied by (amongst others) the ISA (International Songwriters Association), Dreamstime Library Inc, BMI (Broadcast Music Inc), ASCAP (American Society Of Songwriters, Authors and Publishers), PRS (Performing Rights Society), PPS (Professional Photographic Services), RTE (Radio Telefis Eireann) TV3, and various Public Relations organisations. Also, some pictures have been supplied by the songwriters, performers, or music business executives interviewed or mentioned throughout this website. All such images are and remain the property of the individual owners unless indicated to the contrary