Producers, authors, composers and publishers to cooperate over online music identifiers
January 20, 2001 - The international trade bodies representing music publishers, authors, composers and the recording industry have agreed to develop jointly a global identification scheme for digital music content. The main aim of the project is to enable efficient management of the delivery of music online.
The four major players of the music industry, RIAA, IFPI, CISAC and BIEM, are now working together on the project assigned to consultants Rightscom to develop a system for identifying transactions involving sound recordings and multimedia packages including music.
In a fast-changing digital world where music can be 'packaged' in a range of different formats a unique identifier will be crucial in enabling the delivery of music content to consumers, and the management of the associated rights. The identifier will aim to support the sales, licensing and tracking needs crucial to the successful operation of online commerce.
The project will be integrated as far as possible with already existing identification systems, such as the International Standard Recording Code (ISRC), the Information System Work Code (ISWC), as well as systems currently in place that identify composers, authors and music publishers.
A current problem for example, is that even if a recording has an identifier such as an ISRC or a proprietary number allocated by the record company, it is still very difficult to verify if the use of the musical composition is licensed, by whom and for what kind of use. The new identifier should solve those problems.
Based on the achievements of the Common Information System (CIS) plan, which identifies all the parameters concerning the work of authors societies, BIEM and CISAC will quickly provide the results of a thorough requirements analysis, comparable to that already done by the recording industry. The technical requirements of industry partners such as musicians, retailers and e-tailers will also be assessed as part of this process. The project is expected to conclude in August 2001.
Management of the project, including financing and technical expertise, and sharing of the results will be done on an equal basis between the recording industry on the one hand and authors and publishers on the other.
Cees Vervoord, President of BIEM, stated: "This project is of crucial importance for the future licensing of music by means of computer networks. This alliance shows the common interests between the owners of sound recordings and the owners of musical works to ensure a smooth flow of licensing processes."
Eric Baptiste, Secretary General of CISAC, commented: "The identifier project is complementary to CISAC's CIS plan based on the standardisation of information exchange between collective management societies. We are happy that with this project, for the first time, all areas in the music industry are working together to develop the online use of music in a legal and user-friendly environment."
Cary Sherman, Executive Vice President and General Counsel of RIAA said: "Record companies are getting massive amounts of music online and need technical standards to govern the way in which it is identified. For these standards to be developed jointly with authors and publishers is a great step forward."
Paul Jessop, Chief Technology Officer, IFPI said, "The objective of the project is to design systems of identification that allow rightsholders to assign identifiers to the creative content which they license, sell and deal in. It is very exciting that we are collaborating to design identifiers that work for all groups"
Contacts at Midem
BIEM: Cees Vervoord and Ronald Mooj: +33 (0)6 07 41 97 93 (mobile) email: firstname.lastname@example.org
BIEM (www.biem.org) Bureau International des Sociétés Gérant les Droits d'enregistrement et de Reproduction Mécanique is an international organisation represents societies that administer or have the capacity to administer mechanical reproduction rights. BIEM has currently 41 societies, across 38 countries.
CISAC (www.cisac.org) The International Confederation of Societies of Authors and Composers represents more than 2 million authors and composers worldwide through its 195 member societies in 100 countries. CISAC works towards increased recognition and protection for creator's rights and manages the technical standards and tools used by its members.
RIAA (www.riaa.com) The Recording Industry Association of America is a trade association whose members create, manufacture and/or distribute approximately 90 percent of all legitimate sound recordings produced and sold in the USA.
IFPI (www.ifpi.org) represents the international recording industry with members comprising more than 1400 record producers and distributors in 76 countries. IFPI has affiliated national groups in 46 countries. IFPI Secretariat is based in London with regional offices in Brussels, Hong Kong, Miami and Moscow.
Rightscom (www.rightscom.com) is a consultancy specialising in the operational, technical and
commercial processes required for the successful trade in intellectual property in the networked environment, including rights licensing,
identification and information standards, digital rights management and research services.