Music copyright holders offered Songbird, the first international, publicly-available napster search tool
London, May 9, 2001 - Music copyright holders across the world were today offered the first ever publicly-available internet search tool that can track uses of their work on internet peer-to-peer operations such as Napster.
The software, named Songbird, helps artists, musicians, publishers and record companies pinpoint thousands of their songs on Napster in a matter of minutes, and - if they want to - to take steps to get them removed.
In its present form the software only searches files on Napster, but with further development it could be extended to work with other peer-to-peer services.
Songbird is the brainchild of 20-year-old musician and internet entrepreneur Travis Hill, whose Utah-based technology company Media Enforcer LLC developed the software together with other internet tracking technologies. Travis turned his attention to on-line music technologies after ten years training as a classical pianist. He now also works part-time on music projects, writing and producing pop music.
The tool will be especially useful for artists and independent record companies who are not part of the Napster litigation in the United States, enabling them to identify the existence of unauthorised files on a larger scale then they can now.
The tool, which is being made available on a public website today (www.iapu.org), is endorsed by the international recording industry's trade organisation IFPI and has attracted support from several organisations representing artists and musicians at international level and in the UK.
They include: AURA, BIEM, CISAC, FIM, ICMP-CIEM, MMF, MU, PAMRA and PPL (full titles of organisations are listed below). Supporting quotes from many of these groups are posted on the Songbird website.
The software, once downloaded from its website, can be installed quickly and easily. The user can then type in the name of a song and/or artist to search on and see, in a matter of minutes, details of up to thousands of music files available on the Napster.com network. Songbird searches all of the available Napster servers and, unlike Napster's own software, it is not limited in the number of tracks it can find. Songbird can also find spelling variations (eg Pig Latin) of artists.
Travis Hill, President of Media Enforcer LLC, said: "Everyone from the hobbyist to the professional has the right to choose how their music is distributed. That right is vital to ensuring the creation of new music for all of us to enjoy. Unfortunately, there are some systems that do not ask the owner's permission before allowing their material to be distributed. We wrote this software to protect our own work, and to help others do the same."
Jay Berman, Chairman and CEO of IFPI said: "Songbird gives music copyright holders a completely new insight into how Napster is using their music - and, if they want, to take steps to get it removed. The tool is state-of-the art, totally free of charge and gives thousands of artists and producers, especially those outside the US legal process, the chance to exercise that fundamental right - the right of the copyright holders to choose how their music is distributed.
"Songbird complements the efforts by US right owners to enforce their rights, and it fits with IFPI's global anti-piracy strategy. It is just one of the anti-piracy technologies we are now looking at that will help develop the right conditions for a legitimate on-line music business".
For further information contact Adrian Strain or Fiona Harley, IFPI Tel. 44 207 878 7900