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Global Repertoire Database Working Group launches 

27 September 2011

The Global Repertoire Database Working Group, has now launched its Stakeholder Engagement and Scoping Study.

The Study will involve a 20-week industry-wide consultation to determine the technical, data, business process and organisational design aspects of the Global Repertoire Database, as well as the approach to governance and funding. There will be a core group of around 20 representative organisations from around the world including publishers, songwriter associations, collecting societies and digital retailers, with yet further consultation with a wider group of stakeholders. A programme of open webinars will set out the plan for the design phase of the GRD. The dates and further details of the webinars will be available via the GRD website shortly (see http://www.globalrepertoiredatabase.com/.

The GRD project was initiated following a request from the European Commission in 2009 to investigate how a GRD for musical works might be created and deployed. An industry-wide Working Group was formed which published a set of recommendations in December 2010 appointing ICE (the International Copyright Enterprise) as the technology solution provider and Deloitte as project manager to support the delivery of the GRD.

Neil Gaffney, Executive Vice President, EMI Music Publishing commented: “It is a real achievement for this group of representative stakeholders in the GRD to be able to work together in the development of a clear set of common requirements and to so readily agree a way forward. Our consensual approach will be taken forward into the Study, which envisages the involvement of a much broader stakeholder community. Only through such an approach will we be able to arrive at the right collective view on the key issues of governance and funding whereby this important tool for the successful management of music rights can be created for the benefit of the whole industry.”

The scope of the GRD is to provide, for the first time, a single, comprehensive and authoritative representation of the global ownership and control of musical works. Once deployed the GRD would save extensive costs currently lost to duplication in data processing. These back-office savings might ultimately be re-invested in frontline services to increase the licensed usage of music, benefiting creators and rights-holders. The GRD would also reduce data management, working capital costs and aims to lower the administrative barriers to businesses seeking to distribute content online and ensure that creators of music are quickly and efficiently compensated for their work.

Chris Gardner, Managing Director of ICE said: “the ICE Copyright system was conceived in 2006 as a database that would hold multi-territorial ownership information about musical works. Therefore, in terms of functionality, ICE’s systems already provide most of what the GRD requires”.

Neil Allcock, the Deloitte partner leading the project, said: “One of the primary challenges of managing the input of a set of records into a database by a wide range of disparate organisations is ensuring accuracy. The GRD will be designed in such a way that it becomes a “common reliable source” of data.”

The Global Repertoire Database Working Group is a cross-sector initiative whose members include EMI Music Publishing, Universal Music Publishing, iTunes, PRS for Music, STIM and SACEM. Since the publication of the recommendations ECSA (the European Composer and Songwriter Alliance), ICMP (the International Confederation of Music Publishers), CISAC (the International Confederation of Societies of Composers and Authors), Google and Omnifone have joined the Working Group to continue the principle of a wide stakeholder involvement in the project.

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