London
07 April 2017
Reporter: Barney Dixon

Copyright royalties off the blockchain


Three large royalty collection societies have partnered to launch a shared copyright management system using blockchain technology.

The new system, which has the backing of PRS for Music, the American Society for Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) and the Society of Authors, Composers and Publishers of Music (SACEM), will manage the links between international standard recording and music work codes.

It will establish links between the two pieces of data and offer improvements to royalty matching, which will speed up licensing and reduce errors.

The collection societies are working with IBM to create the system, which uses open source blockchain technology from Hyperledger Fabric.

The prototype system aims to create a shared decentralised database of musical work metadata with real-time update and tracking capabilities.

Jean-Noël Tronc, CEO of SACEM, said: “We are very excited about this joint initiative.”

“SACEM’s vision is to ensure a diverse and sustainable future for music, where creators are rewarded efficiently for their work. We have a long history of constant innovation and this partnership represents the next stage in that story.”

Robert Ashcroft, chief executive of PRS for Music, added: “Establishing authoritative copyright data has long been a goal of PRS for Music and is one of the biggest challenges the industry faces.”

Elizabeth Matthews, CEO of ASCAP, said: “ASCAP is always looking for opportunities to exploit new technology platforms to specifically address the needs of our members and the music industry, which has been calling for greater transparency and accuracy.”

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