Deloitte Builds Database Easing Online Music Services

Lucas Gilmore, “Big 4″ observer
January 24, 2011 /

Global consultancy firm Deloitte has started initial moves to introduce the global repertoire database within two years, a song rights system that shows which music services provider or songwriter clearly owns which rights, which otherwise would make it hard to determine where to direct the royalties.

Deloitte will be working with key players in the recording industry like EMI Music Publishing, from which Deloitte received inputs in coming up with the idea, and online music stores iTunes and Amazon which are supportive of the plan.

The database, which comes in response to the call of the European Commission, is said to lead to the creation of an international body that will collect the royalties from each country the licensed songs are being played.

Global repertoire database will allow the payment for the online music to go to the rights owner once his or her work is played in the internet or in other platforms like mobile devices and live streaming services.

Executive vice president at EMI Music Publishing UK, Neil Gaffney said global repertoire database will ease the burden currently facing the budding online music services providers by making the process of obtaining license for a piece of song and its artist easier than the current system.

In 2010, Prime Minister David Cameron said his government would take a closer look at Britain’s existing intellectual rights laws that are sending online music publishers to trouble when it comes to licensing their artists and songs.

Currently, Britain’s intellectual rights laws require music publishers to obtain licenses for their music on almost all platforms, from all sorts of mobile devices to websites, even on pay-TVs. This process complicates the publishers’ plans to launch their music services online as they are bound to enter into licensing agreements with all these platforms owning recording and music publishing rights each time they make new offerings.

Gaffney said one hurdle that challenges these new online music services providers “is people say they didn’t know who to pay.” Oftentimes, several writers on a similar song are signed to different music publishers, resulting in a single licensing agreement that would not be enough. He went on to say that those who are pirating music could be the center of the government’s attention then.

The music services industry’s report suggested that it is losing approximately $135 million annually from administration fees, which it said could be returned to the songwriters and to the publishers once global repertoire database comes to its inception.


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