Thursday, July 27, 2017

ASCAP, BMI Partner For Music Database

Performance rights organizations ASCAP and BMI announced on Wednesday they will work together to build a comprehensive music database that the music industry has been clamoring for.

The database would give an "authoritative view of ownership shares in the vast majority of music licensed in the U.S.," the nation's two largest PROs said in a joint press release.

According to The Tennessean, improving transparency in music licensing has emerged as a top priority for music publishers and songwriters. Publishers and music services say that licensing a song can be complicated, especially establishing all of the copyright owners. A comprehensive database has been discussed as one solution to that problem.

The new database is expected to launch in the latter months in 2018.

The move comes after legislation was filed to build a copyright database for both sound recordings and compositions that would be run by the federal government.

By announcing this collaboration, ASCAP and BMI, usually rivals, want the private sector to take the lead.

“ASCAP and BMI are proactively and voluntarily moving the entire industry a step forward to more accurate, reliable and user-friendly data," ASCAP CEO Elizabeth Matthews said. "We believe in a free market with more industry cooperation and alignment on data issues. Together, ASCAP and BMI have the most expertise in building and managing complex copyright ownership databases."

Copyright, technical and data experts from both performance rights organizations began working together for over one year ago, the groups said. ASCAP and BMI handle licensing for publishers and songwriters.

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