ASCAP, SACEM, (the Society of Authors, Composers and Publishers of Music) and PRS for Music has partnered to prototype a new shared system of managing copyright information using blockchain technology. The societies are working together to model a new system for managing the links between music recordings International Standard Recording Codes (ISRCs) and International Standard Work Codes (ISWCs). Establishing strong links between the two pieces of data offers a way to improve the processes of international royalty matching, which will in turn speed up licensing and reduce errors and costs.
The goal of the project is to engineer a way for the industry to create and adopt a shared, decentralized database of music works metadata with real-time update and tracking capabilities. Under the initiative, data and technology teams from SACEM, ASCAP and PRS for Music are working with IBM, leveraging the open source blockchain technology from the Linux Foundation, Hyperledger Fabric, to match, aggregate and qualify existing links between ISRCs and ISWCs in order to confirm correct ownership information and conflicts.
Blockchain has become known for its use in payments systems for its ability to manage records without centralized governance – a characteristic that will be harnessed in this project to resolve conflicts between conflicting identifiers for the same work across multiple rights holders.
“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,” said Elizabeth Matthews, ASCAP’s Chief Executive Officer. “Blockchain has become well-known for its use in payments systems because of its ability to capture real-time data and transaction updates that can be shared with multiple parties, and in the process, dramatically improve operations by reducing costs. ASCAP is excited to partner with SACEM and PRS on this project on behalf of our members.”
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