DDEX terms and definitions
Throughout the DDEX standards there are a number of terms that are used extensively. Those terms and their definitions are provided in the table below. This is not intended as an exhaustive list but is a way of familiarising you with most of the key terms used in the DDEX standards.
Acquiring Music Publisher
A music publisher that has acquired Right Shares of Musical Works, typically collated into a Catalogue, from another music publisher (the Relinquishing Music Publisher).
A party administrating rights on behalf of one or more Rights Controllers, or Collecting Publisher.
Formally, the Atom Syndication Format, is an XML language used for web service feeds. The Atom Publishing Protocol is a simple HTTP-based protocol for creating and updating web resources.
An audible and visual persistent manifestation of a subject (often but not necessarily of a performance).
A grouping of one or more DDEX messages to be processed by the recipient together.
A group of records in a message created in accordance with a flat-file standard that communicates data that belongs intrinsically together. All records in a Block carry the same block identifier and all records with the same record identifier belong to the same Block. The identifier of a Block shall be unique within a message. All records of a Block are contiguously provided within a message. In the DSR standard Blocks comprise the description of a “head” release or resource, its constituent resource(s), any releases that were created by the sender of the messager based on the head release (including single-track releases), plus any associated sales and usage records. A Block collates all records within a report that describe all sales and usage of the “head” release and its constituent parts or “head” resource (notwithstanding summary records and information contained in the header record,
A well-defined collection of items such as rights in musical works, Right Shares and/or Releases. Note that the XML tags use the spelling “catalog” instead of catalogue.
An individual data element in a Record. Cells are separated by Delimiters.
Claiming Music Licensing Company
A Music Licensing Company that is receiving a Revenue report from a Paying Music Licensing Company.
Collecting Music Licensing Company
A Music Licensing Company that originally collected Revenue for Sound Recordings, Music Videos and/or other Audio-visual Resources from Licensees.
A Rights Controller who is, at the time of assertion, controlling the right to collect royalties for a specific Rights Type in a specific Territory for a specific Musical Work. Collecting Publishers may ask Administrators to administer some of their rights. Note that a Musical Work may have zero, one or many Collecting Publishers.
A Right Share as calculated for the collection of money for Right Shares. It specifies the ratio (percentage) of a composition that a Rights Holder is contractually entitled to collect from a Licensee, by rights type, territory, and period. In the context of the Letters of the Direction Choreography Standard, Collection Shares are the Right Shares that are being transferred from a Relinquishing Publisher to an Acquiring Publisher.
Collective Management Organisation
A Party (that is usually owned or controlled by its members and/or organised on a not-for-profit basis) that, as its sole or main purpose, administers copyright or related rights on behalf of at least two Rights Controllers, for the collective benefit of those Rights Controllers where it is authorised by law or by way of assignment or Licence. A Collective Management Organisation may also be a Licensor, a Rights Administrator, a Licensing Agent or a Rights Holder. A Collective Management Organisation may or may not be the Message Sender or Message Recipient of a message in a specific information exchange defined by a DDEX Standard.
An entity in a DDEX Message that has the technical cardinality of 0-1 or 0-n, but that is mandatory when a DDEX message is sent in a specific commercial context. In such circumstances, a message is deemed conformant only if and when it contains all the “contractually mandatory” fields as agreed by Message Sender and Message Recipient.
A character that delineates, in a flat file, either one Record from another Record or one Cell from another Cell. Note: there are also Secondary Delimiters used.
Digital Audio Workstation (DAW)
A Digital Audio Workstation (DAW) is an electronic device or computer software application for recording, editing and producing audio files such as songs, musical pieces, human speech or sound effects.
Digital service provider (DSP)
A Digital Service Provider (DSP), a Party making Releases available to Consumers or other DSPs over a public Telecom network. This includes MSPs (Mobile Service Providers) and ISPs (Internet Service Providers).
The proportion of the overall Musical Work that has been assigned to a Collecting Publisher or Administrator. Note that a Writer can have zero, one or many Original Publishers, and hence zero, one or many Distribution Shares.
A unique permutation of the Sound Recording. Elements can contain the original Recording Components ("Multitrack Master"), sub mixes of these components into common themes (Stems), or single mix files created from the combining of recording components (Master Mix, Instrumental Mix). A specific Stock Keeping Unit (SKU) or UPC can be set for each element.
A Resource stored as a single unit, normally in a file system on disk or magnetic tape.
Flat File Report Message
A Report Message consisting of tabular data saved as a delimiter-separated text file in accordance with a DDEX standard, e.g. the Digital Sales Reporting Message Suite Standards (Architecture and Profiles).
A Release, originally communicated by the owner (or its agent) of a Sound Recording or audio-visual recording to a Licensee who then distributed that Release to consumers, whose Usage, Revenue or Sales are described in a Sales Report.
A Resource whose Usage, Revenue or Sales are described in a Sales Report Message. Head Resources are not communicated as part of a Head Release.
A service that acts as a broker for information exchange, typically using DDEX Messages. In the context of the Musical Works Notification, Musical Works Licensing and Letter of Direction Standards defined by DDEX, a Hub acts as an intermediary for information exchange to facilitate sharing of Right Share information. Hubs may also play a role in facilitating licensing processes between (prospective) Licensors and (prospective) Licensees. Hubs may also act as routers and/or provide data caching functionality.
A Party that initiates the creation of a Sound Recording or Resource and is sometimes referred to as a commissioning Rights Holder. An Initial Producer may be a person or an Organisation and the term contrasts with the role of a Studio Producer.
Letter of Direction
A communication from a Rights Controller who has acquired a Catalogue of rights to Licensors of said Musical Works. An Administrator may carry out the communication on behalf of a Rights Controller.
A Party that is granted a Licence in respect of rights in one or more Creations, by a Licensor. The Licensee may be a human being or other legal person or corporate entity. The Licensee may or may not be the Message Sender or Message Recipient of a message in a specific information exchange defined by a DDEX Standard.
A Party that grants a Licence in respect of rights in one or more Creations to one or more Licensees in accordance with the authorities it has been granted to do so by one or more Rights Controller(s), Rights Administrator(s) (where applicable), Licensing Agent(s) (where applicable) or Rights Holder(s). The Licensor may be a human being or other legal person or corporate entity. The Licensor may or may not also be the Rights Controller, the Rights Administrator, the Licensing Agent or the Rights Holder in the Creation(s) that are the subject of the Licence granting the rights. The Licensor may or may not be the Message Sender or Message Recipient of a message in a specific information exchange defined by a DDEX Standard.
A Release, communicated in a Release notification that represents the main purpose for sending the
An XML message signifying the delivery of a Batch.
The proportion of a Musical Work written by a Writer, as agreed between the Writers. Typically represented as a percentage or a fraction. Manuscript Shares may occasionally vary by territory and/or rights type.
A series of message calls and their responses which together communicate a more comprehensive level of meaning between the two business partners.
A Party that receives a Message formatted in accordance with a DDEX Standard from a Message Sender. The Message Recipient may also be one or more of a Licensor, a Licensee, a Rights Controller, a Rights Administrator, a Licensing Agent or a Rights Holder.
A Party that sends a Message formatted in accordance with a DDEX Standard to a Message Recipient. The Message Sender may also be one or more of a Licensor, a Licensee, a Rights Controller, a Rights Administrator, a Licensing Agent or a Rights Holder.
A company that provides, usually on request, information about Works, Resources, Releases or Parties other than the information communicated in a NewReleaseMessage defined in the ERN Standard. Examples include record companies as well as dedicated metadata service companies.
A variant of a Sales/Usage where descriptive metadata and sales/usage figures are provided in Blocks of (usually) comprising multiple Records. Multi-Record-Block Variant is the default variant for sales/usage reports.
Music Licensing Company
A company that is duly authorised to issue licences for the use of Sound Recordings and music videos. Music Licensing Companies may issue licences on behalf of phonogram producers, performers or both. Note: Music Licensing Companies were previously referred to as Producers (and/or Performers) Collection Societies (PCSs).
An audio-visual recording of the performance of a musical work.
A Work intended to be perceivable as a combination of sounds, with or without accompanying text. Any words that are intended to be expressed with a Musical Work (often termed Lyrics) form part of that Musical Work; not all Musical Works have Lyrics. A Musical Work may be expressed and fixed to become part of a Sound Recording or a Video Recording, or may be used to create notated music (sheet music, scores, instrumental parts) or sound generation codes (such as MIDI files). In some cases, the Musical Work comes into existence simultaneously with its expression. This is common in extemporised forms such as jazz music.
The concept of ensuring that a party cannot repudiate, or refute, the sending or receiving of a message.
A Rights Controller who is assigned rights directly by the Writer (as opposed to by another Publisher). Note that a writer may have zero, one or many Original Publishers.
Original Publisher Share
The proportion of the overall Musical Work that a writer has assigned to an Original Publisher. Note that each Writer can have zero, one or many Original Publishers, and hence zero, one or many Original Publisher Shares. As opposed to collection shares, an Original Publisher Share does not define a share for the collection of money.
A natural person or other animate being, or a legal person, an organisation or a machine capable of playing a role as an Agent. A Party may be real or imaginary (fictitious).
Paying Music Licensing Company
A Music Licensing Company that has collected Revenue for Sound Recordings, Music Videos and/or other Audio-visual Resources, and that reports such Revenue.
The process of a Licensor replying with a Claim Detail Message (or equivalent) to a Sales Report Message (or equivalent) from a Licensee with financial details. This is also referred to as "post-claim reporting".
The process of a Licensor replying with a Claim Detail Message (or equivalent) to a Sales Report Message (or equivalent) from a Licensee without any financial details (usually in the form of a Sales Report Message in accordance with the Masterlist Profile). This is also referred to as "pre-claim reporting".
A Resource that is a main Resource of a Release. A change in a Primary Resource typically requires a new Release Identifier, whereas change in a Secondary Resource does not. All Resources that are referenced in a
A Manifestation of a Release (or another Resource) which is made available to Consumers, by sale, loan or other means. The attributes of a Release in its digital manifestation as a Product may be technical (e.g., the codec or bit rate); a mode of distribution (e.g., downloading or streaming); or a commercial term (e.g., price).
A subset of a DDEX standard. Profiles define how to use the capabilities of a DDEX standard in a specific commercial context.
A Project combines together many Sound Recordings, Recording Components, Sessions, Musical Works and Data Carriers. A project might be a 12 song album, or it might simply be a remix. A project could be a compilation of older recordings from different projects. And a project could also be a "Various Artists" type of compilation.
The combining of individual files into a common groupings within a multitrack recording. Examples include “Snare Drum”, “Lead Vocal Comp”, “Lead Guitar” or “Percussion”
A Release is an abstract entity representing a bundle of one or more Resources compiled by an Issuer. The Resources in Releases are normally primarily Sound Recordings or music audio-visual recordings, but this is not invariably the case. The Release is not itself the item of trade (or “Product”). Products have more extensive attributes than Releases; one Release may be disseminated in many different Products.
Release Creator is an organisation which is the owner of copyrights in sound and/or music audio-visual recordings and/or exclusive Licensees of copyrights in sound and/or music audio-visual recordings.
Release Distributor is an organisation, which is duly authorised by a Release Creator to offer Releases manifested in the form of Products to consumers. Release Distributors include Digital Service Providers (DSPs) and Mobile Service Providers (MSPs) as well as other organisations.
A set of Releases that are closely related. A typical example of a Release Family is an album communicated as a Main Release plus all the Track Releases whose Resources together form the Album.
Relinquishing Music Publisher
The label (i.e. the brand under which a Release and/or Resource is issued and marketed) in whose catalogue the transferred Catalogue appeared before the Catalogue Transfer.
A digital fixation of an expression of an abstract Work (such as a Sound Recording, a video, an image, software or a passage of text). Resources are individual assets that make up a Release. Typical Resources are Sound Recordings, video clips and cover art images.
The amount of money generated in accordance with the commercial relationship between Licensee and Licensor for the distribution of Releases to consumers.
A percentage or fraction of a right for a Musical Work for a particular time and place in which a party claims a controlling interest. Note: controlling interest includes ownership and/or administration.
A Party that owns and/or controls and/or administers rights in one or more Creations in respect of some or all rights for specific territories, time periods, Rights Types, Usage Types and Commercial Model Types (which may be anything up to and including all rights for the world, in perpetuity, for all types of Usages and for all types of Commercial Models). Creations include Musical Works, Sound Recordings and other Resources as well as Releases.
The Rights Controller may be a human being or other legal person or corporate entity.
The Rights Controller may also be a Rights Holder, an Original Owner, a Rights Administrator or a Licensor.
The type of right covered by a Right Share as defined by relevant law. Rights Types vary between territories. Typical rights types include mechanical rights, performing rights and synchronisation rights.
A device or computer software application that ingests, creates or processes RIN Files.
Distribution of a product to end consumers. For the avoidance of doubt, the term “sales” includes all forms of distribution of products, whether revenue was generated, or not and, where revenue is generated, regardless of the business model used to do so.
The combination of one territory, one currency, one use types, one commercial model types, one subscriber type and one service description for which a sales/usage report is being created. It is permissible, subject to both parties agreeing, to communicate multiple Sales Contexts in one sales/usage report.
Delimiter used to separate data elements within a single Cell.
A Resource that is not a main Resource of a Release. It supports the Primary Resources (examples are lyrics, cover art etc). A change in a Primary Resource typically requires a new Release Identifier, whereas change in a Secondary Resource does not. All Resources that are referenced in a
The location where musical works are recorded. During the creation of a Sound Recording, sessions may take place in many locations, including the recording studio as well as live venues, remote locations and the like.
Single Record Block Variant
A variant of a Sales/Usage report where all descriptive metadata as well as sales/usage figures for each sales "line" into a single Record. Each Single-Record-Block Variant has been derived from a Multi-Record Block Variant by collapsing Blocks into single Records. The base Multi-Record Block Variant does not have to be published as a DDEX standard.
An audible persistent manifestation of a subject (often but not necessarily of a performance).
The term “studio” denotes any facility for sound recording, mixing and mastering. The term specifically includes large studios (such as the ones in Abbey Road in London) as well as digital audio workstations (DAW) installed on a personal computer and used in a musician’s home and portable units used for recording live events.
A Party who directs, and has overall creative and technical oversight of, the entire recording project and the individual recording sessions that are a part of the project. The Producer participates in and/or supervises the recording session and works directly with the Artist, Musicians and Engineers. The Studio Producer makes creative, technical and aesthetic decisions that realize the goals of both the Artist and the Sound Recording Copyright Holder in the creation of musical content. The Studio Producer may perform direct Performances, choose final takes or versions, and oversees the selection of songs, Musicians, singers, Arrangers, studios, etc. The Studio Producer in collaboration with the artist, assigns credits to Performers and technical personnel, and is responsible for supplying accurate crediting information to the record label or media company as official documentation. Other duties of the Studio Producer may include, but are not limited to, overseeing other staffing needs, keeping budgets and schedules, adhering to deadlines, supervising mastering and overall quality control. Note: A Studio Producer is a person and thus may contrast with the role of an Initial Producer.
A Release that is being created from one or more of the primary Resources of a Head Release, typically by the Message Sender. These Sub-Releases are being created by the Message Sender who is making Releases, and tracks from such Releases, available to consumers. These “unbundled tracks”, that is, all the tracks from a Release each made available separately, are the simplest form of Sub-Releases.
A Release, communicated in a Release notification that does not represent the main purpose for sending the
The identification of the Releases and Resources that actually get exploited by Licensees exercising a range of business and delivery models for the distribution of Releases to consumers, including the amount of use of each Release or Resource.
A modern set of web technologies that allow small pieces of information, typically in the form of XML files, to be exchanged. Augmented with FTP (or other file exchange mechanisms) they can be used to communicate Releases along the music supply chain.
Web Service Call
The sending of an XML document to a port/address on a web server, using HTTP or HTTPS.
Web Service Response
The sending of an XML document in direct response to a Web Service Call, using HTTP or HTTPS. For the avoidance of doubt: the appropriate response is always the message indicated in the appropriate Choreography.
The link between a Sound Recording or video Resource and one or more Musical Work(s) in which a party asserts that the Sound Recording makes use of the Musical Work or Works.
A creative creator of the musical or lyrical elements of a Musical Work. Writers include Adapters, Arrangers, Authors, Composers. ComposerLyricists, Librettists, Lyricists, NonLyricAuthors and Translators.
See Manuscript Share