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This section of the DDEX Knowledge Base contains version 1.0 of the "Choreography for the Transfer of Catalogues between Rights Holders of Sound Recordings and other such Rights Holders "

1 Introduction

DDEX has standardised a series of Message Suite Standards that define the syntax and semantics of business metadata exchanged by members of the digital media delivery chain. Amongst these are notifications of new products, including updates, to Digital Service Providers. That standard, the Electronic Release Notification Standard (ERN), can also be used when a catalogue of Releases is transferred from one record company to another record company.This standard defines the process and Choreography for the notification of the intent of a catalogue transfer (typically from the “selling” record company to its distribution partners, or DSPs), the notification of a completed catalogue transfer (typically from the “selling” record company to its DSPs) and the provision of label copy information to the “buying” record company by the “selling” record company.The process defined herein may also be used to inform third parties such as Music Licensing Companies or chart companies about a catalogue transfer.

Any organisation wishing to implement this (or any other DDEX Standard) is required to apply for an Implementation Licence. The terms of the licence and an application form can be found at

Downloads & Older Versions

Download/Print standard (PDF)

XML Schema Definition Files (ZIP)

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Older versions of this standard can be accessed here.


2 Scope

 1.2 Scope

This standard provides a standardised means for owners of a catalogue of Resources and Releases, who are exclusive rights holders or licensees for that catalogue, to inform their Release Distributor partners (DSPs) of an impending transfer of that catalogue to another exclusive rights owner or licensee. The DSP is therewith informed to takedown the affected Releases at the specified point in time (unless they receive information from the new owner or licensee of the catalogue that they can continue to sell the Releases – this process is also defined herein).

Finally, the standard defines a uniform method for the transferring catalogue owner or licensee to provide the receiving company with detailed information about the Releases and Resources that make up the catalogue. The term “exclusive” here refers to those sound recording/Resource rights for a specific territory or set of territories.

This specification allows the transmission of information to be secured and caters for non-repudiation requirements to be met. While the location and owner of the FTP/SFTP server used for such transmission is not defined herein (this is left to be agreed by Release Creator and Release Distributor), the structure of the FTP/SFTP severs and names for files are defined by this standard. At this stage, this standard does not address issues arising from data mismatches detected during the information exchange.


 2.2 Organisation of the Document


This DDEX Standard has seven clauses and two annexes. Clauses 1 and 2 provide a general introduction and the scope of this Standard. Clauses 3 to 5 give a set of normative references as well as terms, definitions and abbreviations that are used in this Standard. Clause 6 then explains the general approach taken by DDEX to message standardisation.

Clause 7 then defines the choreography before Clause 8 provides the messages used in Clause 7.

Annex A provides a list of all allowed value sets, including their allowed values and respective definitions as used in this Standard. Finally, Annex B provides the relevant XML Schema files


3 Normative References

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The following normative documents contain provisions, which through reference in this text constitute provisions of this Standard. For dated references, subsequent amendments to, or revisions of, any of these publications do not apply. For undated references, the latest version applies.
  • DDEX: DDEX Data Dictionary Standard. Latest Version
  • DDEX: DDEX Party Identifier (DPID) Standard. Latest Version
  • DDEX: DDEX Digital Signature Standard. Latest Version
  • DDEX: DDEX Automated Message Exchange Protocol
  • DDEX: DDEX Electronic Release Notification Message Suite Standard.  Latest Version
  • W3C: XML Schema Part 1: Structures. Second Edition. 2004
  • W3C: XML Schema Part 2: Data types. Second Edition. 2004

4 Terms and Definitions

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A grouping of one or more DDEX Messages to be processed by the recipient together.


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.

Contractually Mandatory

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.

Contractually Mandatory fields may, however, be 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.

Exclusive Rights Owner or Licensee

A company that is either the exclusive owner of all rights for a specific territory of all Resources within a Release or the sole licensee from an exclusive Rights Owner for sound recording/Resource rights for a The term “exclusive” here refers to those sound recording/Resource rights for a specific territory or set of territories.


A company that plays both roles of Release Creator (e.g. in communications to downstream Release Distributors) and Release Distributor (e.g. in communications upstream Release Creators).

Message Choreography

A series of message calls and their responses which together communicate a more comprehensive level of meaning between the two business partners.


The concept of ensuring that a party cannot repudiate, or refute, the sending or receiving of a message.


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

Release Creator is an organisation which is the owner of copyrights in sound and/or music audiovisual recordings and/or exclusive licensees of copyrights in sound and/or music audiovisual recordings.

Release Distributor

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.

Release Family

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.


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.

Ticket ID

A unique identifier that links several Web Service Calls/Responses together.

Web Service Call

The sending of an XML document to a port/address on a web server, using HTTP or HTTPS.

5 Abbreviations

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AMEPAutomated Message Exchange Protocol
ACAAppointed Certification Agency
AVSAllowed Value Set
BPBusiness Profile

Confédération internationale des sociétés d'auteurs et compositeurs, the International Confederation of Societies of Authors and Composers (see

CACertification Agency
CTConformance Tester
DAWDigital Audio Workstation

Digital Data Exchange

DSIGDigital Signature
DSPDigital Service Provider (incudes Mobile Service Providers)
DSRDigital Sales Reporting
ERNElectronic Release Notification
FTPFile Transfer Protocol (FTP specifically includes SFTP)
GRidGlobal Release Identifier
HTTPHypertext Transport Protocol  (HTTP specifically includes HTTPS)
HTTPSSecure Hypertext Transport Protocol
IECInternational Electrotechnical Commission (see
ISOInternational Organisation for Standardisation (see
MIMEMultipurpose Internet Mail Extensions
MWLMusical Works Licensing
MWNMusical Works Notification

Multi-Record-Block Variant

PCAPrivate Certification Agency
PDFPortable Document Format
RESTREpresentational State Transfer
RINRecording Information Notification

Single-Record-Block Variant

TISTerritory Information System (a CISAC Standard)
TLSTransport Layer Security
UGCUser-generated content
URLUniform Resource Locator
XMLeXtensible Markup Language
XSDXML Schema Definition
W3CWorld Wide Web Consortium (see
WSWeb Service

6 Message Design Approach (informative)

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All messages developed within DDEX are based upon a common set of elements and their definitions. These are contained in the DDEX Data Dictionary.

The data elements that are common across multiple message suites will be defined within a Baseline Schema. Individual message suites (such as the one defined by this Standard) are constructed using a combination of “local” elements (which are specific only to the message set) and common elements taken from the Baseline Schema.

Elements taken from the “Baseline Schema” have either a ddex or ddexC namespace prefix (for elements defined by DDEX) or a namespace starting with iso (for elements defined by the International Organisation for Standardisation ISO), whereas elements defined for a particular Standard have namespace prefixes specific to the particular Standard. The elements necessary for the purpose of the Catalogue Transfer Choreography Standard (as defined in this document) have the ccho namespace prefix.

The full namespace for the XML Schema document for this Standard is

The full namespaces for the relevant baseline schema files are constructed to the following schema:<date>/<schema>. The applicable baseline schema files for this Standard are indicated in Annex B.

In addition to including the baseline schemas, the schema file defined by this standard includes the schema files of other DDEX standards: DDEX-AMEP and DDEX-ERNM.

W3C’s XML Schema Standard has been used to define the structure of the messages and some of the business rules. However, XML Schema alone cannot easily provide a means for complex and conditional validation but XML tools such as eXtensible Stylesheet Language Transformation (XSLT) and XPath could provide a means of developing standard validation modules for each message set.

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