This article provides companies that are planning to implement the Recording Data and Rights (RDR) standards or those who are currently in the process of implementing them the possibility to contact companies that have already gone through this process and are actively using the standards to date.
Recording Data and Rights Stakeholders
The companies that are currently members of DDEX, actively participating in the RDR working group and implementing the standards are typically record companies and music licensing companies.
The record companies are the repertoire owners or administrators of sound recordings and/or music videos. The record companies are represented by the music licensing companies in respect of those sound recordings and/or music videos and are responsible for collecting and distributing royalties for what are often called “neighbouring” rights.
In addition to the record companies, the music licensing companies represent all types of performers and contributors that are involved in the creation of the sound recordings and/or music videos. The music licensing companies are organised into an international network and need to communicate information amongst themselves and with record companies and/or performer representatives.
The information that needs to be exchanged is metadata which describes the sound recordings and music videos and the contributors to them, who may be entitled to royalties, as well as metadata about the usage of the sound recordings and music videos which generate the neighbouring rights royalties.
All major players in this space are members of DDEX and their participation in the RDR WG is driving the standards forward.
|Music licensing company members of DDEX|
Record companies and distributor members of DDEX
During a series of RDR Webinars to promote the implementation of the standards, companies that are actively using them in production gave presentations of their implementation experience to a wide audience of record companies and music licensing companies, many of which are not yet DDEX members.
Key takeaways of those presentations were as follows:
- Record companies that are going to communicate information about the repertoire of sound recordings and music videos they own or administer using MLC 1.4, need to carry out a considerable amount of preparation in cleaning up their data;
- Companies that have implemented one or more of the RDR standards are currently using the Music Licensing Company standard version 1.4. The name of the standard has since changed from Music Licensing Company standard to Recording Data and Rights standards, starting with RDR-N version 1.5. This change was introduced to eliminate any confusion with the US’ Mechanical Licensing Collective, also known as MLC;
- The companies that have implemented the standard messages in MLC 1.4 in a production environment do so through centralised hubs. Such hubs enable more efficient communication between record companies and music licensing companies on a global basis;
- Those centralised hubs, all of which at present use MLC 1.4 for communication of information, are managed by various industry organisations or consortia. At time of writing they are:
(i) Repertoire Data Exchange (RDx) – https://www.rdx-portal.org;
(ii) SoundSys – https://soundsys.org; and
(iii) Virtual Recording Database (VRDB) – https://www.scapr.org/tools-projects;
- All those communication hubs are using the RDR standards and there is a clear relationship between the use of MLC 1.4 and onboarding to one or more of those systems;
- The onboarding to those systems has greatly driven the implementation of MLC 1.4 and continues to drive the development and functionality of the RDR standards;
- Those involved in implementing MLC 1.4 internally are also those actively participating in the regular RDR working group calls as outlined in section 2.
Overview of Hubs
- IFPI and WIN manage the Repertoire Data Exchange (RDx) on behalf of the global recording industry and the network of music licensing companies. RDx was built and is operated by PPL (https://www.ppluk.com).
- In Asia, SoundSys is the hub providing a fully scalable, shared system for the distribution of sound recording neighbouring rights royalties around the world. It was built and is supported by music technology company BMAT.
- The Societies' Council for the Collective Management of Performers' Rights (SCAPR) manages a system called VRDB, which is another centralised system to enable members to more efficiently and accurately identify sound recordings and exchange performer information necessary to properly run distributions locally.
The RDR standards are used by record companies, music licensing companies and the centralised hubs to administer the rights and associated royalties for record companies and performers/contributors.
The RDR standards enable the communication of the relevant data sets on a resource level between all stakeholders, improving the efficiency and accuracy of data exchange, which then results in more cost effective and faster workflow processes and repatriation of royalties.
This symbiotic relationship between messages and exchange delivery systems allows the proliferation of vetted data, access to authoritative registrations of repertoire and more accurate, efficient and timely distribution.
Processes are simplified, synchronised and allow for the improvement of data integrity which also has the ability to improve the process for rights claim conflict communication and resolution.
The streamlined submission of registration, global repertoire storage, processing and analysis, benefit the record companies and the performers/contributors.
The RDR implementation webinars have clearly outlined the business benefits of implementing the MLC 1.4 standard and joining the centralised hubs. They also showed that in order to benefit from a standardised process and from the associated system and data structures, all companies had to revaluate their internal processes and data.
A one-time investment in cleaning and mapping data, retiring legacy systems and standardising the end-to-end process is without a doubt a challenge. All companies that presented at the implementation webinars experienced this challenge and, as a result, thought it useful to share their best practice and transformation involvement. They all volunteered their contact details to offer advice and support to those that would like to also implement the RDR standards.
Contacts of Implementers
For all those who are interested in understanding the RDR standards further with a view to implementing them and/or wish to consider membership of DDEX in order to participate in the regular working group sessions, please to contact the DDEX Secretariat https://ddex.net/contact-us/
For questions with regard to implementing the RDR standards and how to onboard any of the centralised hubs, please contact the experts below:
- PPL – Stuart Fitzsimon, Repertoire Senior Product Manager: firstname.lastname@example.org and Rod Keenan, Data Architect: email@example.com
- RDx – RDx Ltd: firstname.lastname@example.org
- UMG – Luca Taborelli, Senior Director, Business Analyst, Global Rights and Society Relations: Luca.Taborelli@umusic.com
- Beggars – Rob Gruschke, VP Global Collective Rights: email@example.com
- Re:Sound – Mike Butlin, Senior Programme Analyst: firstname.lastname@example.org and Sofiat Ishola, Data Engineer: email@example.com
- Gramex Finland – Katja Pönkkä, IT Specialist, Rightsholders Unit: firstname.lastname@example.org
- AGEDI – Jose Antonio Delgado, Head of Software Development: email@example.com
- BMAT – Jordi Feliu, Head of Engineering: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Consolidated Independent (CI) – Alex Mein Smith, Head of Operations: email@example.com
- TuneRegistry - William Gary, Manager of Operations: William@tuneregistry.com