Vick Bain, chief executive of the British Academy of Songwriters, Composers and Authors (BASCA), has called bad data the ‘scourge of the music industry.’
Welcoming the recent announcement from PRS for Music, French collecting society SACEM and US collecting society ASCAP about a joint project to improve music data quality, she said: ‘Bad data is the scourge of the music industry and this solution to a long intractable problem appears both elegant and robust.’
The collecting societies said last week they have teamed up to prototype a new shared system of managing music copyright information using blockchain technology.
The new system will manage the links between music recordings’ International Standard Recording Codes (ISRCs) and musical works’ International Standard Work Codes (ISWCs).
Bain added: ‘The ability to be credited for the music you have written is something creators have long-campaigned for, it is in fact a “moral right”.
‘I am therefore delighted to see that PRS for Music has spearheaded a solution that will facilitate this online. The importance of enabling ISWCs to be transparently linked to ISRCs cannot be underestimated. It will allow more accurate identification in turn allowing greater accuracy and more money in the pockets of hundreds of thousands of songwriters and composers.’
Under the initiative, data and technology teams from SACEM, ASCAP and PRS for Music are working with IBM, leveraging open source blockchain technology to match, aggregate and qualify existing links between ISRCs and ISWCs. This will allow the organisations to confirm correct ownership information and conflicts.
It is hoped the project will improve royalty matching processes, which will in turn speed up licensing, reduce errors and reduce costs.