The principle of global copyright management on behalf of music creators has been with us for over 150 years. Beginning in 1850 with SACEM in France, there are now 225 collection societies in 118 countries. The global music market, whilst dominated by Anglo-American repertoire requires bilateral, reciprocal agreements between ALL societies and an extremely complex set of rules and regulations in order to manage revenues from so many territories, each driven by local tariffs and legal frameworks.
The digital revolution has brought us an infinite choice of content, a massive choice of platforms and the ability for creators and music businesses to function without borders.
The public has seized the opportunity to access their music cheaply online thus rendering our hard-won, 150-year-old international copyright framework, with all its complexity, irrelevant in the online environment ……
The design of the collection society network has evolved in the physical world and has been woefully unable to keep pace with advancing technology or to help their members make a decent living in the online world.
Many things have been tried and the laws of copyright management in the UK and Europe have been tweaked to allow creators more choice in respect of the management of their online rights, multi-territory licensing, multi-society membership etc etc…… but still they are all operating in the same old framework.
These changes are all welcome but do not address some fundamental problems. For example the “back catalogue”!
Throughout the collection network there are probably 50 million or so titles with only 30% whose ownership is correctly defined and even fewer with correct metadata attached.
Revenues for these are often collected but the lack of good data renders accurate distribution impossible.
This produces an enormous loss of potential income to creators.
To make matters worse there are hundreds of different systems from large databases to small systems based on Excel spreadsheets operating in isolation and unable to “talk” to each other.
Internet Music has developed a set of services which go a long way to solving these problems…. Connecting all those silos of metadata and providing the means to begin sorting out the estimated $7 billion of “lost” revenues.
In short, we provide a bridge between the music industry as it is today to that of tomorrow.
Our mission is simply to provide a secure environment in which we can deliver more money, faster - for copyright owners.
Internet Music blockchains enables access to musical metadata across multiple providers: - smart contracts on Internet Music blockchains aggregate data pointers (references to metadata records that are stored elsewhere) into “publisher-label-retailer relationships.”
These contract data structures are stored on the blockchain and enable associated references to disparate music metadata with ownership and viewership permissions and record retrieval location.
This provides an immutable data-lifecycle log, enabling later auditing. We include a cryptographic hash of the record in the smart contract to establish a baseline of the original content and thus provide a check against content tampering. At the same time it is possible to store the physical music file on Internet Music Content Delivery and DRM (Digital Right Management) network.
If it doesn’t exist on Internet Music Network and in the log, it’s pirated and not licensed.
The raw music metadata record content is never stored on the blockchain, but rather kept securely in providers’ existing data storage infrastructure.
Internet Music blockchains facilitates reviewing, sharing and posting of new records via a flexible user interface, designed to reflect best-practices from the existing services.
Internet Music blockchains abstract away the blockchain technology to focus on usability for the metadata record. The interface includes a notifications system to alert users when a new record has been posted (music is streamed or downloaded).
From data rigidity to data sharing
Interoperability challenges between different provider systems pose significant barriers to effective data sharing. Music providers (copyright holders) face hurdles in authorizing data exchange (with other copyright holders or users/retailers) due to the lack of a common interface or standard system that orchestrates record access across multiple databases.
Internet Music blockchains provides streamlined data sharing functionality by updating viewership permissions on the relevant data pointers. With pointers to data aggregated in smart contracts on the blockchain, we can offer a single, common interface where copyright holders choose when, and with whom, - they share their data.
From obscurity to clarity
Whilst most valuable to the copyright holders/owners and retailers/providers, Internet Music blockchains also prove useful for many other areas like music charts etc.
With Internet Music blockchains, we can incentivize 3rd party stakeholders to participate in the blockchain network as “validators”. These validators can now obtain greater clarity in their use of metadata by earning census level, anonymized metadata in return for contributing the computational resources that sustain the network. I.e. Billboard can use it for their top 10.
So …… Internet Music blockchains enables the emergence of data economics between data consumer and data producer, as the system supplies big data to empower providers in the choice of how much metadata to release.