Five Major Copyright Organizations Confirm Global

Posted in News on July 4, 2000

BMI, GEMA, SACEM, SGAE, SIAE To Collaborate on Series of Cutting-Edge Technology Projects

New York, July 5, 2000 - Chief Executive Officers of five leading copyright organizations announced today that they had committed their organizations to the shared use of a set of advanced technology and cutting-edge business process tools. They said the adoption of these additional tools would greatly enhance the exchange of copyright information among them, streamline works registration and royalty distribution across international boundaries, and significantly reduce their operational costs.

The technical alliance, to be known as "Fast Track," establishes a collaboration among copyright societies BMI (USA), GEMA (Germany), SACEM (France), SGAE (Spain) and SIAE (Italy), which together represent approximately 38% of the global collections for musical works, or more than $1.6 billion annually. The executives said the Fast Track alliance would "develop a new standard of excellence in serving members and customers by optimizing business processes within, and among, our organizations and exploring new collaborative business opportunities."

Fast Track is to be based on a decentralized network of equal partners, with respect for the independence, sovereignty and cultural identity of each of the members. The organization's Board of Directors is made up of the societies' chief executives: BMI President and CEO Frances W. Preston, GEMA President and General Manager Prof. Dr. Reinhold Kreile, SACEM President Jean Loup Tournier, SGAE Chief Executive Officer Eduardo Bautista and SIAE Commissioner Mauro Masi.

Fast Track will integrate the tools developed as part of the Common Information System (CIS) project managed by CISAC, the International Confederation of Societies of Authors and Composers. The Fast Track partners will welcome other CISAC societies to the use of the new digital tools, following their operational validation among the five founding societies.

Fast Track will initially focus on three strategic initiatives to be deployed within the next two years. These initiatives will address international documentation and distribution, online services for members and customers, and the development of a globally integrated Electronic Copyright Management System. "We look forward to the first practical benefits of our alliance within the first 6-9 months, in the field of international documentation," said the executives in their statement.

Each of the projects, the partners emphasize, relies on a global network computing model using the Internet to connect existing computing resources among the five societies. Likewise, task forces for the development and implementation of the projects will be drawn from existing staff of the partner societies. During development, project teams will focus on the sharing of best practices to set new standards in day-to-day operations of the partner organizations to streamline work processes, gain speed and improve accuracy in data management.

BMI, the US partner in Fast Track, is an American performing rights organization that represents more than 250,000 songwriters, composers and music publishers in all genres of music. Through its music performance and reciprocal agreements with sister organizations the world over, it grants businesses and media access to its repertoire of more than 4.5 million songs and compositions.

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