FastTrack Elects SIAE’s Masi As Chairman; Van Houten To Be Managing Director; Paris Selected As Loca

Posted in News on September 25, 2000

SANTIAGO DE CHILE, September 25, 2000 - The FastTrack Board of Directors, meeting in Santiago prior to the opening of the CISAC (International Confederation of Societies of Authors and Composers) 2000 World Congress, elected SIAE (Italy) Special Commissioner Professor Mauro Masi as its first Chairman, and approved today the creation of a headquarters office in Paris, to be headed by experienced music copyright executive Chris van Houten. The Board also approved the organizations' statutes, budget and development timetable, and set January 1, 2001 as the date on which the new entity would formally be established.

FastTrack Board of Directors: SACEM President Jean Loup Tournier; SGAE Chief Executive Officer Eduardo Bautista; BMI President and CEO Frances W. Preston, FastTrack Vice Chairman; SIAE Commissioner Professor Mauro Masi, FastTrack Chairman; FastTrack Managing Director Chris van Houten; GEMA President and General Manager Prof. Dr. Reinhold Kreile

The Board also elected BMI (US) President & CEO Frances W. Preston as Vice Chairman. Board members are the chief executives of the five founding societies. In addition to Masi and Preston they are: GEMA (Germany) President and General Manager Prof. Dr. Reinhold Kreile, SACEM (France) President Jean Loup Tournier, and SGAE (Spain) Chief Executive Officer Eduardo Bautista.

The FastTrack booth at CISAC

"Following a year in which we have developed and agreed to a list of priority technology projects, organization structure and business plan, we are now ready to solidify the FastTrack structure with the establishment of a business office to coordinate the development effort among the five founding societies," said Professor Masi. "We are very pleased to announce that Chris van Houten, who brings more than 25 years of management experience in the music and copyright field, will head up our office in Paris."

Van Houten brings FastTrack a widely regarded expertise in business process redesign. Most recently, he was acting COO of BUMA/STEMRA, the Dutch mechanical and performing rights organization, where he directed the back office redesign for the copyright agency, and managed its international strategic alliances. He served for six years as Managing Director of EMI Music Publishing's Benelux operation, and prior to that, as an executive with the Dutch record company Dureco. Both at EMI and Dureco, he designed and introduced new copyright and royalty systems.

The FastTrack development timetable calls for the deployment of three "core projects" 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. The first practical benefits are expected within 6-9 months, in the field of international documentation and distribution. Task forces for the development and implementation of the projects have now been formed, drawing from existing staffs of the partner societies.

FastTrack is based on a decentralized network of equal partners, with respect for the independence, sovereignty and cultural identity of each of the members. FastTrack will integrate the technologies of the Common Information System (CIS) project managed by CISAC. In the near future, the FastTrack partners will welcome other CISAC societies to the use of the new digital tools, following their operational validation among the five founding societies.

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