Digital Copyright Network Welcomes Austrian, Belgium and Swiss Societies as New Members

Posted in News on January 21, 2002

The Board of Directors of The Digital Copyright Network, formerly known as “FastTrack,” have officially welcomed music copyright organizations AKM and Austro-Mechana (Austria), SABAM (Belgium) and SUISA (Switzerland) as new members of the alliance. Chief executives of the new member societies met for the first time as Board members during the alliance’s winter board meeting in New York in December, and again in Cannes on Sunday, January 20.

Pictured at their Board Meeting on Sunday (1/20/2002) during MIDEM are society chief executives who form the Board of Directors of FastTrack, the Digital Copyright Network. They are (from left) Bernard Miyet (SACEM), Eduardo Bautista (SGAE), Prof. Dr. Reinhold Kriele (GEMA), Frances Preston (BMI), FastTrack Managing Director Chris van Houten, Alfred Meyer (SUISA), Helmut Steinmetz (Austro-Mechana) and Jacques Lion (SABAM). Not present for the photo were Board members Mauro Masi (SIAE) and Manfred Brunner (AKM).
Photo: Robbin Ahrold for FastTrack

Speaking on behalf of the Board, Chairman Mauro Masi, Special Commissioner for Italy’s SIAE, said “We are pleased to officially welcome our Austrian, Belgian and Swiss colleagues to the alliance. We look forward to their participation and the addition of their valuable repertoire to our international database.” Masi also noted that several additional societies have expressed strong interest in alliance membership.

The Board also announced the completion of the development work on two key technical milestones: Phase One of the Global Documentation and Distribution Network (GDDN), and the digital system for Online Works Registration (OWR). Phase One of the GDDN implements the works information network for domestic and international repertoire, which now includes 3.5 million works from the five founding societies. It is the largest international database complying with CIS standards such as the ISWC identifier. The OWR tool will permit author and publisher members of alliance societies to conveniently register new works from PCs in their offices or homes through a secure Internet connection.

“We are very pleased with the GDDN and OWR,” said Masi. “They will produce efficiency benefits in each member society and have been accomplished without a single addition to staff, or the need to acquire additional computing hardware.”

SABAM was the first society outside of the founding members to join the alliance, confirming its membership in June. Jacques Lion, Managing Director of SABAM, said: “The Digital Copyright Network is a unique collaborative project that permits participants to maintain national identity. The globalization of our profession makes such international initiatives a priority and a significant step forward.”

Austrian society chief executives also expressed enthusiasm for the growing alliance. Manfred Brunner, General Manager of AKM, said: “Joining the alliance for us means being part of a powerful partnership that will produce multiple benefits for all member societies.” Helmut Steinmetz, General Manager of Austro-Mechana, comments: “We are convinced that this initiative will enable us to establish a new dimension of co-operation among societies in order to face the challenges of a rapidly changing environment.”

SUISA is the most recent alliance member. Chief executive Alfred Meyer said: “SUISA is grateful to The Digital Copyright Network for giving medium-sized collective- administration societies the possibility of participating on reasonable terms in important, forward-looking solutions."

The Digital Copyright Network’s headquarters offices are now established in Paris. A recent addition to the team is Technical Director Didier Roy, who is responsible for developing and implementing advanced information and communication systems to manage the key business processes within and among the member societies.

About The Digital Copyright Network

The Digital Copyright Network, originally known as “FastTrack,” is an alliance founded by leading copyright organizations BMI (United States), GEMA (Germany), SACEM (France), SGAE (Spain) and SIAE (Italy) in the fall of 2000. The alliance was formally established in January 2001 with a headquarters office in Paris under the direction of Managing Director Chris van Houten.

The alliance’s work is based on adoption of "best practices" already existing among its members. The sharing of technological expertise and development costs, combined with the power of a network computing architecture using the Internet will deliver substantial benefits in the near term for the right-owners represented by the founding societies.

The alliance is firmly committed to the respect for the sovereignty, national and cultural identity of its constituent societies. Its early results prove that substantial economies of scale can be reached among societies without giving up any measure of independence. The technical and organizational model is low overhead and flexible, and takes advantage of the latest advances in the fields of technology and communication.