The FastTrack Supervisory Board met in Toronto, Canada in the offices of SOCAN to officially welcome the three societies as new members of the international technical alliance. Seated in the front row with FastTrack Chair Frances W. Preston (BMI) are new members John Hutchinson (MCPS-PRS - UK), Preston, André LeBel (SOCAN - Canada), and Cees Vervoord (BUMA-STEMRA - Netherlands). Standing from left: FastTrack Managing Director Chris van Houten, FastTrack Board Members Prof. Dr. Reinhold Kreile (GEMA - Germany), Francesco Miggliacci (SIAE - Italy), Eduardo Bautista (SGAE - Spain), Bernard Miyet (SACEM - France), Alfred Meyer (SUISA - Switzerland), and Christophe Depreter representing Jacques Lion, Chief Executive of SABAM (Belgium). Grant W. Martin Photography
"The members of FastTrack are extremely pleased to welcome these three new members and their important international repertoire to the FastTrack alliance," said BMI President and CEO Frances W. Preston, Chair of the FastTrack Supervisory Board. "Their membership will add real strength to the scope of FastTrack's global network, which already encompasses more than 12 million musical works."
"BUMA-STEMRA has always been a great supporter of sharing knowledge between the different copyright organizations," said Cees Vervoord, Chief Executive Officer of BUMA-STEMRA. "To face challenges of the new digital world and the globalization of the copyright, sharing expertise and information is an important condition to fulfil. Therefore we are very pleased with this membership. FastTrack is an important instrument that enables us to improve the quality of our copyright data, improve the service to our members and at the same time, establish a cost reduction in our exploitation."
"The MCPS-PRS Alliance has long believed that the successful distribution of international royalties requires better exchange of data and close inter-society collaboration. We are already a key participant in many of the initiatives for the development of common standards for worldwide data exchange," said John Hutchinson, Chief Executive of the MCPS-PRS Alliance. "Our membership of FastTrack is further evidence of our desire to move forward with these important issues."
"SOCAN is dedicated to serving its members as effectively as possible, and partnering with FastTrack reinforces this commitment," said André LeBel, CEO of SOCAN. "We embark on this new initiative with tremendous enthusiasm, and believe FastTrack will provide us with a unique business tool to help us to continue to fulfil our promise to our members."
FastTrack Managing Director Chris van Houten said: "We are particularly delighted to welcome these new members because in addition to the contribution of their repertoire, each of them has demonstrated special strengths in the harnessing of technology to serve their author, composer and publisher members. We look forward to important technical contributions from each of them as we continue to develop FastTrack as the de facto international standard for 21st century copyright management."
FastTrack is the alliance of North American societies BMI (United States) and SOCAN (Canada) and ten European societies: AKM (Austria), Austro-Mechana (Austria), BUMA-STEMRA (Netherlands), GEMA (Germany), MCPS-PRS Alliance (United Kingdom), SABAM (Belgium), SACEM (France), SGAE (Spain), SIAE (Italy), and SUISA (Switzerland). Launched in 2000, its principal purpose is to develop and harmonize digital tools for 21st century management of author's rights throughout the globe. FastTrack has already made important advances in the digital realm in the processes of registration, documentation and licensing of works. Its projects are based on a global model of information networks that utilize the Internet to connect resources. With today's announcement, FastTrack anticipates that the network of FastTrack databases will expand to more than 16 million works.