September 24, 2001
Fast Track Release
BMI, GEMA, SACEM, SGAE, SIAE Agree on Framework, Budget,
Technology Priorities for New Digital Copyright Network
Santiago de Chile, September 24, 2000 – The FastTrack Board of Directors, meeting in Santiago prior to the opening of the CISAC 2000 World Congress, elected SIAE 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.
The Board also elected BMI President and CEO Frances W. Preston as Vice Chairman. Board members are the chief executives of the five founding societies: 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 Professor Mauro Masi.
“Following a year in which we have developed and agreed to a list of priority technology projects, organizational structure and business plan, we are now ready to solidify the FastTrack structure with the establishment of an 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 right 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 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 staff 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 technoligies of the Common Information System (CIS) project managed by CISAC, the International Confederation of Societies of Authors and Composers. 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.