6 State reasons to index a sound recording with metadata

1. Assign proper credit to rights holders and creative contributors
2. Link rights holders and creative contributors to unique standard identifiers
3. Geolocate creative content
4. Adopt DDEX international standards
5. Participate in trans-national standard definition
6. Improve content discoverability

Bruegel l'Ancien (1568) The Blind Leading the Blind

Bruegel l’Ancien (1568) The Blind Leading the Blind

►Create/Produce ►Tag/Declare ►Distribute ►CONSUME ►Measure ►Pay Royalty

1. Assign proper credit to rights holders and creative contributors : a digital musical sound recording is just meaningless orphan binary data if it does not embed or link itself to rights holders, contributors and descriptive information allowing context to emerge, account statement and accurate royalty payment.

Concerned are all lyricists, composers, publishers, performers and musicians, producers, music producers, recording studios, record labels, etc. Public policy supporting the production of original content should make sure those content are properly tagged (Embedded Metadata – Blockchain) before entering the commercial value chain to allow optimal exploitation and return on investment.

The lack of mechanical licenses looms as a major liability for streaming services, and the publishers’ association estimates that as much as 25 percent of the activity on these platforms is unlicensed… Spotify countered that it lacked the data to sort out which publishers had legitimate claims over songs, or even how to locate all the parties… (NY Times)

2. Intellectual propriety assets and contributors must be tied to unique standard iD’s. ISRC, ISWC, IPI, ISTC, IPN, ISAN, EIDR, ISNI are either ISO or industrial standards allowing tracing, disambiguation or machine to machine processes and must be used.

Most type of contributor or rightsholder can be linked to a specific unique identifier. These codes document the whole value chain flowchart and can allow better automated automatch processes.

3. Creative content metadata should include geolocation information with regards to several place of creation, place of birth, place of location of head office and the like. It will allow geolocation within recommendation and several other useful tasks. ISO3166-1, ISO3166-2, UN-LOCODE or .kml (Keyhole Markup Language) should be used when possible.

4. Production companies, digital agregators and content users should adopt DDEX international electronic data interchange (EDI) standards and Message Suite Standards allowing dissemination of metadata : RIN (Recording Information Notification), ERN (Electronic Release Notification), MLC (Music Licensing Companies), DSR (Digital Sales Reporting).

5. Whenever possible or sometimes necessary, Canadian stakeholders should participate in digital trans-national standard definition and engage time and efforts at tables such as : UNESCO, CISAC, ISO, DDEX, ICANN, NCUC, ISOC, W3C-RDF or IETF.

6. The music industry must rebuild confidence between rightsholders and the public, improve content discoverability based on recommendation algorithm, improve access to rich descriptive data often lost in the digital shift, engage efforts in building the semantic Web. We must allow CanCon to thrive!

We are also a bilingual digital culture watch on Delicious, Scoop.it and under hashtag #musicmetadata

TGiT is a Canadian start-up project and software built to empower creators, performers, publishers and record labels. TGiT allows “tagging at the source” for stakeholder and rightsholder. Art should never be anonymous!

Fall 2016 #MusicMetadata endeavours – CISAC ISWC Service, DDEX-RIN and a new unique musical work ID all on the horizon?

This coming fall several workgroups will be looking into new best music business practices and possibly create momentum or tension on the long path to music metadata heaven. Current initiatives are all targeted at improving the delay between the creation/recording of a work and the access to unique ID’s describing or being linked to those digital assets. Such concept is actually forming part of a pre-requisite to allow better content discoverability, a question raised by several legislations or cultural industries components and currently researched by the Canadian government (i.e. Canadian content in a digital world – https://www.canada.ca/en/services/culture/consultations.html).


MusicBiz Metadata Workgroup with collaborations from the Association For Electronic Music (@AFEMORG) is looking to establish best practices for assigning identifiers where a DJ is the songwriter, producer & artist. Collaboration/discussion are happening with digital audio software companies for adding fields to interface. A metadata handbook geared towards the electronic music community could be created as well. The specifics of this DJ community is that all rights holders are often only one individual (re. Robby Towns @NestaMusic). Its a great testing ground. Could the attribution of an ISNI with many linked creative roles for DJ’s be one way to make progress into the issue? It is believed that ISNI will shortly be announcing some new hire.

Consultant and member of the MusicBiz Metadata Workgroup Paul Jessop has been introducing the concept of a Provisional Work Identifier (PWI) – Usage of a PWI (within recording metadata) and its (public-private) registry linked to preferred ISWC are being talked about though we have no indication as to whom would take charge of such initiative. Extremely valid questions are pointed out by stakeholders including 7Digital, which wonders if a PWI would be created at the point of bouncing the audio of a session or when saving the session file of a Digital Audio Workstation (DAW)?

The DDEX Studio Workgroup has recently produced the Recording Information Notification XSD Schema (RIN). DDEX will hold a work plenary for its members in October in Berlin. The consortium might then adopt this new standard. Unique ID’s like the ISRC, ISWC, ISNI and GRid are all part of the ”minimum” RIN Schema, but any idea about introducing a PWI has not been integrated. Could DDEX 29th plenary be a place to further work out consensus on matters of “content indexing at the source of creation”? Read on.

Surely not the least, the CISAC-FastTrack Cross-Industry Taskforce (http://bit.ly/fasttrackpreparing) has been working hard on new business rules and processes to improve the velocity of attribution and usage of the ISWC-ISO work ID (FastTrack has by the way just released the CIS-Net 5 database and Single Work Dashboard – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mdkLfWn6qiw). A new ISWC “Web” Service with pre-registration and pre-reconciliation processes is being looked into. This ISWC Service would be authoritative before undergoing metadata validation and reconciliation performed by national PRO’s. It could possibly be available even when the creators are known but their shares are not or when all creators and publishers are not members of a collective. The creator’s Interested Party Information (IPI) must be known, but an Online IPI Lookup Service is believed to be coming out very soon. This workflow would be rounded out by an IPI for non-society members attribution process. A searchable web service (machine-to-machine) to retrieve existing ISWC could probably be foreseen. The time delay for issuance of a new ISWC would now be driven down to Same Day/Next Day. One would wonder if real time issuance a future realistic objective of the ISWC Service or if a PWI and its downstream connection to the preferred ISWCs be an interesting alternative proposal? Are the new CISAC ISWC Service and the PWI proposal actually the same and how fast these improvements will be worked into DDEX-RIN? How will all these discussion tables connect to each other?

In the meantime, and after acquiring Medianet and Audiam, Canadian society SOCAN has opened its developers portal and Works Declaration API – https://developer.socan.ca/ We believe new services built on this interface will roll out soon. And again we wonder how well and how fast will the above improvements be taken into account by applications and SOCAN’s API. Lets hope for the best.