PART 10 OF 13 REASONS WHY KENYAN MUSIC CREATORS NEED A NEW CMO LAW

We discuss the Importance of Information Technology Infrastructure for Collective Management Organisations & Why regulation is necessary

By George Robert Asewe Dj Probert Founder & CEO

In this tenth installment of 13 Reasons Why Kenyan Music Creators Need a New CMO Legal Framework we discuss yet another important subject in music. We delve into the Role of Information Technology in the operations of Collective Management Organisations and put a strong case for regulation in regard to IT infrastructure for CMOs.

IMPORTANCE OF IT INFRASTRUCTURE FOR CMOs.

It is standard international practice that a CMO should utilize a proper functional data model, which caters to the needs to document, identify, collect, allocate and distribute the Rights Revenue represented by the CMO in it’s territory and in relation to other territories the CMO cooperates with.

Transparency in operations is therefore critical. The IT infrastructure should carefully implement the business processes of Documentation, Collection, Allocation, and Distribution. A CMO should look at existing solutions, prior to developing a customized system.

Distribution is facilitated through existing international identifiers (EIDR, IPI, IPN, ISAN, ISBN, ISNI, ISRC, ISSN, ISWC, VRDB-ID, etc.), exchange formats and protocols (CRD, CWR, DDEX, SDEG, etc.) and dedicated industry IT standards (AV Index, Cis-Net, IDA, IPD, IPI System, VRDB, etc.).

LEGISLATIVE PROPOSALS

A CMO should utilize a proper functional data model, which caters to the needs to document, identify, collect, allocate and distribute the Rights Revenues for the rights represented by the CMO in the respective territory and in relation to other territories the CMO cooperates with.

HOW OTHER COUNTRIES HAVE DEALT WITH THESE PROPOSALs

UNITES DTATES OF AMERICA

In the US in regard to “Reporting and distribution of royalties to copyright owners by the mechanical licensing collective.

In the United States of America regarding Reporting and Distribution of Royalties to copyright owners by the Mechanical Licensing Collective, Royalty Distributions are accompanied by corresponding royalty statements containing the information outlined in the American Copyright Act.

Accompanying the distribution of royalties to a copyright owner, the Mechanical Licensing Collective has to provide to the copyright owner a statement that includes, at a minimum, the following information:

1. The period (month and year) covered by the statement, and the period (month and year) during which the reported activity occurred. For adjustments, the mechanical licensing collective must report both the period (month and year) during which the originally reported activity occurred and the date on which the digital music provider reported the adjustment.

2. The name and address of the mechanical licensing collective.  

3. The name and mechanical licensing collective identification number of the copyright owner.

4. The International Standard Name Identifier (ISNI) and Interested Party Information (IPI) name and identification number for each songwriter, administrator, and musical work copyright owner, to the extent it has been provided to the mechanical licensing collective by a copyright owner. The International Standard Name Identifier is an identifier system for uniquely identifying the public identities of contributors to media content such as books, television programs, and newspaper articles. Such an identifier consists of 16 digits. An Interested Party Information (IPI) number is a unique, international identification number, usually 9–11 digits long. APIs are assigned to songwriters, composers, and music publishers that own the rights to the music


5. Where applicable, the name and Mechanical Licensing Collective identification number of the copyright owner’s administrator, to the extent one has been provided to the mechanical licensing collective by a copyright owner.

6. Payment information, such as check number, automated clearing house (ACH) identification, or wire transfer number.

7.  The total royalty payable to the relevant copyright owner for the month covered by the royalty statement.

Musical work information

8.For each matched musical work owned by the copyright owner for which accompanying royalties are being distributed to that copyright owner, the Mechanical Licensing Collective has to report the following information:

a. The musical work name, including primary and any alternative and parenthetical titles for the musical work known to the mechanical licensing collective.

b. International Standard Musical Work Code (ISWC) for the musical work, to the extent it is known to the mechanical licensing collective.  International Standard Musical Work Code is a unique identifier for musical works, similar to ISBN for books. It is adopted as international standard ISO 15707. 

c. The Mechanical Licensing Collective’s standard identification number of the musical work.

d. The administrator’s unique identifier for the musical work, to the extent one has been provided to the Mechanical Licensing Collective by a copyright owner or its administrator.

e. The name(s) of the songwriter(s), to the extent they are known to the mechanical licensing collective.

f. The percentage share of musical work owned or controlled by the copyright owner.

g. For each sound recording embodying the musical work, the identifying information, and the royalty information

SOUND RECORDING INFORMATION

The mechanical licensing collective is under duty to report the following information to the extent known to the mechanical licensing collective:

(A) The record label name(s).

(B) International Standard Recording Codes (ISRCs).

(C) The sound recording copyright owner(s).

(D) Playing time.

(E) Album title(s) or product name(s).

(F) Album or product featured artist(s) if different from sound recording featured artist(s).

(G) Distributor(s).

(H) UPC(s).

MUSICAL WORKS DATABASE INFORMATION

Concerning musical works or shares in the musical works where the copyright owners have been identified and located, the musical works database contains, at a minimum, the following information regarding the musical work to the extent reasonably available to the mechanical licensing collective:

a. Any alternative or parenthetical titles for the musical work;  
b. ISWC; Songwriter(s), with the Mechanical Licensing Collective having the discretion to allow songwriters, or their authorized representatives, to have songwriter information listed anonymously or pseudonymously.

The Mechanical Licensing Collective is under obligation to develop and make publicly available a policy on how the collective will consider requests by copyright owners or administrators to change songwriter names to be listed anonymously or pseudonymously for matched musical works.

c. MLC must declare details of administrator(s) or other authorized entity(ies) who license the musical work or their share and or collect mechanical royalties for use of such musical work a share of the royalties in the United States.

 d. ISNI(s) and/or IPI(s) for each musical work copyright owner, and, if different, songwriter, and administrator.

e. Unique identifier(s) assigned by the blanket licensee, if reported by the blanket licensee; and For classical compositions, opus and catalog numbers.

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Information regarding the sound recordings

Information regarding the sound recording(s) in which the musical work is embodied, to the extent reasonably available to the mechanical licensing collective:

 (i) ISRC;

 (ii) Sound recording name(s), including all known alternative and parenthetical titles for the sound recording.

(iii) Information related to the sound recording copyright owner, including Label Name and PLine. Should the mechanical licensing collective decide to include DDEX Party Identifier (DPID) in the public database, the DPID party’s name may be included, but not the numerical identifier.

(iv) Featured artist(s);

(v) Playing time;

(vi) Version;

(vii) Release date(s);

(viii) Producer;  

(ix) UPC; and

(x) Other non-confidential information that the MLC reasonably believes, based on common usage, would be useful to assist in associating sound recordings with musical works.

UNMATCHED MUSICAL WORKS

Concerning musical works and shares in those works where the copyright owners have not been identified or located, the musical works database shall include, to the extent reasonably available to the mechanical licensing collective Information regarding the musical work:

  • Musical work title(s), including any alternative or parenthetical titles for the musical work.
  • The ownership percentage of the musical work for which an owner has not been identified.
  • If a musical work copyright owner has been identified but not located, the identity of such owner and the ownership percentage of that owner. The copyright owner of the musical work owns any one of the exclusive rights comprised in the copyright for that work. A copyright owner includes entities, including foreign collective management organizations (CMOS), to which copyright ownership has been transferred through an assignment, mortgage, exclusive license, or any other conveyance, alienation, or hypothecation of a copyright or of any of the exclusive rights comprised in a copyright, whether or not it is limited in time or place of effect, but not including a nonexclusive license.
  • The mechanical licensing collective’s standard identifier for the musical work.
  • ISWC;
  • Songwriter(s), with the mechanical licensing collective having the discretion to allow songwriters, or their authorized representatives, to have songwriter information listed anonymously or pseudonymously. The mechanical licensing collective is under obligation to develop and make publicly available a policy on how the collective will consider requests by copyright owners or administrators to change songwriter names to be listed anonymously or pseudonymously for unmatched musical works;
  •  Administrator(s) or other authorized entity(ies) who license the musical work (or share thereof) and/or collect mechanical royalties for use of such musical work (or share thereof) in the United States;
  •  ISNI(s) and/or IPI(s) for each musical work copyright owner, and, if different, songwriter and administrator.
  • Unique identifier(s) assigned by the blanket licensee, if reported by the blanket licensee; and
  • For classical compositions, opus and catalog numbers.

Information regarding the sound recordings

Information regarding the sound recording(s) in which the musical work is embodied:
(i) ISRC;
(ii) Sound recording name(s), including all known alternative and parenthetical titles for the sound recording;
(iii) Information related to the sound recording copyright owner, including Label Name and PLine. In copyright law, the P Line is specific to musical works (the P stands for “phonogram”) and is represented by ℗. The purpose of this symbol is to indicate that legal rights are held for a sound recording and to identify the owner of those rights. Should the Mechanical Licensing Collective decide to include DDEX Party Identifier (DPID) in the public database, the DPID party’s name may be included, but not the numerical identifier;
(iv) Featured artist(s);
(v) Playing time;
(vi) Version;
(vii) Release date(s);
(viii) Producer;
(ix) UPC; and
(x) Other non-confidential information that the MLC reasonably believes, based on common usage, would be useful to assist in associating sound recordings with musical works, and any additional non-confidential information reported to the mechanical licensing collective that may assist in identifying musical works.”

LEGISLATIVE PARTING SHOT

It is standard international practice that a CMO should utilize a proper functional data model, which caters to the needs to document, identify, collect, allocate and distribute the Rights Revenue represented by the CMO. If Kenya doesn’t improve music data management practices, it will fail to cash in on the growing African digital music market that is attracting hundreds of millions of dollars in local & foreign investment from investors around the world.

Kenyan artists continue to get frustrated by the fact that the licensed CMOs don’t provide regular royalty statements to their members. This doesn’t make any financial sense. It also violates the IP rights of these creators since they have a constitutional right to information regarding the performance of their property. The American model is accountable and transparent in several regards. It uses international systems and tools readily available to Kenya. The Kenyan parliament needs to provide legislative frameworks to guide this process. Its our hope that this proposal finds merit of the government & people of Kenya.

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