Basic Principles of the International Music Registry
When a representative group of the global stakeholders in music began to discuss collaborating on a global registry of all rights in music in November 2010, the first task they undertook was to decide upon a set of Basic Principles which could be the foundation of such a registry, to ensure that there was a common understanding of the result that all wanted to achieve. They believed that initiatives as ambitious as the IMR need to be guided by a set of solid, universal principles that are clear and generally agreed. Principles that capture the efficiency and practical orientation of the project but that also reflect the vital importance of transparency, openness and non discrimination.
That initial group of stakeholders became the Consultative Committee of the IMR; current list of those participating.
To design such a system is obviously a substantial undertaking, but the first step is to define the basic principles that should define the foundation of the system at the strategic level. These have been identified to be as follows:
- We have come to the point where more and more stakeholders throughout the value chain of music agree that a transparent, global registry of all rights and right holders is a pre-requisite for the efficient handling of pan-territorial licensing in the digital age.
- Participation, whether as a licensor or licensee, should be voluntary, open, and provide incentives for participation.
- It should be a global public good that serves both culture and commerce indiscriminately. Confidential information will remain confidential.
- The system should incorporate information regarding all rights necessary to access, use, and remunerate musical works and recorded performances of them, (whether sound recordings or audiovisual performances), however expressed, by all right holders therein and be extensible to other media.
- It should allow all rights holders and other relevant stakeholders to register the rights they control or own without interfering with existing rights-management arrangements.
- It should be business-model-neutral - not designed to displace any sector or attempt to change existing business models or rights management mandates. It must respect the existing relationships in the industry.
- The features that the system offers to all stakeholders - throughout the value chain - should respond to all stakeholders' reasonable needs - and over time the features it offers should respond in a timely manner to new developments.
- The system should not be profit-making - it should operate on a cost-recovery basis only, sufficient to allow efficient operation, maintenance, and improvement of the features it offers over time. But it should seek to use technology to carry out its operations as cost-effectively as possible.
- Its governance structures should ensure that it operates for the benefit of its stakeholders and the key decisions affecting its operation should be responsive to the expressed wishes of those who have a stake in it.
- Wherever they exist it should leverage open standards. Interoperability is important for the system to be accessed by all stakeholders, and is especially helpful in ensuring developing country stakeholders can effectively use the services the system offers.
- It should ensure it provides equal access indiscriminately for those it serves irrespective of geographic location or size of the stakeholders using it.
- It should be a tool for both users and right owners, containing features that ensure it serves the commercial interests of users of the rights it contains for online uses. It should also serve the public interest, such as by facilitating diligent search and "awaiting claim" capabilities for orphan works and delimitation of the public domain.
- To the greatest extent possible the information it contains on rights and right holders should be accessible.
Are you interested in commenting or discussing the Basic Principles?
The Basic Principles are meant to evolve over time, rather than being fixed in stone. There will be a formal comment process to allow stakeholders to express their views on the principles but that process is still under development. As soon as we have it ready, we will make an announcement and explain how it will work.
If you would like to be kept informed about the IMR so you know when the comment process begins, please subscribe on the left hand side of our home page and we will make sure you are notified. If you want to reach the IMR secretariat or Consultative Committee, email us at email@example.com