Digital Rights Management Faces “Big Data,” Multiple-Rightsholder Challenges 23/02/2016 by Dugie Standeford for Intellectual Property Watch Leave a Comment Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Managing copyright in digital musical works can be difficult because there are multiple rights holders and no standards for exchanging the massive amounts of data involved. Digital rights management services LyricFind and Rumblefish are among organisations working to streamline access to online content, company chiefs say. LyricFind, which has been around for some 11 years, aggregates rights and content for the use of lyrics on mobile phones and other devices through a combination of technology and licensing, co-founder Darryl Ballantyne said in a recent interview. The technology tracks and reports ownership data for royalties and also delivers the content to users. The system also deals with the “Big Data problem” arising from the enormous number of licences and lyrics, tracking licenses to where lyrics go on a content and geographical basis. The biggest challenge is how to properly manage rights on a global basis, said Ballantyne. Music publishing has fractured rights in which many rights holders might own a piece of a song, and there may be different owners in different countries, he said. Moreover, there are many music publishers with which LyricFind must negotiate deals, because there is no statutory right covering lyrics, he said. LyricFind is the only service that can licence all major music publishers’ content, and it has an exclusive arrangement with Universal Music, said Ballantyne. It also works with many copyright collecting societies to aggregate lyric rights, which most societies don’t licence, he said. LyricFind serves more than 100 different services globally, covering billions of lyric displays annually, all divvied up by each service/country/rights holder, said Ballantyne. Music publishers then share the royalties with their rights owners. The company creates lyric and synchronisation data that enables it to provide lyrics for display in time with a song, said Ballantyne. For example, he said, when someone tags a song on Shazam, a mobile app that recognises music and TV, the lyrics will be synchronised with the music. Similarly, LyricFind can recognise words typed into a search engine – such as “waiting for the break of day,” from a song by the band Chicago – allowing the search engine to show the lyrics, stream the music, or offer the physical album or concert tickets for sale. The company is now working on other “lyric-adjacent” services which will take advantage of rights the system can track and use to collect royalties for writers, Ballantyne said. One such system is lyric translations, set to roll out later this year. The translations won’t be automated but will be handled by company staff who now support seven languages and will be adding more, he said. Rumblefish, which provides rights management services for the music industry, recently merged with The Harry Fox Agency’s (HFA) Slingshot rights management service. HFA and Rumblefish are now owned by US music rights organisation SESAC. Musical works rights management can be challenging for those new to the process or even those who have been working in music for years, Rumblefish President and CEO Michael Simon emailed. Digital music services can hire Rumblefish to obtain and track licences, manage high-volume data associated with licences and royalties, calculate royalties, generate statements and distribute payments to rights holders, he said. This frees up clients to “focus on growing their business – not back office administration.” Rumblefish’s rights administration services are becoming global, said Simon. It can now administer rights obtained directly from publishers and collecting societies, and has reciprocal agreements with more than 30 non-US societies, enabling worldwide licensing deals, he said. As to how the system deals with the multi-rights-owner nature of musical works, Simon said Rumblefish has “deep relationships with the publishing community and a comprehensive database that tracks split-level song ownership.” With over seven million unique works in its database, the company is rapidly become the “industry database of record,” he said. Rumblefish’s proprietary licence verification technology, RADKey, lets licensees digitally communicate legal licensed rights or approved actions programmatically to a content identification (ID) system, said Simon. For example. he noted, YouTube’s content ID system, being unaware of pre-licensed rights, may erroneously place a third-party copyright claim on a video. But a RADkey, a proprietary license verification key akin to a barcode that travels with on-demand licences, entered into YouTube upon or post-upload allows video creators to make others aware of previously licensed rights instantly, simplifying the dispute resolution process, he said. The main challenges to offering a service such as Rumblefish’s are the lack of data exchange standards and matching the tens of millions of self-released, digitally distributed recordings that, while creatively vital, may not have widespread popularity, Simon said. The Linked Content Coalition’s Rights Data Integration project in December announced a new standard for online interoperability and linking of copyright protection information (IPW, Copyright Policy, 15 December 2015). Asked whether such a standard has relevance to Rumblefish’s services, Simon said: “Unique IDs, interoperable metadata, and systems built on modern technology and principles are critical components to Rumblefish’s digital rights management platform. We believe these types of standards will create a more efficient marketplace.” Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Related Dugie Standeford may be reached at email@example.com."Digital Rights Management Faces “Big Data,” Multiple-Rightsholder Challenges" by Intellectual Property Watch is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.