ORS will reduce the time, inconvenience
and expense associated with acquisition of copyright, giving a strong
competitive advantage to European multimedia producers and content
developers. Its practical design allows rights holders to join ORS without
the need to change their own database structure.
What is ORS?
ORS is an internet portal providing fast access to the many different
companies holding information on rights holders, management modules and
music-related rights holder organisations throughout Western Europe. The
system is designed to help users to either obtain rights clearance or make
swift contact with the relevant rights holder.
Rights owners gain access to a highly
secure environment in which they can manage their rights and where their
works enjoy increased visibility. Registered users can search for and
identify objects or works in the entity database, obtain information on
rights clearance tariffs, enter negotiations with the rights holder and
generate a draft contract with the relevant organisation.
"Through ORS, potential users enquiries are processed seamlessly, more
simply and faster than ever before," claims project co-ordinator Marc Guez,
who is Managing Director of Paris-based collecting society, SCPP. "The
system has been adapted to deal with a multiplicity of different structures
in management companies in terms of database format and composition, types
of rights managed and copyright administration.
"The main advantage of ORS is that it enables intellectual property rights
to be traded without imposing any form of management of these rights on
either users or rights holders. While some individuals will choose to
manage their rights collectively through one-stop shops, the system allows
others to retain direct control.
"Our own extensive research among more than a hundred EU collecting
societies revealed that none had any form of on line rights clearance
system in place. With the exception of the SCPP catalogue, no other
European rights database is currently available on line," points out Mr.
How it Works
The ORS prototype software consists of
three sections. The web portal allows the user to identify rights holder
organisations and to either obtain tariffs, negotiate rights clearance
directly or make immediate contact with the relevant individual via phone,
fax or email. An interfaced standard database structure allows ORS to
interact with the many different database structures of the rights holder
organisations. Finally, the management modules enable the user to make his
searches according to a wide range of criteria, follow these through to
contract stage and receive progress reports on outstanding requests for
The search module allows up to five
criteria to be entered, such as country, track title, artist and sound
carrier barcode. Works can be identified either by text description or
samples. Rights holders are identified by object/work or types of use
managed. As well as multimedia applications such as extracts for the
internet, these might include telephone services, use with live performance
or dubbing for tv.
"The portal is very user-friendly, allowing for creation of files
detailing criteria against which rights clearance is requested. This
prevents the need for users repeatedly to enter the same information about
rights which must be cleared via several different organisations",
emphasises Mr. Guez.
The ORS database automatically generates email to the user to confirm
receipt of his request by the rights holder, along with the appropriate
notifications within the rights holder organisation and a draft contract.
The system can also create status reports such as whether the contract has
been signed or cancelled, or whether payments are outstanding.
What has been Achieved?
SCPPs own database of a million CDs and 20,000 music videos
has been on-line since December 1999, as part of the ORS project. The
prototype now contains contact details for over ninety rights holder
organisations handling phonograms, music videos, sheet music, audio-visual
and dramatic works in eighteen European countries.
"Our initial intention was to create an interface to other organisations
software, enabling users to continue their search by transferring from one
database to another," says Mr. Guez. "As the project progressed, we found
it was more practical and cost-effective to reclassify a partial copy of
each rights holder database according to the standard ORS structure, using
a series of simple links. This means that organisations can join ORS
without the need to change their current database structure."
Based on the success of the prototype,
the project is set to continue, with the involvement of some new partners
and with possible additional funding from the ECs new multi-annual
programme, European Digital Content for the Global Networks. Its creators
anticipate it will be fully functional by 2002. ORS has been showcased to
collecting societies throughout Europe, including the IFPI in Switzerland
and at MILIA 2001, the multimedia fair. The developers have also entered
negotiations with rights holders outside the sphere of phonograms and music
Though developed for the music industry, the ORS interfaced standard
database structure has been designed in a way which could use the same
management modules to clear rights to other types of objects or works, such
as text, still and moving images, films and audio-visual works.
The ORS consortium includes representatives both of users and of right
holders. CRYO Interactive is one of the main multimedia and games software
developers in France, while SELL represents most of the French producers of
multimedia and games software. Brussels-based IMAGIA and SIMIM,
London-based PPL and Paris-based SCPP, the ORS project co-ordinator, are
collecting societies for phonogram and music video producers. All partners
were involved in design, development and testing of the prototype
Societe Civile pour lExercice des droits des Producteurs Phonographiques
159 avenue Charles de Gaulle
FR 92200 Neuilly-sur-Seine
Syndicat des Editeurs de Logiciel de Loisirs (SELL), Rueil Malmaison,
Societe de lIndustrie Musicale (
), Brussels, Belgium
Innings Maatschappij Audiovisueel (IMAGIA), Brussels, Belgium
Phonographic Performance Ltd (PPL), London, UK
CRYO Interactive Entertainment, Paris, France
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