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Image VERDI ( Very Extensive Rights Data Information ) and

VERDI creates a Europe-wide multimedia information and licensing centre offering fast and easy access to cross-sector, cross-cultural and linguistically diverse material. It provides a complete overall concept and platform for an integrated online licensing system.

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What is VERDI?

VERDI was set up with the idea of creating a European-wide platform, which rights holders could use to promote re-use of their works under legally secure conditions and which would provide multimedia producers with easy and cost-effective access to copyright protected works.

Based on services currently existing in those EU Member States with central clearing centres - namely, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy and Spain, it brings together joint copyright organisations from each of these countries.

Because each includes their entire repertoire within the respective clearing centres, the VERDI participants are able to offer an enormous range of objects from literary works, manuscripts, newspapers and magazines to photographs, maps, paintings, graphics, films, animation, sound effects and music.

"VERDI follows a cross-sector, cross-party and cross-cultural approach," explains co-ordinator Mrs. Tarja Koskinen-Olsson, Chief Executive of Finnish joint copyright organisation, Kopiosto. "On the one hand, it offers the end user a vast selection of works. On the other, it supports the flexible and voluntary participation of all parties - individual rights holders, copyright organisations, rights clearance centres, publishers, broadcasters and multimedia producers. In addition, the VERDI interface enables rights to be cleared within a multi-language and multi-country framework."

VERDI System

The project has created a flexible system built on the principle of voluntary participation. Each rights holder can choose whether to use the VERDI system as an information broker and grant licenses individually, or to fix the prices and conditions of each of his works and engage VERDI to distribute them on his behalf. Alternatively, rights owners can commission VERDI to act for them in negotiations with multimedia producers, using uniform tariffs and conditions established by the national collecting societies.

"A typical VERDI user might be a company which creates web sites and intends to illustrate them with a photograph by Helmut Newton, a scene from a Luc Besson film, a short story by Umberto Eco and the lyrics of a song by Texas," points out Mrs. Koskinen-Olsson. "While VERDI is a highly ambitious project, an important characteristic has been the decision not to create a totally new structure but to connect the existing ones and allow them to function together as a European-wide service."

How it Works

In the initial phase, VERDI served merely as an Internet-based information broker, allowing each multimedia producer to identify, contact and negotiate with relevant rights holders in the traditional manner. Creating the network necessitated a high level of interoperability between the different technical systems in each of the national clearing services.

Phase two, which the participants describe as the most technically complex, examined ways in which VERDI could serve additionally as a licensing centre offering a range of options of rights administration. Phase three evaluated possible database structures for downloading digital content, while the projects work was accompanied by an analysis of the widely varying legal frameworks, tariffs, contracts and administrative provisions existing in the various European countries.

VERDI Process

The VERDI website is used under conditions of strict security both by rights holders to register their works and by multimedia producers and other end users to search for, identify and obtain the rights for their use. Password protected searches can be made by title, country of use, work type e.g. photograph, type of media planned e.g. multimedia cd-rom and type of production e.g. adult education. The end user builds a complete list of requirements on screen, adding details such as extract length in seconds, licence conditions, offer price, status of offer and payment details, before eventually downloading the required object.

What has been Achieved?

VERDI User Screen In addition to the planned project work, VERDI provides a complete overall concept and platform for an integrated online licensing system, capability to search for works in multiple partner databases and integration of content provider databases through XML (extendable mark up language) protocol.

Throughout the initiative, the participants consulted extensively with external bodies to ensure development of a system which would meet the requirements of the market. An advisory committee of representatives from international rights holders Groupement Européen des Societés dAuteurs et de Compositeurs, (GESAC), International Federation of Reproduction Rights Organisations (IFRRO) and Federation of European Publishers (FEP) assessed development from the rights owner perspective. A multinational user panel supported the project from the multimedia producers viewpoint.

VERDI has also been represented at several international rights conferences, including several events organised by the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) and has exchanged information with numerous other multimedia rights projects both within Europe and as far afield as Japan. The two VERDI websites have been heavily accessed and the project has also achieved significant press coverage in many European languages.

World Copyright Portal "The VERDI project strongly contributes to the discussions and developments in the field of MMRCS," emphasises Mrs. Koskinnen-Olsson. "There has been hardly any national or international conference on the subject where the project has not been presented. The VERDI partners plan to establish a European Economic Interest Grouping (EEIG) to manage the copyrights and exploitation rights in the software developed during the project.

As a pilot system, VERDI satisfies all the requirements for rights trading. The next stage is to provide the effort, commitment and investment needed to make the transition to a fully functional system. The participants are convinced that VERDI will be a major player in multimedia rights trading and will continue to exchange information and experience with other MMRCS projects


Project Co-ordinator Kopiosto has 44 member organisations representing most of Finlands authors, performing artists, photographers and publishers. CMMV is a partnership between nine German collecting societies, while French clearing house SESAM was formed by five collecting societies. MCCIs 19 members represent film and television producers, artists, composers and poets. The Spanish and Italian partners are respectively the multi-purpose copyright organisations SGAE and SIAE.


Tarja Koskinen-Olsson
Hietaniemenkatu 2
FIN 00100 Helsinki
Email (email removed)

Dr. Martin Schippan
Institut für Urheber- und Medienrecht (IUM)
c/o Lausen Rechtsanwälte
Residenzstrasse 25 D-80333
Email (email removed)

Kopiosto Logo

Other partners
Societa Italiana Degli Autori Ed Editori (SIAE), Rome, Italy
Sociedad General de Autores y Editores (SGAE) Madrid, Spain
SESAM, Paris, France
Multimedia Copyright Clearance Ireland (MCCI), Dublin, Ireland
Clearingstelle Multimedia für Verwertungsgesellschaften von Urheber- und Leistungsschutzrechten GmbH (CMMV), Munich, Germany


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 Last updated on 28-03-01

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