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Music and multimedia publishing


To demonstrate an international music resource service providing music and musical assets in digital formats. In particular to develop new and advanced methods that improve the users' ability to retrieve and display music and sound. Such an approach will be based on international standards for classification, notation and storage of non-textual music information;
to evaluate the use of a transaction system for the maintenance and when required the transference of rights of all parties. In particular to protect the reproduction and performing rights vested in such creative works;
to develop an international music resource bank service providing music and sound assets in a digital format. To ensure that such a resource bank can easily be made accessible to open environments.

The European consumer market for music and music prints currently represent a retail value of more than 10 billion ECU. The widespread use of these assets in the music industry is based on established standards, such as MIDI and CD-DA. The implementation of Euro-ISDN and MPEG compression of audio open unique opportunities for telepublishing of music resources and for using these resources as elements in multimedia publishing. These application areas has large and unexplored potentials in business, entertainment and education, and as providers of value added services to the music sector.

However, digital technology has created copyright problems conflicting with copyright legislations, which has limited the search and retrieval systems providing local or on-line access to collections of music resources. Both multimedia developers and publishers are therefore trying to avoid the use of music and musical assets protected by copyright, and instead make exclusive production agreements with composers and musicians or choose music available for the public domain. The potential market for multimedia publishing will represent a threat to our musical heritage unless musical works created for the consumer market can be utilised in such applications. Copyright problems are similar for several important resources in multimedia publishing.

This study will produce guidelines for solving copyright issues restricting access to music resources and in parallel, specify the technological framework for tele- and multimedia publishing of music, as a reference model including all main types of multimedia resources. The project will explore the feasibility of a cluster of pilot applications demonstrating an international music resource service providing music and musical assets on digital formats. The technological study will focus on the feasibility of developing:

1) an advanced retrieval system utilising a combination of key word based classifications and electronic recognition of digital sound and MIDI (such as musical themes;
2) a dissemination system including a transaction system for conveyance of rights and fees and which protects the rightholders' reproduction and performing rights.

Due to the complexity of copyright in relationship to music, including reproduction, performing and moral rights, the feasibility study will give an important contribution to multimedia publishing in general. Results from the technical and legal aspects in the study will be of high value for further examination of related issues within multimedia publishing.

The project will also identify user groups and estimate the market potential of services improving access to digital music and sound assets. The research tasks in the project build on other R&D projects and are based on existing technology and products. The results will identify partners and the technological framework required for the development of the proposed pilot applications.

There is established a project consortium of participating parties specialised within multimedia development, information dissemination, digital sound engineering, and copyright issues, including distribution of rights and awards. This will secure the quality of results and the best possible adoption to the requirements of the multimedia market.

Funding Scheme

CSC - Cost-sharing contracts


Audiovisual Eureka

1050 Bruxelles

Participants (2)

European Music School Union
Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft zur Förderung der Angewandten Forschung eV (FhG)