BMI, ASCAP to Collaborate on Joint Music Database Initiative

ASCAP and BMI, the nation’s two biggest performance rights organizations, have announced plans to create a single, comprehensive music database.

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In an effort to improve ownership transparency in performing rights licensing, the joint database will combine music ownership data from each organization’s repertoire to “deliver an authoritative view of ownership shares in the vast majority of music licensed in the United States,” according to a joint press release.

“ASCAP and BMI are proactively and voluntarily moving the entire industry a step forward to more accurate, reliable and user-friendly data,” ASCAP CEO Elizabeth Matthews said. “With our combined experience, we are best positioned to make faster headway in creating a robust, cost-effective market solution to meet the needs of the licensing marketplace.”

The initiative follows one week after legislation was presented to create a federally run copyright database. Support for the ASCAP-BMI collaboration has been voiced in Washington.

“Today’s announcement from ASCAP and BMI is a substantive step forward,” says Rep. Doug Collins (R-GA). “I’ve been working to protect the constitutional rights of America’s songwriters for years, and this is a good day for music creators and music lovers.”

The first phase of the database is expected to launch by the end of 2018.

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