Global Repertoire Database announces location plans

The Global Repertoire Database (GRD) – the project that will catalogue the world’s music – has announced that it will set up its global headquarters in London and will base its operations centre in Berlin.

The London office, housing corporate functions and business development capabilities is scheduled to open later this year, and will work alongside the current London-based project team in the first instance. The Berlin operations centre will provide registrations and data processing facilities, and may provide a template for further operations centres to support the global operation as it grows.

The GRD is a global, cross-industry collaboration to deliver a single, comprehensive and authoritative representation of the authorship and control of musical works worldwide.

When completed, the main benefits of the GRD will be to create a new and more effective global infrastructure for music rights management, leading to an improved path to music licensing for digital and other music services, and to efficiency benefits for the whole music ecosystem saving extensive costs currently lost to duplication in data processing.

Andrew Jenkins, Chair of the Board of Directors of ICMP, the International Confederation of Music Publishers, said, ‘The decision to locate the Global Repertoire Database in two world capital cities, London and Berlin, was taken after a detailed selection process by the GRD working group, facilitated by our business partner, Deloitte.

‘Potential locations were assessed and analysed over a long number of months and the decision was not at all easy as some excellent candidate cities were under consideration. Availability of suitably skilled staff, accessibility for global industry participants, and strength of legal protection for intellectual property were important criteria and of course the global nature and requirements of the GRD is a key consideration.’

Alfons Karabuda, President of ECSA, the European Composer & Songwriter Alliance, said, ‘We are happy to have a home for the Global Repertoire Database. These two great cities of Berlin and London with their proud heritage and strong support for authors’ rights and for copyright will serve our needs very well. We can now turn our attention to building the world’s first authoritative database of musical works and to creating a completely new system of rights management that will benefit creators globally.’ 

Kenth Muldin, Chair of CISAC, the organisation representing the world’s copyright management societies, said, ‘The Global Repertoire Database is necessary for the effective functioning of the rights licensing, management and royalty payment systems of musical works in the 21st century. A single, authoritative global view of music ownership in real time will mean that anyone wanting to set up a music service can do so more quickly – and that means more legal choice for music fans and consumers, and a more efficient way of identifying who should be paid royalties for the use of their music.’

Jez Bell, CEO and one of the three licensee representatives on the GRD Working Group alongside Google and Apple, said, ‘Licensees of music will welcome the news that the Global Repertoire Database now has concrete plans for its future. We believe this development is a major step forward for those of us who license music rights as part of our core businesses. Whilst we can’t expect the GRD to solve all of the licensing challenges that digital presents us with, a single database with global visibility of musical works ownership certainly gets us closer to a more user-friendly system and demonstrates very positively that the whole industry can work well together.’

The next stage of development in the GRD project is the technical build, during which the systems and processes required for the new database to interact with existing licensing and payment systems will be structured.

GRD systems will be fully compliant with existing rights management solutions FastTrack and ICE, who are technology partners in the project.