Published: 30.08.2022  Last updated: 08.06.2023

Papers for more informed competition in the Collective Rights Management (CRM) market

Two new Open Access papers have been published, analysing two aspects of the changing market of collective rights management.

Digital distribution has changed the music industry to a great extent: Traditional players (e.g. CMOs) have had to adapt strongly and not necessarily voluntarily to the new market requirements, while new players have seen lucrative opportunities in specialising on those demands.

This has led, among other things, to an increasingly competitive and complex rights management environment. On the other hand, music authors and publishers now have a wider range of options available to them in the area of rights management. We have written two papers with the aim of promoting more informed and fairer competition in the CRM market and finding a way to improve the efficiency and transparency of rights management for small and medium-sized music publishers.

Relationship Management for music publishers

In the first paper, we develop a reference model for relationship management with RMEs for music publishers. Based on interviews with nine German music publishers, we discuss the key operations of small to medium-sized publishers in their role as customers of rights management services offered e.g. by CMOs, IMEs and licensing hubs. We identify key links to existing ITIL® best practices to derive a reference model for RME relationship management. The final model serves as a general management framework to help music publishers make business decisions on their interfaces with other RMEs. The ahead-of-print version of the paper is available with Open Access and will be included in the next issue of IJMBR in October 2022.

Transparency Reports of CMOs

In the second paper, we take a critical look at the comparison of CMO licensing categories using transparency reports. Transparency reports are annual reports that CMOs are obliged to publish under Directive 2014/26/EU. These reports contain, inter alia, financial information on the categories of rights and types of use managed by the CMOs. They can be an important resource for music publishers to make business decisions. However, we find that the comparability of reports is undermined by inconsistent terminology between reports or even within reports. To counter this, we have developed a taxonomy and an ontology to suggest the use of controlled vocabularies in the CRM market. For more information, see the Open Access online paper published in the fortieth issue of the journal JIPITEC 13 (2) 2022.