This spring, SOCAN began testing the eagerly-anticipated CIS-Net for Rights Holders initiative. This is a bold step that will empower songwriters, composers, and music publishers to search repertoire and interested party information (IPI) on the worldwide database.

This CISAC-led initiative is a response to requests from music creators and publishers to open up CIS-Net to rights holders. For those of you unfamiliar with CIS-Net, it’s a global network of databases that share the metadata associated with musical repertoire – information essential to tracking performances, to ensure that music creators and publishers get paid when their music is played. For instance, SOCAN, as a contributor to CIS-Net, provides the details of SOCAN members’ repertoire for other musical rights organizations to see. The type of information provided for each song includes the title, the songwriter(s) or composer(s), the music publisher(s), IP(s) (Interested Party or Parties) numbers, shares for each participant, performer(s), etc.

Over the years, CIS-Net has become an invaluable tool in SOCAN’s daily business, making it faster and easier for us to track our members’ performances and get them properly paid. We use it to verify that our members’ repertoire is correctly represented around the world; to confirm work details for non-SOCAN repertoire; and we even use it as part of our ISWC (International Standard Musical Work Code) assignment processes. Additional tools included in CIS-Net allow us to request cue sheet details, download work details directly to our database, and match unidentified repertoire against the repertoire of other music rights organizations. In short, it has made many of our existing processes much more efficient than they used to be, thus allowing us to get our members paid even faster, more easily, and more accurately than before.

CIS-Net has become an invaluable tool in SOCAN’s daily business, making it faster and easier for us to track our members’ performances and get them properly paid.

Now that CIS-Net is such an integral part of music rights organizations’ business, the time is right to make it available to rights holders. This means that music creators and music publishers will have the ability to search repertoire and interested party information on CIS-Net. As you can imagine, there are many challenges that CISAC has to address with this expansion to CIS-Net – such as the different privacy laws in each territory, overall network security, and providing technical support to an expanded user base.  To address these issues, CISAC has built features into the tool that allow the music creator and music publisher users to determine if they want to make their controlled repertoire available, and if they do, what level of information they will allow CIS-Net to share. Security is addressed through a sign-up process that requires each participating music rights organization to confirm their members’ requests for access. Technical support will be provided by a CIS-Net team.

During the first phase of testing, we’re currently assessing the overall usability of the tool from the perspective of each of the stakeholders (music rights organizations, music creators, and music publishers); we want to ensure that the way information is presented is logical and easy to access. Once the feedback from this round of testing has been incorporated by the project team, we’ll move to another round of testing, and then the tool will be launched. Our goal is to release it in the fall, depending on the results of the two testing phases.

As we move toward a go-live date, we’ll communicate with our members, and let them know how they can start using CIS-Net for Rights Holders.