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"ASCAP already has more Webcast licenses than anyone in the business..."
—John LoFrumento, ASCAP CEO
ASCAP, BMI CAST THEIR NET
Performing Rights Orgs Go Cyber
Attention Napster fans: ASCAP and BMI are watching you.

The two leading U.S. music performing rights organizations are taking their collection efforts to the Net. Both are now using the Internet to improve music reporting, which will hopefully lead to easier data collection and more efficient royalty distribution to members.

ASCAP has hooked up with European company AudioSoft Corp. for its digital rights management system, which will enable it to measure Internet music usage. The companies will make the technology available to Webcasters next month. The service will initially be availble on the RealNetworks G2 platform and will eventually support all platforms. Even without AudioSoft, ASCAP claims its Internet-related licensing revenues quadrupled in 1999.

"We are delighted to announce this partnership with AudioSoft," said ASCAP CEO John LoFrumento. "ASCAP already has more Webcaster licenses than anyone elses in the business. This partnership simplifies reporting for our licensees and insures that ASCAP has the highest quality data to distribute Internet fees to our members. Now, if someone is whistling an ASCAP tune in the shower or a girl scout is singing around the campfire, we can find 'em and roll 'em."

Meanwhile, competing rights org BMI will begin rolling out its new Internet-based music-use reporting system for the radio industry, dubbed "Electronic Music Reporting" or EMR, next month. The system allows stations to use existing playlist management software to generate music use reports that are then uploaded to BMI's airplay data tank over a secure Internet connection. It will be offered to all commercial radio stations licensed by the rights group.

"The system will streamline our back-office operation, benefiting both BMI and our customers," said BMI Sr. VP Licensing John Shaker. "And it will save us a fortune in staples and paper clips."

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