NEW EUROPEAN ONLINE RIGHTS FIRM WANTED

Database To Be Built, Rights To Be Protected, Utopia To Be Achieved
The International Music Joint Venture has asked French-Dutch online services provider Atos Origin to build a database for music rights that can also process online usage of music.

The IMJV combines three music rights organizations: the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers; the U.K.'s Mechanical Copyright Protection Society and the Performing Right Society; and Dutch Buma/Stemra. Other music rights organizations are free to join.

"This won't counteract the illegal copying of music on the Internet," Robert de Boer, spokesman for Atos Origin, said. "It will be possible to monitor what songs are swapped with software like Napster, or downloaded from Web sites like MP3.com."

De Boer noted that the actual monitoring would be done with separate software.

The order is worth 8.1 million euros ($6.9 million), said De Boer. The IMJV will take delivery of the database in April 2002—a lightning-quick 16 months from now. An estimated 1.6 billion euros in rights collections and payments will be handled by the system, de Boer said.

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