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£8m Global Database Collapses

PRS for Music has commented following the collapse of its Global Repertoire Database (GRD) project. The database was designed to be a single and definitive data resource containing information about all musical works from publishers and collection societies across the world- it was conceived as a solution to the current complex minefield of licensing songs across different international territories.

A statement from PRS said: “We are disappointed the GRD cannot move forward as planned, though we remain committed to the principles of a single point of works registration and reconciliation of ownership shares under broad stakeholder governance”.

It continued: “These principles remain key to the efficient processing of multi-territory licences and accurate distribution of royalties across all usages of creative works. We are actively studying alternative ways of achieving these goals, taking full advantage of the learning gained from the GRD project to date”.

Despite launching with the full support of all major collection societies and running up £8m in development costs, the project seemingly fell apart due to a fall-out between the various societies.

This reportedly led to several of them pulling out and leaving the database without enough funding to continue. Although the PRS mention exploring alternatives, it’s difficult to imagine what these are, given that this was a serious attempt at a global, joined up database for all publishers on a global scale.

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