2009-03-02Using FastTrack Tools

Batch Services at Work: SOCAN Share Their Experiences with Unidentified Performances


Christopher McKenzie is the Coordinator of International Initiatives at SOCAN. He represents SOCAN as a FastTrack Business Liaison and participates in various CISAC groups. Within SOCAN, Christopher is responsible for ensuring that CIS-Net tools are used effectively.

FastTrack: When did SOCAN start using the UP Matching application?

Christopher McKenzie: We spent close to a year developing new workflows and procedures before we started using the tool in November 2007. It took some experimentation to come up with effective matching parameters. The users also took some time to become familiar with fuzzy logic1 and understanding why certain works were matched.

FT: Can you give us some feedback about SOCAN’s matching experience?

CM: We saw an additional use for the matching tool by running the unidentified lists we received from other societies against our node. To do this, we had to develop a way to convert the incoming lists to the UP format. Once we were able to do this, it was just a matter of submitting the lists and reviewing the matches.

In 2008, we were able to identify over 1,300 unidentified SOCAN works for our sister societies. Using the tool this way has enabled us to provide a service to our members by ensuring that Canadian works are correctly registered around the world.

FT: In the past, SOCAN used manual processes to handle lists of unidentified performances. Could you tell us about the benefits of using the matching tool in your current process?

CM: In the past, we manually reviewed other societies’ unidentified lists, which was very time consuming! Now we submit those lists and let the application do the matching. We still have to confirm the matches, but the effort required to do this has been reduced.
Additionally, the inclusion of the RTF download within the application allowed us to build an automated load and reduced the amount of time spent on manual work entry when matching against other nodes.

FT: The Project Team is currently working on the delivery of a new release, which will be delivered during the second half of 2009. It will include improvements, especially in terms of performances. Do you expect other improvements?

CM: One of the challenges we faced was the slow turnaround time and unavailability of targeted nodes. We are happy, though, to see that this is being addressed by the ‘CIS-Net Performance Working Group’ and the ‘UP Matching for Non-FastTrack Societies’ Project.

Our users requested the option of working from a printed report containing all potential matches. SOCAN has requested this enhancement, which will speed up the process of confirming matches, as well as reducing the dependency on node availability.

Additionally, I think the inclusion of new nodes will make the tool even more useful and should reduce the number of unidentified works.

The real value of the tool, however, depends on the commitment of societies to use it and provide feedback and suggestions.

1Editor’s Note: In this specific case, it is the algorithm used to determine the similarity between words.

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