2016-01-13Guest Post

Christophe Waignier : Our Main Challenge is to Design Tools Favoring Transparency


FT - Christophe you were appointed as President of FastTrack last March. On this occasion you declared: « FastTrack represents an opportunity to help meet some of the challenges arising from the developments of music uses on the Internet ». To your opinion what could be FastTrack position in the next future to face such challenges? Towards which area of development FastTrack should head for?

CW - The main stake for our business community is to be able to provide an appropriate technical answer to the globalization of music usages and of online music stakeholders in a context where repertoires are fragmented, with this remaining objective of maximizing the value of the rights we represent. In this context we all know the global consistency of works documentation and the dissemination of reliable information towards the whole music stakeholders are essential if we want to reach our objectives. We are also linked to our national differences, as they offer the fertile ground of our rights holders’ cultural diversity. How should we proceed in the digital world to reconcile the global consistency of our documentation and decentralized organizations? That’s our main common challenge. Since it was created FastTrack’s sole ambition was to design tools favoring transparency in terms of documentation thus allowing the whole community of Collective Management Organizations (CMOs) to access information on musical works documentation from more than 180 countries worldwide. Within the very next future we should aim at improving this tremendous realization. Keeping our national differences in a context of globalization is possible but it should lead us to better work together, meaning we should stick to common rules allowing the dissemination of reliable documentation. This should also lead us to adopt without exception and to implement some common standards without reservation. That is the reason why we have, together with CISAC, created the “Cross-Industry Initiative” jointly managed by FastTrack and CISAC. FastTrack tools will contribute to better global transparency and more reliable dissemination of information, but they will also highlight some irregularities: to my opinion this is the most essential mission for FastTrack.


FT - You also said "FastTrack is above all an efficient collaborative platform leveraging international expertise around technology and documentation to deliver collective and open solutions for the benefit of the whole music industry ». Since you have been appointed FastTrack has set up, in collaboration with CISAC, a joint governance to welcome new stakeholders, such as Publishers and Creators. What is your feedback on this governance? In other words how do you think this shared governance will be beneficial for the music industry?

CW - A recent evolution in FastTrack governance was to open its technical solutions, including the design, to the whole chain of rights holders who contribute to the works documentation…. By the way I take the opportunity of this interview to pay tribute to Hein van der Ree, to Eric Baptiste and to all our Board members, as they largely contributed to this essential spirit of openness, which was necessary to reach our goal to improve the global documentation.

FastTrack is elaborating tools to provide access to worldwide documentation to the whole community. Each stakeholder should be able to identify and to solve the conflicts when arising. Each stakeholder should also be able to disseminate the most reliable information. Of course this openness has made the governance of FastTrack projects more complex, as we now need to take into account more opinions and more requirements. That’s the price for the success of our projects, for the use of our tools by the whole community of rights holders and, and in fine for the improvement of the global documentation on musical works.


FT - Your appointment as President and the kick-off of the so-called « Quick Wins » happened at the same time. If you evaluate the situation after 10 months, do you feel positive and confident about the solutions proposed by FastTrack?

CW – We should rather talk about “Fast Wins”! That’s indeed the prevailing spirit within FastTrack to initiate short-cycle projects allowing quick measurement of the benefits once our tools are implemented. The “Quick Wins” jointly elaborated together with both CISAC and FastTrack contributors is taking place as planned with the recent delivery of the “ISWC Resolution Service” that will help the worldwide usage of the ISWCs for the entire global works repertoire, and also the dissemination among the various documentation systems.

Our aim for 2016 will be to focus on the delivery of the “Rights Holders Access to CIS-Net” that should allow Publishers and Songwriters to access documentation on their works worldwide. It’s a major challenge for this year. We also aim at providing the “Single Work Dashboard” allowing showing how one work is documented by CMOs worldwide.

That’s a major agenda for 2016, isn’t it?

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