2013-03-13User Profile

GEMA: CIS-Net has Become an Essential Tool for our Daily Work


The number of music usages that must be processed by collecting societies around the world is increasing. In this context one of the key process is the documentation on musical works and audio-visual productions. It is therefore crucial to have fast access to the documentation on Interested Parties, Agreements, International Works and Audio-visual productions in order to be as efficient and accurate as possible.

Since the early days of FastTrack we have always appreciated and supported the collaborative work on CIS-Net. GEMA has been contributing to musical works and films since 2003, and in 2008 we added our agreements to ‘CIS-Net powered by FastTrack’. CIS-Net has become an essential tool for our daily work and it would be unimaginable to live without it! More than 400 employees from the Documentation Departments and many others like the Distribution and Licensing area have access to MWI, AVI, Agreements and IPI they use on a daily basis.

During the past few years we focused on the way to improve the documentation and declaration of audiovisual productions. This included the introduction of the electronic cue sheet format, the AVR, and especially the automated reply to requests from CIS-Net AVI. Since 2010 we have established a workflow which uses the current AVR formats and automatically answers the incoming cue sheets requests for German AV productions - up to 98% - allowing us to provide a quick and efficient response to the requests. We currently receive more than 65% of their requests for audio-visual productions from the AVI. Every hour, we pick up the requests from the FastTrack FTP server and match them immediately to the applicable documentation. The reply is generated automatically and responds to the FTP server. Within 3 hours, the response to the requester is provided.

With the declining revenues from CD sales, audio-visual productions and their exploitation on television, DVDs and Blu-ray Discs are increasingly becoming the main priority of the rights holders. Since 2011 the publishers also have access to the AVI and thus it gains more recognition and importance. In this regard, there will be in the very near future a new feature allowing the exchange of translated titles and metadata with publishers. Since the data quality from the broadcasters doesn’t always meet GEMA and other collecting societies requirements, the publishers are becoming an important additional source of information for audio-visual productions.

It often happens we receive only the local title of an international series or a feature film: an example of the potential problems in requesting the correct cue sheet. Vice versa, we receive a lot of requests for the cue sheets of German TV series and movies, while not being provided with the original German title. Such cases make our work more complicated and we do hope that the translated titles feature will help us solve the problem by reducing the numbers of unidentified AV productions.

Another important AVI project has just been launched at the beginning of the year. GEMA together with ASCAP, APRA, BMI, IMRO, PRS for Music and SABAM will be involved in the development of this new project. Currently many societies still get requests to audiovisual productions outside of CIS-Net AVI. One of the reasons for this is the increasing amount of audio-visual works which include unidentified productions; they have to be processed and manually searched on AVI by societies. One of the aims of ‘Batch Services for Audio-Visual Works’ project will be to close this gap by providing a method to match unidentified audio-visual productions against the AVI database and then to return a list of potential matching audio-visual works to the submitter.
This is a further step to reduce costs, to increase revenues on distribution payments for unidentified audio-visual performances, to increase data quality and thus to another level of service.

Jens Kindermann
Project Leader Audio-Visual Productions, GEMA

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