"In the context of the digital world, everybody understands that we all got into this business because we love music, but unfortunately we all end up doing IT [information technology]. That is my curse because I'm not an IT guy. I just want to make sure that writers and publishers get paid right" Hein van der Ree
Since the London Board on Strategy (see article in our July 2014 Newsletter) the Board met twice, in Paris (October) and in Tokyo last November. The hot topics were mainly the evolution of FastTrack governance in the light of the future of CIS-Net and 2015 budget.
Let’s first remind you that FastTrack’s agreed strategy, based on FastTrack core values and mission is oriented around the four following axes:
- Extension of users to get involvement from more rights owners;
- Extension of services: FastTrack will extend the services it delivers from the definition of requirements to operational implementation in societies’ business processes;
- Solutions to deliver a list of potential projects with a focus on the future of CIS-Net and on Audio-Visual information. This list will be subject to prioritization on the occasion of the delivery of the 2015-2017 Roadmap to be approved by our Board before the end of this year;
- Upgrade of existing tools starting with a gap analysis on already tools already delivered.
At the Paris and Tokyo Board meetings this strategy was reassessed and some concrete decisions were taken in terms of governance and organization to support FastTrack’s strategic orientation.
The first step was to send a positive signal towards organizations of Publishers and Songwriters in order to start the dialogue and to create further collaboration between FastTrack, Creators and Publishers; the president of the Board, Hein van der Ree, invited these organizations to participate in the newly created ‘Rights-Holders Council’, the aim of this body would be to provide advice to FastTrack Board of Directors. The Tokyo Board was informed the following organizations positively reacted to FastTrack’s invitation: ICMP/NMPA, IMPF, AIMP, CIAM, ECSA and MCNA. To date the discussions are still going on with each interested stakeholder.
More concretely speaking the Rights-Holders Council would meet 2 to 3 times a year and 2 representatives of Publishers and Creators would represent the Rights-Holders Council at our Board of Directors.
Another invitation has been sent to Creators’ and Publishers’ organizations to ask for their contribution and business expertise in the ‘CISNext Steering Committee’ during the definition phase (November 2014 to March 2015). The CISNext Steering Committee goal is to develop the CISNext project to a level where a decision as to its feasibility can be put on the agenda of March 2015 Board meeting. All the key elements such as governance, business rules, technical design etc. should be ready for the decision making process at that time. Some of these organizations positively replied to FastTrack’s invitation and to date 3 representatives of Creators (CIAM, ECSA and MCNA) and 2 representatives of Publishers (IMPF and AIMP) are already involved in the various tasks of the CISNext Steering Committee, coordinated by FastTrack Executive Committee.
Another decision has been taken on the involvement of Users in FastTrack governance: it was envisioned that DSPs could be involved at a later stage in FastTrack ‘User Forum’ future webinars. Discussions are currently ongoing on the list of potential members to be invited to the ‘User Forum’.
Last but not least, our 2015 budget including the CISNext definition phase was approved by the Board.
After these two fruitful meetings, we will move forward with further implementation of our Board’s recommendations. There is still a lot of work to be accomplished by the end of the CISNext definition phase (see related article in this February Newsletter) and the final Board’s decision on the future developments of the so-called ‘CISNext’. This will probably happen in March in Berlin. Stay tuned…
Michel Allain, Director General
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