Acronym Glossary

AcronymFull NameDescription
AFMAmerican Federation of MusiciansA labor union representing professional musicians in the United States and Canada.
ASCAPAmerican Society of Composers, Authors, and PublishersA U.S. nonprofit performing rights organization (PRO) that provides public performance licenses for musical works. Subject to a consent decree.
BIEMBureau International des Sociétés Gérant les Droits d’Enregistrement et de Reproduction MécaniqueAn international organization representing member mechanical rights societies. Negotiates licensing agreements with IFPI, assists in technical collaboration between its member societies to solve problems that arise between individual members, and contributes to the defence and development of copyright protection in the domain of mechanical rights.
BMIBroadcast Music, Inc.A U.S. nonprofit performing rights organization (PRO) that provides public performance licenses for musical works. Subject to a consent decree.
CISCommon Information SystemCommon information system that uses a variety of international standard identifier codes for musical works (ISWC), audiovisual works (ISAN) and rights holders (IPI, ISNI), several tools and databases (CIS-Net, IPI System, AV Index, Agreements, etc.) and a set of standardized formats (CWR, AVR, UP, CRD) for information exchange. Launched by CISAC and used by all CISAC members.
CIS-NetCommon Information System NetworkA network of databases for the use of CISAC members built upon the CIS standards.
CISACInternational Confederation of Societies of Authors and ComposersWorldwide organization of authors’ societies, representing more than 4 million creators from all geographic areas and all artistic repertoires (including musical compositions, audio visual, dramatic, literary, and visual works). CISAC launched its CIS system to streamline rights data management. The ISWC, ISNI, and IPI unique identifiers are part of CISAC’s CIS system.
CRB/CRJsCopyright Royalty Board / Copyright Royalty JudgesThree-judge panel that makes determinations and adjustments of terms and rates of royalty payments for the U.S. statutory licenses. Part of the Copyright Office.
CWRCommon Works RegistrationCISAC standard developed with publishers with a primary use to register works with collecting societies. However, the CWR has recently expanded and is used in other types of exchanges (e.g., publishers to DMPs). CWR employs data standards that have been developed for the Common Information System (CIS) project of CISAC.
DAWDigital Audio WorkstationAn electronic device or software application used for recording and producing music. Examples are ProTools and Logic Pro.
DLCDigital Licensee CoordinatorA nonprofit, designated by the Copyright Office, that coordinates the activities of digital music providers under the blanket section 115 compulsory mechanical license. The DLC is authorized to participate in Copyright Royalty Board proceedings to establish the administrative assessment to be paid by digital music providers to operate the MLC. A DLC representative serves as a nonvoting member on the MLC’s board.
DMPDigital Music ProviderGenerally, services offering recorded music and other forms of digital entertainment to the public via streaming or download.
DSPDigital Service ProviderIn the music context, services offering recorded music and other forms of digital entertainment to the public via streaming or download, i.e., a DMP.
DSRDigital Sales Report Message Suite StandardDDEX standard that communicates information about sales, usage, or revenue generated on a digital music service.
ERNElectronic Release Notification Message Suite StandardDDEX standard that provides core metadata about sound recording and video releases to DMPs
FMCFuture of Music CoalitionA U.S. nonprofit that advocates for musicians.
GAOGovernment Accountability OfficeAn independent, nonpartisan agency that provides analyses, options, recommendations, and other assistance to help Congress make effective oversight, policy, and funding decisions.
GMRGlobal Music RightsA U.S. for-profit performing rights organization (PRO) that provides public performance licenses for musical works. Not subject to a consent decree.
GRDGlobal Repertoire DatabaseAn earlier, EU-initiated attempt to create a comprehensive and authoritative database for ownership and administration of musical works throughout the world. The GRD was not developed.
GRidGlobal Release IdentifiersA unique identifier for sound recordings developed by MI3P.
HFAHarry Fox AgencyU.S. provider of music rights administration services, especially for mechanical rights for musical works. Owned by SESAC.
ICEInternational Copyright EnterpriseA joint venture between PRS, STIM and GEMA to actively encourage collaboration between other CMOs, music publishers, and digital service providers to ensure composers and songwriters are compensated accurately and fairly for the use of their works.
IFPIInternational Federation of the Phonographic IndustryA nonprofit trade organization that represents the interests of the recording industry worldwide.
IMJVInternational Music Joint VentureAn early effort by PROs to develop a comprehensive and authoritative worldwide musical work ownership database. Ultimately never developed.
IMPALAIndependent Music Companies AssociationA nonprofit organization representing independent music companies.
IMRInternational Music RegistryWIPO’s project to develop a database, intended to be a single access point for rights management systems around the world, to provide the rights status of musical works and sound recordings. Ultimately dissolved.
IPIInterested Parties InformationA unique identifier assigned to rights holders with an interest in an artistic work, including natural persons or legal entities, made known to the IPI Centre. The IPI System is an international registry used by CISAC and BIEM societies. The collation and presentation of IPI information is standardized according to the CIS business rules. The IPI serves the documentation, distribution, and accounting processes of the societies that use the IPI System. The IPI system is administered by the Swiss copyright society SUISA.
ISNIInternational Standard Name IdentifierA unique identifier for identifying the public identities of contributors to creative works, regardless their legal or natural status, and those active in their distribution. These may include researchers, inventors, writers, artists, visual creators, performers, producers, publishers, aggregators, and more. A different ISNI is assigned for each name used. ISNI is not widely in use across the music industry.
ISOInternational Standards OrganizationAn international standard-setting body that promotes worldwide standards.
ISRCInternational Standard Recording CodeA unique identifier assigned to sound recordings and music videos (assigned at the track level rather than by album) and created in conjunction with ISO. Managed by IFPI and regional agents (U.S. agent is RIAA).
ISWCInternational Standard Musical Work CodeA unique identifier assigned to musical works and used in exchanges of information between PROs, publishers, record companies, and other interested parties on an international level. The system was developed by CISAC member societies. Managed by CISAC and regional agents (U.S. agent is ASCAP).
MDXMusic Data ExchangeA software application developed by SoundExchange in cooperation with RIAA and NMPA to facilitate the exchange of sound recording and publishing data between record labels and music publishers. Provides a central database of metadata and publisher rights and claiming capabilities.
MEADMedia Enrichment and DescriptionDDEX standard that provides more than the core information delivered in an ERN message.
MI3PMusic Industry Integrated Identifiers ProjectProject to develop a global infrastructure for the music industry to facilitate uses by online music services through a system of standardized data exchange. Governed by DDEX.
MLCMechanical Licensing CollectiveA nonprofit entity that will administer the new blanket licensing system established by the Music Modernization Act beginning on the License Availability Date (January 1, 2021). The MLC will collect notices and reports from digital music providers, collect and distribute royalties, and identify musical works and their owners for payment. It will also maintain a public database containing information relating to musical works.
MLCMusic Licensing CompanyAn international collective rights organization (CMO) that licenses the public performance (neighboring) and other rights in recordings. Not to be confused with the United States’ establishment of a mechanical licensing collective (MLC) under the MMA.
MMAMusic Modernization ActThe Music Modernization Act updates the music licensing landscape to better facilitate legal licensing of music by digital services. It creates a blanket license for DMPs using the compulsory license for making and distributing musical works (the section 115 mechanical license). It also provides certain protections (and exceptions to those protections) to pre-1972 sound recordings and addresses the distribution of certain producers’ royalties.
MWNMusical Works Notification Message Suite StandardDDEX standard designed to allow parties to obtain licenses or statements of rights claims from musical work rights owners.
NMPANational Music Publishers AssociationA nonprofit trade organization that represents part of the music publishing industry in the United States.
NOINotice of Intention to Obtain a Compulsory LicensePrior to the MMA, users had to file a notice of intention with the copyright owner to obtain a compulsory license under the section 115 compulsory mechanical license (or if the copyright owner could not be identified or located from the Copyright Office’s public records, the NOI had to be filed with the Copyright Office). The NOI system remains in place for non-digital uses (e.g., CDs, vinyl, etc.) and during the current transition period to the blanket license (except that the Office no longer accepts NOIs). But after the License Availability Date (January 1, 2021), DMPs wishing to use the section 115 compulsory license will need a blanket license from the MLC.
NSAINashville Songwriters Association InternationalA nonprofit trade association that represents songwriters in all genres of music.
OMIOpen Music InitiativeNonprofit initiative creating an open-source protocol for the uniform identification of music rights holders and creators.
PLinePhonogram LineDDEX field signifying a rights statement for musical works.
PROPerforming Rights OrganizationResponsible for licensing public performance rights of musical works for affiliated songwriters and publishers and collecting and distributing royalties from those licenses (e.g., ASCAP, BMI, SESAC, GMR).
RIAARecording Industry Association of AmericaA nonprofit trade organization that represents part of the U.S. recorded music industry.
RDxRepertoire Data ExchangeCentralized data exchange gateway under development by IFPI and WIN to allow record companies and music licensing companies to submit and access authoritative recording data via a single point.
RINRecording Information NotificationDDEX standard incorporated into recording studio equipment and DAWs that allows for producers and other users to store metadata associated with a recording project.
SAG-AFTRAScreen Actors Guild- American Federation of Television and Radio ArtistsA nonprofit labor union that represents actors, journalists, radio personalities, recording artists, singers, voice actors, and other media professionals.
SCAPRSocieties Council for the Collective Management of Performers’ RightsA nonprofit organization representing performers’ collective management organizations (CMOs).
SCLThe Society of Composers and LyricistsA nonprofit trade association that represents songwriters and composers working in all forms of visual media.
SESACSociety of European Stage Authors and ComposersA U.S. for-profit performing rights organization (PRO) that provides public performance licenses for musical works. Owns HFA. Also operates certain services outside the United States. Not subject to a consent decree.
SFTPSecure File Transfer ProtocolA network protocol that provides secure file access, transfer, and management over any reliable data stream.
SGASongwriters Guild of AmericaA nonprofit trade association that represents songwriters.
SONASongwriters Of North AmericaA nonprofit trade association that represents composers and lyricists.
SRDBSound Recording DatabaseRIAA database of sound recording ownership information.
SXSoundExchangeA nonprofit organization designated by the U.S. Copyright Royalty Judges to collect and distribute digital performance royalties for sound recordings under the section 114 statutory license. Also operates SXWorks, its music publisher services arm.
WINWorldwide Indie Network of Independent LabelsA coalition of independent music labels around the world.
WIPOWorld Intellectual Property OrganizationAn agency of the United Nations that administers international treaties on a wide range of intellectual property areas, including copyright.
XMLExtensible Markup LanguageA file format used to create common information formats and share both the format and the data using standard text.