Merlin, the global rights body for independents music companies, on Monday presses the button on its official Web site.

The new service, at www.merlinnetwork.org, will provide indies with a clear statement of Merlin's aims, methods and structure.

At launch, the site is available in the English, French and Spanish languages, while German and Portuguese versions will follow shortly after.

"The formation of a body than can properly and effectively represent a global constituency has been a complex and challenging enterprise," comments Merlin CEO Charles Caldas in a statement. "We have succeeded though, and the launch of our multilingual Web site, which will be a key tool for our global communications, is another major step towards the imminent commencement of our full operation."

Moreover, Merlin says it is currently finalizing its regulatory obligations and preparing mandates, which will allow indies to appoint the rights body to act on their behalf.

Merlin was unveiled at the Midem trade fair in January to represent the independent sector and help achieve equality with the majors, by ensuring competitive terms for new and emerging media usages of its music.

Koch Records president Bob Frank was elected last month as Merlin's first chairman.

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