Data exchange hailed as 'significant step.'

CISAC and BIEM, the international umbrella groups for collecting societies, on Friday (May 5) welcomed the pan-industry development of the Digital Data Exchange.

As reported yesterday, the DDEX has been set up by record labels, tech companies and publishers to create standards to license and sell digital entertainment globally.

In a joint-statement issued today, CISAC and BIEM said that the initiative represented a "significant step forward in the online music market."

BIEM and CISAC underlined how DDEX would help the broader Music Industry Integrated Identifier Project (MI3P), which was initiated to develop a global infrastructure to support the management of on-line music.

"We are delighted that the MI3P Project, to which we have been heavily committed over several years, both financially and in terms of providing expertise, is now coming to fruition under the auspices of DDEX," BIEM secretary general Ronald Mooij said.

"The broad membership of DDEX gives us confidence that this venture will succeed not only for the benefit of the entire music industry but also for the advancement of e-commerce," added CISAC director general Eric Baptiste.

The U.S.-based DDEX was founded by 11 charter members: EMI Music, Sony BMG Music Entertainment, Warner Music Group, Universal Music Group, Apple Computer, Microsoft, RealNetworks, ASCAP, the Harry Fox Agency, the MCPS-PRS Alliance and Spanish society SGAE.