Griffin Moving Forward With WIPO on Global Rights Registry
Griffin Moving Forward With WIPO on Global Rights Registry

Jim Griffin is moving forward with his plans to create a global rights registry with the World Intellectual Property Organization. A registry would allow for new licensing schemes that Griffin, a former digital music executive and founder of Choruss, believes are a necessary evolution in the way recorded music is monetized.

Picking up where Billboard left the topic in February, Digital Music News reported Thursday that the International Music Registry will be funded by WIPO on a non-profit, cost recovery basis.

Griffin discussed the rationale for the registry and working with WIPO with Billboard earlier this year: "It's essential that these actuarial approaches be underpinned by good registries that can locate the owners and get them paid appropriately such that our process has the integrity it needs to command the respect of people who allocate money to us, whether they are judges or legislators or users who feel it's appropriate to pay for music."

The need for a comprehensive rights registry became apparent with Griffin was working on Choruss, the Audio Galaxy-powered music service aimed at college campuses. For a legal file-sharing service to work, Choruss needed to have information on who to pay. But there was a snag, said Griffin. "The big problem we ended up facing in Choruss is that we couldn't find at least half the rights holders. Literally couldn't find them."

To create the registry, Griffin joined with two of WIPO's key people, Francis Gurry, WIPO's Director General, and C. Trevor Clarke, Assistant Director General, Culture and Creative Industries Sector. "I think they are both extraordinary people who have replaced less than extraordinary people who have preceded them, and who I think deserve our full support."