2.1 Introduction

An important element in the management of rights in Musical Works in the US, particularly in the context of mechanical licensing for physical and digital products is the concept of “Letters of Direction” (LoD). These documents are usually sent by new owners or administrators of Musical Works (Acquiring Publisher) to record companies and other users, notifying them of the new ownership or administration of a Catalogue of one or more Musical Works. The reason for this is that many licences, issued by owners or administrators of Musical Works, have an on-going royalty payment obligation. Therefore, where the ownership or administration of one or more musical works moves from one company, usually a music publisher, to another, the Letters of Direction notify the recipient that they need to change the identity of the company entitled to receive such on-going royalty payments in their accounting systems.

The messages and the choreography defined in this standard, together with the messages defined in the Musical Work Right Share Notification Choreography, will allow information flow about the Musical Works themselves (including information about the sound recordings or videos as well as Releases in which they are embodied) as well as information about who owns and controls what shares of such works.

The use of a LoDMessage as defined in this standard is based on a certain number of conditions, for example, identification of the relevant entities needs to have been done and the data shared possibly using messages defined in the Musical Work Right Share Notification Choreography. If there is not enough information for creating a LoDMessage, this standard should not be used.

This standard does not address the process of establishing a licence in the first place. This is defined in the US Musical Works Licensing Choreography.