Progetto MusicNetwork


For everyone who is interested in the future of music and multimedia technologies, the MUSICNETWORK provides a free service which:

  • gives access to the largest database of music-related state of the art technologies and solutions
  • offers clear visibility for your own research and technology innovations
  • offers training and updates regarding the latest technologies, standards and solutions
  • suggests solutions for your problems concerning multimedia music and innovative technologies
  • provides information and support on European Commission/FP6 activities in the area of multimedia music

For professionals in this field the MUSICNETWORK also:

  • co-ordinates a set of expert working groups on the most important topics to help overcome problems encountered in bringing music coding into the interactive multimedia age
  • organises workshops and conferences, inviting experts and decision makers to highlight and solve technical and business problems
  • suggests integrated models and formats for interactive multimedia music coding, distribution and protection based on new standard proposals and/or guidelines for the adoption of present standards
  • stimulates the exploitation of new services and multimedia music functionalities
  • opens new markets for music interaction and distribution, e-publishing, advertising, entertainment, distance learning, edutainment, infotainment, with mobile and pervasive systems
  • accelerates the digitisation and conversion of archives and digital collections and thus the realisation of new music content by both removing technical problems and by creating awareness about the capabilities of present technologies and solutions

The Working Group studying on-line music distribution

It investigates the development of multimedia content distribution, analysing the major problems, the different approaches and business models, considering different aspects and views of the phenomenon. The main focus is on distribution of multimedia content using the Internet to perform transactions and/or content delivery. Key issues are business models, new technologies and distribution media (mobile environments, web services, XML, web-TV and streaming), rights clearing and content protection aspects (Digital Rights Management), content information retrieval (metadata management). It will also consider the legal framework and the developing market of digital music, as well as the quality and accessibility of music distribution services.

It analyses in deep the structure of the market of digital music and multimedia content distribution, considering all the stakeholders and their mutual relationships. The next sections present data and evaluate the bleeding-edge of technologies and products, systems, tools and research, considering at the same time business and user needs. It considers and analyses the most important issues, problems or barriers affecting the development of the multimedia content distribution sector. The analysis revealed the increasing importance of the needs of end-users and consumers of music when considering the major problems as well as the new behaviours and possibilities originated by the availability of music in digital format. To this aim, copyright can represent the tool to get a trade-off between the sometimes conflicting interests of users and publishers-majors-authors, balancing the needs of the rights holder against those of society, users and consumers.

More and more authors, copyright collecting societies and independent labels are embracing the conviction that economic and business models generated or based on new communication and transaction schemas, like P2P, are totally positive in terms of distribution, selling and knowledge of music. Such authors and their representatives are inviting the major labels to start a new innovative and creative approach, involving also the Internet Service Providers in the process and allowing the user, paying a fee, to access music and possibly re-distribute rights via the peer-to-peer and a new licensing scheme.

Adoption and proposition of emerging standards are considered for critical aspects of multimedia content delivery systems, as for instance, for the protected communication protocol used for communications and transactions management between the delivery systems and the related clients or third-party applications. Standardisation activities can play a primary role for the full exploitation of the Internet in terms of content exchange. In particular, the still evolving MPEG-21 ISO standard appears to fit well the music distribution scenario, providing an interoperable multimedia framework and supporting users in accessing, exchanging, and manipulating digital music.

It is dedicated to many different audiences from policy makers, to music end-users and consumers, to content creators, publishers and distributors as well as technology providers, and in general to all the players in the digital music content value chain. Each one of the player is characterised by having a deep and very specific knowledge concerning his core business but sometimes a limited understanding of the needs and processes of other players, partners and (sometimes) even customers. The WG tries to present an objective overview of the digital content distribution phenomenon, abstracting as much as possible from ethical and philosophical considerations concerning the boundaries of individuals’ freedom of action against the enforcement of intellectual property rights.