Smart contracts for fair trade of music

by Panos Kudumakis & Thomas Wilmering (Centre for Digital Music, Queen Mary University of London)

Media Value Chain Ontology (ISO/IEC 21000-19) facilitates IP rights tracking for fair and transparent royalties payment by capturing user roles and their permissible actions on a particular IP entity. However, widespread adoption of interactive music services, e.g., remixing, karaoke and collaborative music creation, thanks to Interactive Music Application Format (ISO/IEC 23000-12), raises the issue of rights monitoring when reuse of audio IP entities is involved, such as, tracks or even segments of them in new derivative works.

Audio Value Chain Ontology (ISO/IEC 21000-19 AMD1), addresses the aforementioned issue by extending MVCO functionality related to description of composite IP entities in the audio domain, whereby the components of a given IP entity can be located in time, and for the case of multi-track audio, associated with specific tracks. The introduction of an additional ‘reuse’ action enables querying and granting permissions for the reuse of existing IP entities in order to create new derivative composite IP entities.

Audio Value Chain Ontology (AVCO) conceptualisation.

Furthermore, MVCO/AVCO smart contracts by facilitating machine readable deontic expressions for permissions, obligations and prohibitions, with respect to particular users and IP entities, could be used in conjunction with distributed ledgers, e.g., blockchain, enabling both transparency and interoperability towards fair trade of music.

For further info please visit MPEG Developments.


  • ISO/IEC Information Technology – Multimedia Framework (MPEG-21) – Part 19: Media Value Chain Ontology AMENDMENT 1: Extensions on Time-Segments & Multi-Track Audio (ISO/IEC 21000-19/AMD 1:2018)
  • ISO/IEC Information Technology – Multimedia Framework (MPEG-21) – Part 8: Reference Software AMENDMENT 4: Media Value Chain Ontology Extensions on Time-Segments & Multi-Track Audio
    (ISO/IEC 21000-8/AMD 4:2018)