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Music publishers are building a song rights database which will make it easier to launch online music services - and fight piracy.
The global repertoire database will detail which publisher or song writer owns which rights.
That will enable the rights owners to get paid each time their song is played online or via mobile services.
The music-industry backed database could be up and running within two years.
The new system - known as the global repertoire database - will include details on who has worked on creating a song along with who has licensing rights.