This document defines a standard mechanism by which the transfer of catalogues of releases can take place by a reassignment of rights controller information. It was developed by the member organisations of the Digital Data Exchange, LLC (DDEX). Any organisation wishing to implement a DDEX standard is required to apply for an Implementation Licence. The terms of the licence and an application form can be found here and here.
The process of transferring catalogues of releases from one record company to another is, today, very inefficient. Catalogue transfers regularly lead to the releases becoming unavailable to consumers on DSPs’ services, even if only for a short period of time. In addition, consumer-generated data such as playlists or comments are often lost alongside long-term usage information. As a consequence, catalogue transfers, today, are causing a non-trivial amount of administrative work for all companies involved.
In 2021, DDEX published a best practice document to improve the catalogue transfer process. These best practices can be followed to streamline the manual intervention required to complete all kinds of catalogue transfers. The best practices for catalogue transfer can be found here.
This standard augments these best practices but is limited to one specific type of catalogue transfer that happens between just three parties, namely, a relinquishing record company, an acquiring record company and a DSP. The process is sometimes known as “lift and shift”. This standard in its current iteration does not seek to support catalogue transfers that involve distributors.