4.1 Terms and definitions

For the purposes of this standard the following terms have the definitions specified in this clause.

Although all the terms below are capitalised, they appear in the text of this standard in lower case, for ease of readability. This does not apply in this standard to the term Primary Resource because this is a combined term that would not appear in a normal dictionary.

Acquiring Record Company

A record company that is acquiring a catalogue of releases from a relinquishing record company in a catalogue transfer.

Catalogue Transfer

The process of transferring rights in a catalogue of releases from one rights controller to another rights controller.

Contractually Mandatory

A tag or attribute in any DDEX message that has the technical cardinality of 0-1 or 0-n but, because it has been agreed between the message sender and the message recipient (by contract or by law), is mandatory when the message is sent in a specific commercial context.

Digital service provider (DSP)

A party that provides a service which makes available to consumers releases over a public telecom network having been duly authorised to do so by the owners of copyrights in sound recordings, videos or other releases or resources, and/or exclusive licensors of copyrights in sound recordings, videos or other releases or resources (usually record companies or distributors).


An organisation responsible for delivering releases and associated deal information to DSPs on behalf of one or more record companies, who are the owners of copyrights in sound recordings, videos or other releases or resources, and/or exclusive licensees of copyrights in sound recordings, videos or other releases or resources contained in the releases and/or an organisation that sends or receives DDEX standard messages on behalf of other companies both of which roles enable smaller organisations to participate in the DDEX ecosystem.

Primary Resource

A resource that is the main resource of a release. A change in a Primary Resource typically requires a new release identifier, whereas a change in a secondary resource does not. All resources that are referenced in a ReleaseResourceReference composite in a NewReleaseMessage are Primary Resources for that release.

Reassignment of Rights Controller Information

A catalogue transfer in which the DSP updates its internal systems to indicate that, from a specific date onwards, the controller of a set of releases, has changed or will change from one rights controller (the relinquishing record company) to another rights controller (the acquiring record company).


A release is an abstract entity representing a bundle of one or more resources usually compiled by a record company. The resources in releases are normally primarily sound recordings or videos, but this is not invariably the case. The release is not itself the item of trade or product. Products have more extensive attributes than releases. For example, one release may be disseminated in many different products.

Relinquishing Record Company

A record company that is relinquishing a catalogue of releases to an acquiring record company in a catalogue transfer.


A digital fixation of an expression of an abstract work (such as a sound recording, a video, other audiovisual recordings, an image, software or a passage of text). Resources are individual assets that make up a release. Typical resources are sound and/or music audiovisual recordings and cover art images.

Rights Controller

A party that controls rights in one or more creations in respect of some or all rights for specific territories, time periods, rights types, usage types and commercial model types (which may be anything up to and including all rights for the world, in perpetuity, for all types of usage and for all types of commercial models). Creations include musical works, sound recordings and other resources as well as releases.

A rights controller is in many cases also the licensor.

A rights controller may be a human being or other legal person or corporate entity.

A rights controller may or may not also be the rights administrator, the licensing agent or the rights holder.

A rights controller may or may not be the message sender or message recipient of a standard message created in accordance with a DDEX standard.