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GRid to help track online song sales

The Global Release Indentifier, or GRid, is a code akin to the Universal Product Code (UPC) bar code found on a CD or cassette tape in stores. GRid's aim is to track each time a record label, online retailer or distributor such as Microsoft's MSN or Italian Internet service provider Tiscali sells a song in the form of a Web stream or download.

With the GRid initiative, resellers would be charged an annual fee of 150 pounds ($245.10), for which they can issue an identity tag to millions of songs sold online.

Each track will be distributed with an individual GRid serial number. Like a bar code, it will be reported back to rights societies and collection agencies so that artists can be compensated for sales.

Paul Jessop, chief technology officer of the International Federation of Phonographic Industry (IFPI) cautioned that GRid is not designed, nor is it intended for, keeping track of songs that wind up on online file-sharing networks, a major source of music piracy. As paul says "If this is done properly, the artists and authors of music will be paid adequately for the sale of their works online".

News source: Yahoo News

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