Since the beginning of the modern international copyright (or “authors rights” ) era a century ago, authorship and ownership information for musical works has been maintained in paper filing systems, and exchanged among the world’s copyright management organizations (CMOs) in standardized paper data files, or “Fiches Internationales”, as they were called. These exchanges were necessary to assure the accurate payment of royalties to authors and owners across borders. The rapid expansion of musical repertoire across territories, and the explosive growth of digital delivery mechanisms clearly required a digital solution of global scope. FastTrack was born from that need.
At first, the music industry explored the possibility of a single global repository for music copyright information, but with the computing infrastructure of the time, it proved enormously expensive and much more difficult to establish than first envisioned. The Internet had just been born, and gave CMOs a new path to achieving the same goal… a web-mediated interconnected system of databases housed in member CMOs’ own organizations, close to the authors and copyright owners they represented, and possessing the most authoritative information on works. This vision became FastTrack.