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Idioma Helps Musicians Perform Online Tracking

CANNES, France - Idioma unveiled its CopyrightScanner technology, which allows artists to track when and where their music is played, at the music industry's MIDEM 2001 show in Cannes, France, this week. "We have created technology that enables us, once we hear [a piece of music] just once, to fingerprint it," said Idioma president and chief executive Ziv Gottesfeld. "We extract the relevant features so that we can recognize it again. We can identify it based on a few chords."

After CopyrightScanner "fingerprints" the music on-the-fly, it is added to its database. Idioma's platform can monitor music played on the radio (which it turns into digital format if necessary) or the Internet, and spot the music each time it is played by comparing it with the already fingerprinted tunes.

The system can be used by music copyright societies, as well as royalty collection agenices, said Gottesfeld.

It could also be employed by such peer-to-peer music-sharing platforms such as Napster, who are moving towards a fee-based model, so that they could track which songs are being shared and pay artists accordingly.

"We see ourselves as facilitators to create a win-win environment in peer-to-peer," said Gottesfeld. While people can alter the song titles on Napster, "the music is the identifier. It will always be recognized."

Idioma is also developing products based on the SmartLog technology that underlies CopyrightScanner for general media monitoring, specifically for tracking advertisements for the advertising industry and other interested parties and for tracking news.

Idioma was founded in 1996 and has 40 employees in offices in Herzliya, Israel, and New York. The company raised an undisclosed amount of funding from LCF Rothschild Israel Seed Funds in July 2000.