International ISMN Agency

The International Standard Music Number for Notated Music.
A System for Publishing, Distribution and Library Practices

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Music publishers often use an ISBN for their publications which is not according to either the ISBN or the ISMN standard. Hartmut Walravens, Chairman of the International ISMN Agency, listed the reasons for having a separate ISMN standard. Please view the paper here.

At the IAML congress in Antwerp 2014 Hartmut Walravens and Carolin Unger from the International ISMN Agency gave a presentation on the history and success of the ISMN. The text gives a good overview of the benefits of the ISMN and how the number is being used. It was first published in Fontes Artis Musicae, Volume 62, Issue 1, page 26-36. You can see the English version here and the Spanish version here.

As of number 25 the ISMN Newsletter will no longer be printed but published as PDF on our website only. It can be viewed here.

Pia Shekter, Secretary General of IAML, the International Association of Music Libraries, visited the office of the International ISMN Agency on 17 April 2015. ISMN and IAML are closely connected since the impulse to have a separate numbering system for printed music was made possible and promoted thanks to IAML colleagues. 
The International ISMN Agency was very glad to welcome Pia. We enjoyed a very vivid meeting and intend to intensify our cooperation.

Thanks to the commitment and kind cooperation of several national ISMN agencies, the International ISMN Agency can now provide translations of the ISMN Users' Manual on its website.
Besides the English original the manual can so far be viewed in Albanian, Armenian, Czech, Estonian, Hungarian, Latvian and Spanish. More languages will follow.
View the translations here.

The 57th country to join the ISMN system is Malta. The ISMN agency is hosted by the National Book Council in the Central Public Library. The agency will be operational soon.

The International ISMN Agency is glad to announce that it has joined the Linked Content Coalition (LCC). LCC is a not-for profit global consortium of TC 46 standards bodies and other stake-holders. The group aims to improve legal access to online content. In its Ten Targets for a Digital Future it describes the way to ensure the identification of creators and creations on the Internet, the possibility of having machine-readable rights information linked to the creations and to make the existing media standards more interoperable.

The Linked Content Coalition (LCC), the unique media project that recently published its innovative technical framework to improve the management and communication of and access to online rights information, has been re-constituted as a permanent organization. The new LCC is a not-for-profit global consortium of standards bodies and registries with a remit to facilitate and expand the legitimate use of content in the digital network. Its Ten Targets for a Digital Future aim to ensure that every creator and every creation can be automatically identified on the net if they wish to be; that every creation can have machine-readable rights information linked to it (whether for commercial or free use); and that existing standards of different media types can be interoperable. View the complete press release here.

SUISA joined Armonia

created by: Carolin Unger, on: 09.06.2014 Kommentare (0)

Armonia, the world's largest network for international music licences, got a new member: SUISA, the Cooperative Society of Music Authors and Publishers in Switzerland. The membership will strengthen SUISA's position in the online music bisiness. View the complete press release here.

Amazon and ISMN

created by: Carolin Unger, on: 09.06.2014 Kommentare (0)

Amazon, perhaps the topmost global player in the book-trade, fell victim to a deplorable misunderstanding. They did not know the ISMN despite the fact that they are now dealing with notated music on a small but considerable scale. For this reason they put pressure on music publishers in a number of countries, e.g. Scandinavia and Hungary, to drop the ISMN and adopt the  ISBN - a clear breach of international standards. ISO 2108 (ISBN) clearly states that music is excluded ...
It does happen all the time that staff make mistakes, and we could just quote: O Lord, forgive them as they do not know what they are doing! and continue our work. But in the case of Amazon the situation is more serious - because of its strong position on the market the company cannot be easily reached - there are no email addresses that can be found easily, and using them would not lead to a reply; the same holds good with regular mail, not only with Seattle but also with national branches.
So does that mean that big companies can cancel international standards?
Fortunately, GS 1 the worldwide barcoding company rescued ISMN - in their update of the authoritative GTIN Validation Guide they included a clear statement that ISMN is - technically – on the same level as ISBN and is a valid identifier and transaction number. Thank you, GS 1 colleagues!
No comments from Amazon so far ... 
If there are any further difficulties please report to the International Agency.
The GTIN Validation Guide can be downloaded here.