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Frequently asked question on the Global Release identifier

What is a GRid?

GRid is the acronym for the Global Release Identifier, which is a new identifier that will identify electronically distributed music. These releases may be single tracks, an album or multi-media packages.

Why is this needed?

The increased use of the Internet to distribute music has presented new problems, which the current identification systems in use do not meet.

Why use GRids and not some other identifier?

Although tracks are being traded and released electronically there is currently no standard means of identifying them. Many of those involved are using different identifiers, which makes communication about the assets and their tracking through the value chain very difficult. GRid is a standard means of identifying the fundamental unit of trade in the electronic environment - the release.

What are these new problems?

The electronic distribution of music has meant that producers are now required to manage far more information about the releases and the intellectual property that they contain. This information can include descriptive data about the content, the performing artists, composer and other contributors, the terms and conditions of licenses and other associated rights.

Who can use a GRid?

Anyone involved in the electronic distribution of music; such as record companies, legitimate online music providers and retailers.

Will GRid help with online piracy?

The use of GRID will help legitimate services to operate on the Internet and provide a legal alternative to pirate sites and file sharing services.

What is the difference between an ISRC (International Standard Recording Code) and a GRid?

The ISRC identifies the individual sound and music video recordings, whereas the GRid identifies the product or release that these recordings are part of. GRid acts as an electronic Unique Product Code (UPC) number - as used on CDs. For example: The same song on the release of an album and on a greatest hits compilation has the same ISRC, but the two releases will have different GRids.

Will GRid replace the ISRC?

No. They identify different things. In fact GRid actually furthers the use of the ISRC, because in order to allocate a GRid to a release ISRCs will need to have been issued to all the sound and music videos contained in the release.

How can I get a GRid?

To begin allocating GRids, users need to apply for an Issuer Code from the GRid Registration Agency (www.ifpi.org/grid). The Issuer Code is one of part of the overall identifier and it will uniquely identify the individual or company that will be identifying their releases with GRids.

How is a GRid structured?

The identifier is alphanumeric, 18 characters in length and has a fixed format. The first two parts are allocated by the GRid Registration Agency and the last two by the user themselves.

The parts are:

EXAMPLE: A1-2425G-ABC1234002-M