F.A.Q. - Frequently asked questions

General information

The Netzwerk NRW Noten Digital introduces a new approach to the distribution of digital products via the internet. Today, the current status of hardware and internet connectivity technology enables almost anybody to economically participate in digital sale and distribution. However, an established connection between the individual participants, in order to automatically organize sales and distribution of digital products is still missing. That is why in the course of NNND, a new internet standard, AODP, will be developed. It is to create a modern and communicative procedure in which the structure of the internet as a decentralized network is used and from which all parties of the value chain will profit. The new internet standard of the NNND project makes it possible for anybody to help shape the diversity and in particular the digital future of the creative industries.

Why is the new internet standard important for the creative industries and the sheet music branch in particular?

The technological change requires action and orientation towards the digital market. With the NNND project, an easy and particularly a self-determined way is to be paved for the creative industries and especially the sheet music branch.
The aim is to create conditions in the digital market that account for a flourishing and diverse market structure in the creative industries. All participants of the value chain themselves are to help shape the market. Thus, a monopolisation shall be prevented, and instead, activity and creativity of all market players are to be encouraged.

What advantages does the internet protocol AODP have for the creative industries and the sheet music branch in particular?

The use of the internet protocol, AODP, enables rights-holders to keep control of their products' sale. It creates complete transparency of accounting and at the same time a high level of protection of copyrighted material. This offers creatives an enhanced incentive to make contributions to the creative landscape also in future. The project is deployed in the field of sheet music. However, due to the possibility of transferring the standard into other industries, innovations and new ideas can be initiated both in the creative industries in general and in other economic sectors.

Who is in charge of the project?

As a direct project developer, DE-PARCON Softwaretechnologie & Marketing GmbH is in charge of the initial and continued technical conception of the project's individual components.
ACAMAR Management & Service GmbH & Co KG is also a project developer and is responsible for the editorial conception and the definition of data format standardization. Furthermore, the company serves as a provider of knowhow and service contractor for the digitisation of content.
As a project partner, the German Music Publishers Association (Deutscher Musikverleger-Verband e.V., DMV) is responsible for communication, coordination and consulting among the associated parties in the music branch and beyond.

Is the project limited to printed sheet music?

The project NNND is deployed in the field of sheet music. Nevertheless, the internet standard AODP which is being developed in the course of the project is also applicable to the digital sale and distribution of many other products. It can, thus, encourage the development of new ideas and business models also in other industries.

Components and technical procedure

What is AODP?

AODP is an internet protocol which coordinates the execution of decentralized, automated and encoded ordering and distribution in the internet. Thus, AODP stands for "Automatic Ordering and Delivery Protocol". It operates according to the client-server principle, i.e. it coordinates the process of communication between retailer (client) and supplier (server) at the moment of sale.
The development of AODP is a major component of the NNND project.

How does the internet protocol AODP work in practice?

AODP uses the network structure of the internet. The systems of retailer and supplier contact each other at the moment of sale. After the transaction, the digital product is placed at the consumer's disposal direct from the system of the supplier. This way, the digital master files always remain on the supplier's server.
Retailers retain their functionality that is, they compile their individual assortment from the range of products offered by different suppliers. In their own online shop or through another sales channel retailers can then offer these products for sale. Only the meta data (= descriptive data) is required. When a customer wants to buy an item, the retailer's online shop automatically requests the product via AODP from the supplier in question. The retailer is the contact person for the customer and is responsible for the sales end of the transaction.
The entire communications process between the retailer's and the supplier's server takes place automatically and within a few milliseconds. The consumer will not become aware of the technical procedure and the decentralized structure behind his or her purchase.

What is the difference between the new internet standard and other online offers commonly found today?

AODP guarantees transparency regarding the sales and distribution of digital products via the internet. Owing to the decentralized network structure of AODP, publishers and rights-holders no longer have to pass on their digital content to third parties. They are able to decide themselves, by whom and under what conditions their products can be sold. Thus, all suppliers retain control over their sales mechanisms.
AODP minimizes the requirements retailers have to meet in order to participate in digital sales. For example, retailers do not have to store and organize master content (as is common among online suppliers today). Instead, it is sufficient to be equipped with meta data in order to offer digital products. Hence, entering into digital sales is made possible for any retailer.

Questions for composers and artists

What advantages do I have as a creative through AODP?

AODP is based on a new technical concept for the marketing and distribution of digital products. This approach is conceptionally profitable for creatives and rights-holders because essential problems of the current digital market do not occur with AODP.
The use of the internet protocol AODP makes it possible for rights-holders to retain control of the sale of their products. Comprehensive protection of copyrighted material is given as well as complete transparency concerning the invoice. Altogether, a basis is created for a functional digital market with advantages for the entire value chain of the creative industries.

Why is the NNND project meaningful at this present time?

The current technological development has an impact on the creative industries. Even today but more so in future, a digital market will exist parallel to the trade of physical products. However, at this stage we lack the necessary tools to create a digital market which will do justice particularly to the parties involved in the cultural value chain. With AODP, the basis for such a market design shall be established. At the same time, the internet protocol creates a legal and efficient way of opposing the illegal distribution of copyrighted material through the internet.

What opportunities arise from the project in the long term?

The establishment of the new internet standard, AODP, will create a valuable basis for a well-functioning digital market. Once the economic requirements exist, in the future as of yet unforeseen innovative products and new business concepts may arise. This is a great opportunity for all creatives.

Questions for rights-holders and publishers

Who is hosting my digital items?

You are hosting and organizing your data on your own server. No one else has access to your master data, this includes retailers.

What data types do I have to offer as a publisher?

As you are yourself responsible for your digital content, it is up to you which data types you offer. However, we recommend that you choose common data formats to allow your customers the uncomplicated use of the content. In the course of the project, some references hereto will be established.

What is an ideal sales transaction process?

The authorized retailer makes the meta data of each individual item available in his or her online shop and provides it as product information for the consumer. If a customer wants to buy an item from a retailer, the latter requests the download link for the item automated from the publisher and passes it on to the consumer. Two separate selling transactions take place, one between consumer and retailer and the other between retailer and supplier. This corresponds to the selling process regarding physical products, that is AODP is based on the same relationship between market players as it is already common today.

Questions for retailers

What advantages do I have as a retailer with the new internet standard?

The technically complex reworking, storage and provision of master data is assumed by the individual suppliers. This decentralized structure enables you to offer a wide range of products in your online shop. The assortment is depicted by means of meta data (= descriptive data).
That means, by using AODP you will have less administrative costs. Consequently, smaller or specialized retailers also have the chance to participate in online sales without extensive technical requirements. It is sufficient to import meta data into your online shop and to present it to your consumers. Basically, this is the same process as with an online shop offering physical products.

What is my function as a retailer in the context of NNND?

You will retain your function as a retailer. You are able to offer a substantial range of products from various suppliers and to compile the assortment according to your needs.
When a customer wants to buy an item, your shop will process the distribution of the digital item automated via AODP. You will remain responsible for all transactions in the selling process. Also, please note that your consumer data is safe with you.
In principle, business relations between consumer and retailer and between retailer and supplier are not a part of AODP. They are to be organized individually and between the business partners.

Will my customer data be transmitted to the supplier in the course of a transaction?

No, disclosing customer data is not required for AODP to function.

Interesting questions for musicians and all those active in the field of music

What are my benefits as a consumer from the implementation of AODP?

A well-functioning digital market, as shall be created with AODP, is characterized by the healthy competition between the individual suppliers and by the continuous development and innovation of cultural products. As a consumer, you will profit from this positive market design. In addition, via AODP consumers are provided a legal and easy way to find and purchase digital products online.

How do I purchase a digital item via AODP?

The online retailer of your choice offers a range of products from various suppliers. The assortment is depicted by means of meta data (= descriptive data). You purchase your desired items according to the retailer's terms and conditions. As soon as the items are payed for, you will obtain a download link from the retailer with which you can immediately load the item.

What direct changes do I have to take into account as a consumer when purchasing goods via AODP?

For you as a consumer, the use of AODP is not noticeable. The buying process in your retailer's online shop remains the same. Only the mechanisms behind your purchase change.