ISNI project launched in Copyright Management Organizations

Date published

The metadata of Copyright Management Organizations (CMOs) representing the creative industries will be enhanced by acquiring ISNIs for persons and organizations contributing to creative activities. The project involves the Finnish Copyright Management Organizations Gramex, Kopiosto, Kuvasto, Sanasto and Teosto. The National Library of Finland will coordinate the project in its role as the national ISNI Registration Agency.

ISNI-projektin osapuolet: Gramex, Kopiosto, Kuvasto, Sanasto, Teosto, Kansalliskirjasto ja rahoittajana NextGenerationEU

ISNI, short for International Standard Name Identifier, is widely used around the world. ISNIs are used to uniquely identify any individuals and organizations contributing to creative activities, including for example authors, translators, composers, performers, visual artists, producers and publishers.

The CMOs participating in the project encompass the music, literary and visual sectors, as well as part of the audiovisual sector, and represent well over 100 000 Finnish royalty recipients. The project, which was launched in February 2022, will run until the end of 2023. During this time, a comprehensive range of ISNIs will be acquired for the rightholders represented by the copyright organizations.

By the introduction of ISNIs, Finnish Copyright Management Organizations will facilitate the identification of contributors to creative works and improve the reliability and interoperability of the data related to contributors. "Improving the quality of data is an ongoing activity and an inherent part of our work," says Anne Kujanpää, Project Coordinator at Gramex. "Global standards such as ISNI are a key tool in this respect. We appreciate this ISNI project being launched in Finland under the lead of the National Library of Finland.", Ano Sirppiniemi, Chief Digital Officer of Teosto, agrees. "Teosto considers it important to improve the quality and usability of metadata, and development calls for extensive and persistent cooperation. This is why we want to join other Finnish CMOs in the ISNI project led by the National Library."

In recent years, the Copyright Management organizations have focused on improving the quality of administrative metadata and on renewing information systems. The introduction of ISNIs supports these objectives. Adopting a common, global and well-functioning identifier also ensures closer cooperation and improved service to the copyright management organizations’ customers. In the words of Pentti Nieminen, Head of Distributions and IT at Sanasto, "One of our goals for the project is to more efficiently identify data related to authors and works, as well as to offer our copyright customers a better service experience as concerns maintaining information about their works in our system."

Especially in international contexts, the ability to unambiguously identify artists and creators is of key importance in an increasingly networked environment that offers more and more diverse options for art consumption. In Kopiosto’s view, the international nature of ISNIs is of great advantage. "In order for royalties to be paid from and to other countries it is essential that we can identify the works and their creators. The ISNI project plays an important part in identifying creators, especially in international contexts. ISNIs can also be used among domestic participants," says Rainer Vallius, Manager, Distribution and Survey, of Kopiosto. 

The use of ISNIs has become more common in recent years, especially in the music sector after major streaming services introduced them, but ISNIs also work across sectors. According to Hanne Heinonen, Planning Officer at Kuvasto, "Kuvasto wants to take part in developing metadata. Like other organizations, Kuvasto uses international identifiers for cross-border information exchange. In the ISNI project, we will determine the added value that the introduction of ISNIs can offer to visual art."

The project has been enabled by a subsidy granted to the CMOs by the Ministry of Education and Culture. The subsidy is intended for promoting the reform of cultural and creative services as well as the related production and operating models. It is part of Finland’s national Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF) plan, funded by the Next Generation EU instrument.

The National Library of Finland will coordinate the project in its role as the national ISNI Registration Agency. It can acquire ISNIs on behalf of other data producers. Even though ISNIs have already been adopted in many countries, a sector-independent national solution for the entire copyright management sector is a significant initiative also from an international perspective.

For further information about the project, please contact Project Manager Katerina Sornova ( 

You can follow the project’s progress at website (only available in Finnish at the moment).

An information package on ISNI is available on the National Library of Finland’s website.


The Copyright Management Organizations participating in the project:

  • Gramex is a copyright society for performers and producers of recorded music
  • Kopiosto is a copyright society for creative authors, publishers and performing artists
  • Kuvasto is a copyright society for visual artists
  • Sanasto is a literary copyright society
  • Teosto is a copyright society for composers, lyricists, arrangers and music publishers.


Contact person

Katerina Sornova
Head of Development
Library Network Services
+358 2941 44018
National Library of Finland
P.O.Box 15 (Unioninkatu 36)
00014 University of Helsinki