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Hessel van Oorschot for Free Music Archive

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Who Are You?

Dear community,

Free Music Archive needs your help!

As you may know we facilitate independent musicians around the world to connect directly with people in need for music. Part of this journey is to develop as many relevant monetization models as possible.

This year we are stepping up our game. Together with you hopefully.

Help needed: Who can recommend a super easy, highly adaptable and secure e-identity system so we can verify and certify 'rightsholders' (aka composers and performing artists)?

User experience: Musician visits his/her profile page on Free Music Archive and is asked to verify his/her identity. In return - after successfully going through the steps - we will reward the artist with a 'verified by FMA' badge.

The verification process should be done by a trusted third party preferably. I can think of two options:

  1. The trusted third party already did a KYC process (ID card, face and document verification). So FMA will use their tooling to authenticate the person on FMA. This could work for FMA artists who already have an account with this partner.

  2. The trusted third party integrates a tool on FMA to onboard and verify the artist. This should be accessible for all FMA artists anywhere in the world. And if one party can't guarantee this coverage we could offer a screen with multiple KYC verification partners.

What we don't want is a script to verify a musician simply by sending them a confirmation email to click on. We want the same or even higher level of verification as international banks apply. The outcome should be that 'verified by FMA' has true value to any stakeholder helping the artist to monetize their creative IP in the future.

Ideas? Suggestions? Companies and initiatives we should be aware of? We would love to hear from you!

Keep up the good work,


Oldest comments (3)

nicol profile image

I can't recommend any particular KYC companies, having used none and there being so many. I asked in a #platformcoop community a few months back if there was any user-owned / cooperative KYC service ( but got no suggestions.

It feels most KYC is targetted around financial services, and quite a few seem to have some overlap with big data / advertising business models. I'd welcome recommendations on who's 'good' too! Do know if services like Tunecore and Songtradr do it internally or with a third party?

It strikes me that there are other models for KYC-type services that can improve trust:

  • vouching. I think establishing trust by association was a goal with the W3C's FOAF (friend-of-a-friend) trust model and it's still interesting in this space.
  • insurance. I was interested to learn during our research (our project hinges on verification of rights ownership too) that the Chain of Title process in film sales (e.g. wherby HBO verifies that Producer X owns film Y and all its subsidiary assets like music & artwork ahead of buying it) is often based not on the buyer checking all the paperwork, but instead just checking that Producer X is insured by a reputable insurer who guarantees that they pass Chain of Title checks. The buyer knows the insurer will have done enough checks to be happy, and that there's no financial risk to them if there is a copyright dispute.
  • domain verification. this is the system we are using during our project's beta (along with a manual onboarding process). ie a user can verify they control a domain name, which can then form part of an offline KYC process to establish there is a legal entity responsible for an account - and if it's the official website for the artist, as linked to in third parties services, that gives some confidence (it would be a real long con to fake!).
  • verifiable credentials. The W3C's Verifiable Credentials model is the most interesting thing I've seen in this space as it would empower many different kinds of third parties to verify many different kinds of data claims a user might make. The electoral roll could verify my address; a passport office my passport number; a Producer's Guild, my ownership of IP, or at least my membership of the organisation and commitment to act lawfully.
    • the Open Content Certification Protocol, is a proposed protocol using the idea of Verified Credentials that's related to the ISCC project to verify ownership thru verified parties. The white paper goes into verifiable credentials and decentralised identifiers, and I largely concludes that all you need is proof of legal entity ownership with an LEI (Legal Entity Identifier) - who can then be the target of any lawsuits.

Sorry - I've not really answered your question! - but I'm interested in this too, and curious to learn of other approaches.

hessel profile image
Hessel van Oorschot

Thanks Nic. It is helpful. I will post some KYC services I spotted last week.

hessel profile image
Hessel van Oorschot

Here are a few of the IDaas I found. I think Veriff works for the digital wallet Uphold.