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I have a propriatery audio fingerprinting algorithm that I created over the years, and I use it to scan radio and tv stations for music, then create reports for it, etc.

Croatian Discographers Union doesn't agree with transparency my system provides, and are determined to shut me down. So they claim that I am infringing their rights as they have under Art. 10 of the Rome Convention.

Since I am never making any copies of their phonograms (supplied as mp3 by the system users') and audio fingerprint in nature isn't enough to re-construct any part of the audio signal - I am wondering if their claim stands or can be brought down and with what arguments.

Basically, they claim that process of fingerprinting is similar to reproduction...

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Nope, nonsense. Art 10. covers copies.

A fingerprint of audio describes that audio. There are more descriptions possible, such as the title of the work and the length of the work. The title in all likelihood is copyrightable on its own, as it too is a creative work. It is fairly clear that the length of a work can be measured (and easily so for a digital work). It is not covered under copyright law. (Don't get me started on 4'33").

Your fingerprint is not a creative work, being mechanically produced.

It might still be considered a derivative work - it clearly is not an ordinary copy. That's not defined by the Rome Convention, but the idea of derivative works is commonly recognized in the EU. However, an audio fingerprint simply is not a work that can be performed or directly appreciated. It is a technical description solely used for computer algorithms. Such things simply are not works, derivative or otherwise.

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