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IDF Funds Study of Multimedia Intellectual Property Rights

Washington/Geneva. April 17, 2001.

The International DOI Foundation (IDF) is funding a feasibility study for the development of a Rights Data Dictionary (RDD), a common dictionary or vocabulary for intellectual property rights. The aim of the development will be to propose standard rights terms to enable the exchange of key information between content industries for ecommerce trading of intellectual property rights. The IDF has taken the lead role in funding the study to be based on the <indecs> Framework which outlined the fundamental principals and key terminology implemented in DOI applications and ONIX (widely used in publishing and increasingly with audiovisual products). The proposed consortium, to be formed of representatives from the publishing, music, film, image, technology and other information industries, will fund and participate in the development of the RDD.

Since rights are intangible rather than tangible products in an electronic network, rights descriptions need be consistent so information can flow (inter-operate) between machines. Inter-operation is not simply the movement of rights information from one system to another, but the rights information must be capable of automated use with intellectual property in multimedia, multifunctional, multi-level, multinational and multilingual settings.

Machine-to-machine communication and transactions require a common machine readable language for permissions such as print, copy and play to be meaningfully implemented. Since the publishing, music, broadcasting, and still image industries have a vast number of corporate rights holders, each with different contract systems, DRM systems for downstream permissions rights are only effective for large scale multimedia application when standard terminology is used.

The <indecs> analysis identifies the basic semantic structures necessary to support intellectual property rights transactions. The scope of the RDD, to be named <indecs>2, embraces the rights description framework including rightsStatements, rightsAgreements, rightsTransfers, permissions, prohibitions, requirements, legal terminology, creation descriptions and financial terms and conventions.

The increasing granularity of intellectual property available to trade (e.g., chapters, songs, images, film clips and online news) presents the need to incorporate a vast number of existing standards for identification and description, and to develop new ones where none exist. DOIs can be used to identify content at any level of granularity, using existing or new identifier schemes: since rights management has been central to the IDF's mission since 1998, the RDD will be key to enabling DOI application for multimedia rights management and effective use of DRM systems.

Recognition of the urgent need for a content industry wide RDD from recent activities in, amongst others, the Open eBook Forum (OeBF), the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) and the International Standards Organization (ISO) Motion Picture Experts Group (MPEG) prompted the IDF's funding for the study. IDF was a co-funder of the original <indecs> work and is now, with EDItEUR, responsible for promoting and developing the <indecs> Framework, which, together with DOI's namespace for metadata management, will be donated to the consortium.

For more information, or to enquire about joining the consortium, contact Norman Paskin, Director of the IDF,

Prepared by Robin Cover for The XML Cover Pages archive. See: "XML and Digital Rights Management (DRM)."

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