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|Open Digital Rights Language (ODRL)|
[May 18, 2002] ODRL website project summary:
"The Open Digital Rights Language (ODRL) provides the semantics for a Digital Rights Management expression language and data dictionary pertaining to all forms of digtial content. The ODRL is a vocabulary for the expression of terms and conditions over digital content including permissions, constraints, obligations, conditions,offers and agreements with rights holders. The ODRL is positioned to be extended by different industry sectors (e.g., ebooks, music, audio, mobile, software) and to be a core interoperability language. ODRL is freely available and has no licensing requirements."
"The ODRL Initiative Supporters are focused on fostering and supporting open and free standards for the specification of media commerce rights languages. The ODRL Initiative is a forum used to propose, discuss, and gather consensus for a language that it will subsequently nurture via formal standards bodies. The ODRL Initiative will strive to openly participate in standards groups that allow for the adoption of royalty-free specifications... The ODRL Initiative is committed to supporting MPEG-21 and is a compatible Rights Language that will support open and free interoperability within and across the MPEG-21 Multimedia Framework... ODRL has been submitted to formal Standards Groups... The Version 1.1 update of ODRL will be released at the end of May, 2002."
[May 31, 2004] Open Mobile Alliance Releases Working Drafts for OMA DRM Version 2.0. The OMA Browser and Content (BAC) Download and DRM Sub-Working Group has released several draft specifications as part of the OMA DRM 2.0 Enabler Release, announced in February 2004. The Open Mobile Alliance (OMA) Digital Rights Management technology "enables the distribution and consumption of digital content in a controlled manner, where content is distributed and consumed on authenticated devices per the usage rights expressed by the content owners. OMA DRM work addresses the various technical aspects of this system by providing appropriate specifications for content formats, protocols, and rights expression languages." OMA DRM 2.0 builds upon core DRM functionality specified in the OMA DRM 1.0 Enabler Release, now supported on more that fifty (50) mobile handsets. The new OMA DRM enabler release "takes advantage of expanded device capabilities and offers improved support for audio/video rendering, streaming content, and access to protected content using multiple devices, thus enabling new business models. It enables the protection of premium content such as music tracks, video clips, and games, with enhanced security and improved support to preview and share content." Support for OMA DRM 2.0 has been announced by numerous mobile device vendors and content suppliers. The OMA DRM 2.0 Enabler Release Specification Baseline introduces the five principal documents: DRM Rights Expression Language V2.0 defines the XML/ODRL-based rights expression language used to describe the permissions and constraints governing the usage of DRM protected media objects. The DRM Specification V2.0 defines the the format and semantics of the cryptographic protocol, messages, processing instructions and certificate profiles, including the Rights Object Acquisition Protocol (ROAP) messages, the domains functionality, transport mappings for ROAP, binding rights to user identities, exporting to other DRMs, the certificate profiles, and application to other services"; these features are outlined in the OMA DRM Requirements. A DRM Architecture document defines the overall architecture for DRM 2.0 including informative descriptions of the technologies and their uses. DRM Content Format V2.0 defines the content format for DRM protected (encrypted) media objects. XML schemas are provided for Rights Object Acquisition Protocol (ROAP) protocol data units, Rights Object Acquisition Protocol trigger media type, and the OMA DRM Rights Expression Language. The OMA DRM Rights Expression Language (REL) V2.0 is defined as a mobile profile of the Open Digital Rights Language (ODRL). ODRL is an XML-based rights expression language free of licensing restrictions, providing a lightweight formal mechanism for specifying rights independently of the content type and transport mechanism.
[September 24, 2002] Open Digital Rights Language (ODRL) Specification Submitted to W3C. W3C has acknowledged receipt of the Open Digital Rights Language (ODRL) Version 1.1 specification from IPR Systems, and has published the document as a W3C Note. The submission request and W3C Team Comment reference the possible chartering of a DRM/Rights Language activity within W3C, but no commitment has yet been made. The Open Digital Rights Language (ODRL) "is a proposed language for the Digital Rights Management (DRM) community for the standardisation of expressing rights information over content. The ODRL is intended to provide flexible and interoperable mechanisms to support transparent and innovative use of digital resources in publishing, distributing and consuming of electronic publications, digital images, audio and movies, learning objects, computer software and other creations in digital form. The ODRL has no license requirements and is available in the spirit of 'open source' software." The ODRL specification is presented in four main sections: Section 2 describes the model for the ODRL expression language; Section 3 describes the semantics of the ODRL data dictionary elements; Section 4 describes the XML syntax used to encode the ODRL expressions and elements; Section 5 describes how additional ODRL data dictionaries can be defined. The Expression Language and Data Dictionary elements are formally defined in two normative appendices: Appendix A provides the ODRL Expression Language XML Schema and Appendix B gives the ODRL Data Dictionary XML Schema. [Full context]
[August 12, 2002] Proposed Open Mobile Alliance (OMA) Rights Expression Language Based Upon ODRL. A posting from Renato Iannella announces the public release of a draft Rights Expression Language Version 1.0 from the Open Mobile Alliance (OMA). The OMA was formed in June 2002 by the Open Mobile Architecture Initiative and the WAP Forum, together "with nearly 200 companies representing the world's leading mobile operators, device and network suppliers, information technology companies, and content providers; OMA has MOUs with the Location Interoperability Forum (LIF), SyncML, MMS Interoperability Group (MMS-IOP), and Wireless Village." The OMA REL document is one of several in the OMA Download specification suite. The rights expression language "describes the rights governing the usage of DRM content; it addresses requirements such as enabling preview, i.e., test-driving, of content, possibly prior to purchasing, expressing a range of different permissions and constraints, and optimisation of rights objects delivered over constrained bearers. It provides a concise mechanism for expressing rights over DRM content. It is independent of the content being distributed, the mechanism used for distributing the content, and the billing mechanism used to handle the payments." The OMA's REL document defines the syntax and semantics of rights governing the usage of DRM content based on the Open Digital Rights Language (ODRL) specification. The XML-based ODRL, recently released as version 1.1, provides the semantics for DRM expressions in open and trusted environments whilst being agnostic to mechanisms to achieve the secure architectures. Formal models for ODRL Expression Language and for the ODRL Data Dictionary are presented as XML schemas in normative appendices of the ODRL v1.1 specification. [Full context]
[November 21, 2001] ODRL Version 1.0 Submitted to ISO/IEC MPEG for Rights Data Dictionary and Rights Expression Language (RDD-REL). A communiqué from Renato Iannella (IPR Systems Pty Ltd) reports on the release of the Open Digital Rights Language Version 1.0 and the submission of this XML-based DRM specification to MPEG in response to its Call for Proposals for a Rights Data Dictionary and Rights Expression Language for the MPEG-21 Multimedia Framework. ODRL Version 1.0 has been co-submitted to MPEG by IPR Systems, Nokia, and Real Networks; the ODRL MPEG submission is also supported by IBM, Adobe, Panasonic, and MarkAny. In ODRL 1.0, Nokia's Mobile Rights Voucher (MRV) and Real Networks' Extensible Media Commerce Language (XMCL) have been merged into the Open Digital Rights Language. The Moving Picture Experts Group (MPEG) is a working group of ISO/IEC (ISO/IEC JTC1/SC29/WG11), charged with the development of standards for coded representation of digital audio and video. The Open Digital Rights Language provides the semantics for DRM expressions in open and trusted environments whilst being agnostic to mechanisms to achieve the secure architectures. Section 4 of the ODRL specification presents the XML syntax, illustrated through a series of scenarios covering different content sectors (ebooks, video, education). The formal notation is provided in normative appendices: Appendix A supplies the XML schema for the ODRL Expression Language elements and markup constructs; Appendix B supplies the XML Schema for the Data Dictionary elements. [Full context]
[June 29, 2001] Updated Specification for the Open Digital Rights Language (ODRL). A posting from Renato Iannella (Chief Scientist, IPR Systems Pty Ltd) announces the publication of an updated 'work-in-progress' specification for the Open Digital Rights Language (ODRL). ODRL defines a set of semantics "for rights management expressions pertaining to digital assets. The ODRL complements existing analogue rights management standards by providing digital equivalents, and supports an expandable range of new services that can be afforded by the digital nature of the assets in the Web environment. The ODRL is a standard vocabulary for the expression of terms and conditions over assets. The ODRL covers a core set of semantics for these purposes including the rights holders and the expression of permissible usages for asset manifestations. ODRL specifies an XML binding and is expected to be utilised within open and trusted environments. The XML syntax is supported by the XML Schema language. The ODRL will be standardized via an appropriate, open, and non-competitive organisation with an public process for the future maintenance of the standard." The new version 0.9 specification supersedes the previous draft of 2000-11-21. Version 0.9 of ODRL now includes the following new features: (1) Agreement expressions [between parties]; (2) Requirements, e.g., payments for permissions; (3) Separation of the Expression Language from the Data Dictionary elements, as specified by the MPEG-21 Requirements; (4) Additional Permissions and Constraints; (5) Container mechanisms; (6) Additional Examples; (7) Full W3C XML Schema definitions and documentation. [Full context]
[August 28, 2000] A communiqué from Renato Iannella (Chief Scientist, IPR Systems Pty Ltd) announces the development of a digital rights language which "provides the semantics for digital rights management (DRM) in open and trusted environments whilst being agnostic to mechanisms to achieve the secure architectures." He writes: "We have been developing a digital rights language called the 'Open Digital Rights Language' (ODRL) and are making it available (as a work-in-progress) for comment to the wider community. Version 0.5 of ODRL is available from http://purl.net/ODRL/. We also see ODRL as input and discussion for an upcoming W3C Workshop on rights management (to be formally announced soon). All comments, contributions, and feedback welcome." The authors of the draft document "consider that traditional DRM (even though it is still a new discipline) has taken a closed approach to solving problems. Hence, [they] see a movement towards 'Open Digital Rights Management' (ODRM) with clear principles focused on interoperability across multiple sectors and support for fair-use doctrines." The ODRL "is a standard vocabulary for the expression of terms and conditions over assets. ODRL covers a core set of semantics for these purposes including the rights holders and the expression of permissible usages for asset manifestations. The ODRL is positioned to be extended by different sectors (e.g., ebooks, music, software) and be a core interoperability language. The ODRL complements existing analogue rights management standards by providing digital equivalents, and supports an expandible range of new services that can be afforded by the digital nature of the assets in the Web environment. ODRL is focused on the semantics of expressing rights languages. ODRL can be used within trusted or untrusted systems. However, ODRL does not determine the capabilities nor requirements of any trusted services (e.g. for content protection and payment negotiation) that utilises its language." ODRL specifies an XML binding and is expected to be utilized within open and trusted environments. As outlined in the draft specification, various models in the architecture (ODRL Foundation Model, ODRL Usage Model, ODRL Administration Model) are expressed in XML notation; appendices A and B of the revised specification are to provide the XML DTDs and XML schema.
ODRL defines [only] "a core set of semantics. Additional semantics can be layered on top of ODRL for third-party value added services. ODRL does not enforce or mandate any policies for DRM, but provides the mechanisms to express such policies. Communities or organisations, that establish such policies based on ODRL, do so based on their specific business or public access requirements. The ODRL model is based on an analysis and survey of sector specific requirements (models and semantics), and as such, aims to be compatible with a broad community base." The proposed ODRM Framework "would consist of Technical, Social, and Legal streams and would 'plug into' an open framework that enables peer-to-peer interoperability for DRM services. The ODRM Technical stream consists of an Architecture (ODRA), Trading Protocol (ODRT) and Protection (ODRP) mechanisms with ODRL clearly focused on solving a common and extendable way of expressing Rights within this Architecture."
Background: "Current Rights management technologies include languages for describing the terms and conditions, tracking asset usages by enforcing controlled environments or encoded asset manifestations, and closed architectures for the overall management of rights. The Open Digital Rights Language (ODRL) provides the semantics for DRM in open and trusted environments whilst being agnostic to mechanisms to achieve the secure architectures. The authors consider that traditional DRM (even though it is still a new discipline) has taken a closed approach to solving problems. Hence, [they] see a movement towards 'Open Digital Rights Management' (ODRM) with clear principles focused on interoperability across multiple sectors and support for fair-use doctrines."
General: Articles, Papers, News, Earlier Specs
[June 21, 2005] Update on the ODRL/CC Profile. Renato Iannella posted a "Review Summary for the ODRL/CC Profile draft specification, created by the ODRL/Creative Commons (CC) Profile Working Group. He noted that the reviews were positive; "I will make these changes and post the final version as a "Specification"... Congratulations — the first official ODRL Profile!"
[March 07, 2005] ODRL Initiative Releases Draft Specification of ODRL Creative Commons Profile. The ODRL Initiative has announced the release of the ODRL Creative Commons Profile as a Draft Specification. The draft "describes the semantics of the Creative Commons licenses and defines how they can be represented using a Profile of the ODRL rights expression language." The goal is to enable those who require more advanced rights expression language (REL) mechanisms "to utilize both the Creative Commons license semantics and the ODRL REL features. The purpose of the ODRL Profile is not to replace the standard CC licenses, but to allow additional semantics to be expressed in separate ODRL offers or agreements." The Open Digital Rights Language (ODRL) specification is a publicly available XML-based "standard language and vocabulary for the expression of terms and conditions over assets. It covers a core set of semantics for these purposes including the rights holders and the expression of permissible usages for asset manifestations. Rights can be specified for a specific asset manifestation (i.e., format) or could be applied to a range of manifestations of the asset. ODRL is focused on the semantics of expressing rights languages and definitions of elements in the data dictionary, and can be used within trusted or untrusted systems for both digital and physical assets." The ODRL Creative Commons Profile Working Group was formed as one of several planned ODRL Profiles groups, chartered to develop an extension of the ODRL rights expression language to capture the semantics of Creative Commons licenses. The WG is defining the core CC license semantics in terms of the ODRL REL using an XML Schema, allowing for additional expressiveness around the CC semantics. 'Reproduction' in Creative Commons licensing "includes the right to copy the work, and to shift the work into another format as a verbatim copy. These features allow the typical private end-use rights, which ODRL makes more explicit in its Play, Display, Execute, and Print Permissions. The CC 'Distribution' also includes the right to distribute the work, to display or perform the work publicly, and to make digital public performances of the work (e.g., webcasting). Both Reproduction and Distribution are examples of new semantics that are captured in the ODRL/CC Profile." The ODRL Creative Commons Profile draft contains three normative appendices. Appendix A "ODRL/CC Profile Data Dictionary" provides the Creative Commons Profile data dictionary definitions for Reproduction, Distribution, DerivativeWorks, Sharing, NonCommercialUse, NonHighIncomeNationUse, Notice, ShareAlike, SourceCode — representing the Permission, Constraint [CC: Prohibits characteristic], and Requirement types. Normative Appendix B "ODRL/CC Profile XML Schema" contains the Creative Commons Profile data dictionary XML Schema; Normative Appendix C "CC License Mapping" presents the the Creative Commons License definitions (by URI) and the corresponding XML elements required to express the license. ODRL Profiles were first announced at the ODRL International Workshop in April in Vienna (2004) as a formal means of showing how to use ODRL in specific technical environments. Profile Working Groups have now been formed to create ODRL Profiles for Geospatial Data, for Dublin Core Metadata Initiative (DCMI) encoding, and for Creative Commons licenses.
[February 2005] ODRL DCMI Profile. In February 2005 the Dublin Core Metadata Initiative (DCMI) and Open Digital Rights Initiative (ODRL) announced the formation of a joint ODRL/DCMI Profile Working Group to develop a profile of ODRL/DCMI metadata usage. This profile "will show how to make combined use of the rights-related DCMI metadata terms and the ODRL rights expression language. This will enable richer rights management information to be captured along with DCMI descriptive metadata and support wider interoperability with digital rights management and open content licensing systems. The joint Working Group Chairs are Andy Powell (UKOLN, University of Bath) and Renato Iannella (ODRL Initiative)." ODRL Profiles were first announced at the ODRL International Workshop in April in Vienna (2004) as a formal means of showing how to use ODRL in specific technical environments. Profile Working Groups have now been formed to create ODRL Profiles for Geospatial Data, for Dublin Core Metadata Initiative (DCMI) encoding, and for Creative Commons licenses. See also the ODRL DCMI Profile Working Group mailing list and archives.
[November 30, 2004] "ODRL Creative Commons Profile." Edited by Renato Iannella (ODRL Initiative). Produced by members of the ODRL Creative Commons Profile Working Group; send comments to the WG mailing list. Working Draft. 30-November-2004. Version URL: http://odrl.net/Profiles/CC/WD-20041130.html. Latest version URL: http://odrl.net/Profiles/CC/WD.html. Previous version URL: http://odrl.net/Profiles/CC/WD-20041018.html. "This Working Draft describes the semantics of the Creative Commons licenses and how they can be represented using a Profile of the ODRL rights expression language... The Creative Commons [CC] project has created a number of licenses and semantics for describing usage rights over content. The CC licenses are primarily intended to convey the semantics to the end user of the content. The ODRL is an advanced rights expression language (REL) [ODRL]. The objective of this document is to outline a Profile of the ODRL REL that incorporates the semantics and licenses from CC. This will then enable those who require more advanced REL mechanisms to utilise both the CC license semantics and the ODRL REL features. The requirements of this Profile are to: (1) express the core CC semantics in the ODRL REL; (2) allow additional expressiveness around the CC semantics; (3) define an XML Schema for the Profile. The CC Licenses are described by their characteristics, which come in three types. [A] Permissions (rights granted by the license): Reproduction - the work may be reproduced; Distribution - the work (and, if authorized, derivative works) may be distributed, publicly displayed, and publicly performed; DerivativeWorks - derivative works may be created and reproduced. [B] Prohibitions (things prohibited by the license): CommercialUse - rights may be exercised for commercial purposes [C] Requirements (restrictions imposed by the license): Notice - copyright and license notices must be kept intact; Attribution - credit must be given to copyright holder and/or author; ShareAlike - derivative works must be licensed under the same terms as the original work; SourceCode - source code (the preferred form for making modifications) must be provided for all derivative works..."
[October 28, 2004] "RSA Throws Its Hat into the OMA DRM Ring." By [Bill Rosenblatt]. In DRM Watch (October 28, 2004). "RSA Security announced a DRM solution for mobile content, BSAFE Mobile Rights Management, in conjunction with the Jupiter DRM Strategies conference... BSAFE, which will be available in January 2005, supports the OMA DRM 2.0 standard and the ODRL 1.1 rights expression language. It is designed to integrate with RSA's server security software for identity, certificate, and access management... RSA has been a key (pun intended) contributor to the OMA DRM standards, so they have both proven expertise and strong relationships with the device makers and others that are implementing those standards. We had been wondering when one of the leading security infrastructure vendors (such as RSA, Verisign, or Entrust) would finally enter the DRM market... RSA's entry into the mobile content arena has broader implications for the trajectory of the OMA DRM standards. Because RSA's other products are standard features of corporate enterprise information security infrastructures, this could be a way for OMA DRM to find its way into corporate applications. Not all mobile content is for entertainment purposes; in the future, some will be strictly business..." See the text of the RSA announcement.
[September 29, 2004] RSA Security Announces Support for OMA DRM 2.0 and Open Digital Rights Language (ODRL). An announcement from RSA Security Inc. describes the company's plans to "offer a standards-based solution for digital rights management (DRM) that represents a consumer-friendly alternative to the DRM methods currently deployed by several major digital content providers." The RSA Security DRM solution will leverage open standards such as the Open Mobile Alliance (OMA) DRM 2.0 and the Open Digital Rights Language (ODRL) Version 1.1. The Open Mobile Alliance (OMA) Digital Rights Management technology based upon XML "enables the distribution and consumption of digital content in a controlled manner, where content is distributed and consumed on authenticated devices per the usage rights expressed by the content owners. OMA DRM work addresses the various technical aspects of this system by providing appropriate specifications for content formats, protocols, and rights expression languages." The OMA DRM Rights Expression Language (REL) V2.0 is defined as a mobile profile of the Open Digital Rights Language (ODRL). ODRL is an XML-based rights expression language free of licensing restrictions, providing a lightweight formal mechanism for specifying rights independently of the content type and transport mechanism. RSA Security's DRM solution uses the OMA model which "adds the much needed concept of consumer identity protection — something currently missing from today's DRM technologies. This DRM solution will enable several fundamental requirements for broad-based adoption and usage of both PC-based and mobile content services, including (1) an open, flexible platform built on widely-supported standards; (2) content portability through rights portability; (3) a frictionless digital content experience through transparency to consumers; (4) new revenue opportunities for content owners through support of legal peer-to-peer distribution and subscription services; (5) rights protection that can span all playback devices including mobile phones, personal computers, portable digital music players, car audio systems, and PDAs." RSA observes that the number of competing DRM implementations are problematic for users, saying that the current infighting between major content providers over technology is creating roadblocks between consumers and their content: "Apple Computer's iTunes application program uses Apple's homegrown FairPlay technology, Yahoo! and Microsoft's services use Microsoft DRM technology, and Sony's Connect service has its its own DRM technology." A superior approach, and the one advocated by RSA, is a "common DRM technology standard that is free for anyone to implement and allows both consumers and the entertainment industry to achieve common ground on a solution that works." In the model proposed by RSA Security, "both content and usage rights would be downloaded as 'rights objects' from a download service onto a user's device. Objects would be encrypted using strong encryption technology, like RSA BSAFE software."
[May 15, 2004] "A Formal Foundation for ODRL." By Riccardo Pucella and Vicky Weissman. Presented at the Workshop on Issues in the Theory of Security (IFIP WG 1.7, WITS 2004). "Languages for writing agreements typically fall into one of three categories: native languages, such as English, that cannot be interpreted by machines, XML-based languages that enjoy popular support by application writers, and formal logics that are endorsed by computer scientists, because they have formal semantics (no ambiguity) and are tractable (queries can be answered typically in a low-order polynomial time). ODRL belongs to the second category. By providing formal semantics to a fragment of ODRL, we get the benefit of using a formal approach, namely no ambiguity, and we can begin to search for a tractable fragment. In this way, we get the best of both worlds."
[December 2003] "Open Mobile Alliance: Digital Rights Management. Short Paper, copyright (c) 2003 Open Mobile Alliance Ltd. December 2003. 8 pages. "OMA began working on mobile Digital Rights Management (DRM) specification in 2001 in response to clear market demand. Content and service providers saw mobile phones as a lucrative channel to distribute their copyright protected content, thus a content copyright protection system was needed to protect their investment... The OMA DRM 1.0 Enabler Release was developed rapidly in order to reduce time to market. The Enabler Release was published in November 2002 and was immediately available for companies to implement in their mobile products. OMA DRM version 1.0 Enabler Release was created to meet the above listed content and service provider, and vendor requirements. OMA DRM 1.0 includes three levels of functionality: (1) Forward Lock -- prevents content from leaving device; (2) Combined Delivery -- adds rights definition; (3) Separate Delivery -- provides content encryption and supports superdistribution... The purpose of Separate Delivery is to protect higher value content. It enables so called superdistribution, which allows the device to forward the content, but not the usage rights. This is achieved by delivering the media and usage rights via separate channels. The content is encrypted into DRM Content Format (DCF) using symmetric encryption; the DCF provides plaintext headers describing content type, encryption algorithm, and other useful information. Rights object holds the symmetric Content Encryption Key (CEK), which is used by the DRM User Agent in the device for decryption. The Rights Object is created by using OMA Rights Expression Language (REL). OMA Right Expression Language is a mobile profile of ODRL (Open Digital Rights Language) Version 1.1..." [cache]
[October 17, 2003] ODRL International Workshop 2004 Call for Participation. A call for participation has been issued in connection with the ODRL International Workshop 2004, featuring papers and demo presentations on standardized XML exchange formats for rights expressions. The workshop will be held April 21 - 23, 2004, hosted by the Department of Information Systems, Vienna University of Economics and Business Administration. The Open Digital Rights Language (ODRL) initiative "was started in 2001 and is today an accepted technology in the field of rights expressions. ODRL has been formally approved by the Open Mobile Alliance (previously, the WAP Forum) as the Rights Language for mobile devices and has also been deployed in various projects (e.g., the COLIS project, and OpenIPMP) and in prototype implementations." The XML-based ODRL specification "supports an extensible language and vocabulary (data dictionary) for the expression of terms and conditions over any content including permissions, constraints, obligations, conditions, and offers and agreements with rights holders. The ODRL specification is freely available and has no licensing requirements. The ODRL International Workshop 2004 has the goal of bringing together people from research and industry to share experiences, and discuss the future develop the language to ensure its timeliness, usability, and future success." Submissions are invited for research and industry papers on experiences with ODRL and for demo presentations on ODRL implementations. The deadline for submissions is December 20, 2003.
[September 26, 2003] RoMEO and OAI-PMH Teams Develop Rights Solution Using ODRL and Creative Common Licenses. Project RoMEO (Rights Metadata for Open Archiving) has completed its first year of operation with funding from the Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC) and has published a rights solution report. A sixth interim Study and the Final Report describe an XML-based system for the expression of rights and permissions governing metadata and resources in institutional repositories. A principal goal of RoMEO, like that of the Creative Commons, is to neutralize the negative effects of (default) copyright law and controlling intermediaries in order to facilitate easy, open access to protected digital works. On this model, consumers do not need to ask permission for use of resources because permission in various forms has already been granted. The RoMEO Project team sought to develop an interoperable set of metadata elements and methods of incorporating the rights elements into document metadata processed by the Open Archives Initiative Protocol for Metadata Harvesting (OAI-PMH). The goal is to protect research papers and other digital resources in an open-access environment. The project team has developed an XML metadata notation using the Open Digital Rights Language (ODRL) and Creative Commons licenses for disclosure of the rights expressions under the OAI-PMH. The markup model covers both individual digital resources and collections of metadata records. A new 'OAI-RIGHTS' Technical Committee has been formed by members of the RoMEO and OAI project teams to further develop the proposals and to publish generic guidelines for disclosing rights expressions.
[September 23, 2003] "Experiences with the Enforcement of Access Rights Extracted from ODRL-Based Digital Contracts." By Susanne Guth [firstname.lastname@example.org], Gustaf Neumann, and Mark Strembeck (Department of Information Systems, New Media Lab, Vienna University of Economics and BA, Austria). Prepared for presentation at DRM 2003, October 27, 2003, Washington, DC, USA. 13 pages (with 38 references). "In this paper, we present our experiences concerning the enforcement of access rights extracted from ODRL-based digital contracts. We introduce the generalized Contract Schema (CoSa) which is an approach to provide a generic representation of contract information on top of rights expression languages. We give an overview of the design and implementation of the xoRELInterpreter software component. In particular, the xoRELInterpreter interprets digital contracts that are based on rights expression languages (e.g. ODRL or XrML) and builds a runtime CoSa object model. We describe how the xoRBAC access control component and the xoRELInterpreter component are used to enforce access rights that we extract from ODRL-based digital contracts. Thus, our approach describes how ODRL-based contracts can be used as a means to disseminate certain types of access control information in distributed systems... A contract typically represents an agreement of two or more parties. The contract specifies rights and obligations of the involved stakeholders with respect to the subject matter of the respective contract. Contracts in the paper world can be tailored to meet the needs of a specific business situation or to fit the requirements of individual contract partners. In principle, the same is true for digital contracts as they can be used in the area of digital rights management for example. Most often digital contracts are defined using special purpose rights expression languages (REL) as ODRL, XrML, or MPEG 21 REL for instance. In this connection one can differentiate between the 'management of digital rights' and the 'digital management of (arbitrary) rights'. We especially focus on contracts that contain information on digital rights, i.e., rights which are intended to be controlled and enforced in an information system via a suitable access control service -- in contrast to rights which are enforced by legislation or other 'social protocols'... In Section 2 we give an overview of the abstract structure of digital contracts. We especially describe how information within a digital contract is encapsulated in different contract objects. Section 3 then summarizes the contract processing procedures performed by a contract engine. Subsequently, Section 4 introduces the generalized contract schema CoSa and the software components we used to implement our system, before Section 5 shows how ODRL-based digital contracts are mapped to a runtime CoSa object model. Next, Section 6 describes the initialization of the xoRBAC access control service via a mediator component and the subsequent enforcement of the corresponding access rights. Section 7 gives an overview of related work, before we conclude the paper in Section 8..."
[September 15, 2003] "ODRL International Workshop 2004 In Vienna." - "The ODRL International Workshop 2004 will be held in Vienna, Austria on 21-23 April 2004. Over the past four years the Open Digital Rights Language (ODRL) Initiative has gained international significance in the field of digital rights management (DRM) for many sectors and communities. Rights Expression Languages (REL) enable the formalisation of standard and interoperable semantic agreements and contracts from rights holders over the usage of their content by end users and other parties. RELs, like ODRL, are seen as key infrastructure for the management and trading of digital content on the Internet. The ODRL rights expression language has been adopted as an international standard by the Open Mobile Alliance for mobile content and numerous projects and groups around the world. The objective of the ODRL International Workshop is to bring together the research and industry communities to share experiences and discuss the future developments of the language to ensure its timeliness, usability, openness, and future success. The ODRL International Workshop topics of interest include, but are not restricted to, the following aspects: Implementations of ODRL or parts of ODRL; Processing of ODRL instances in applications; Language concepts and semantics of ODRL; Technical and Semantics Extensions to ODRL; Industry and Research Experiences with ODRL; Domain Specific Vocabularies and Profiles of ODRL; Deploying ODRL for Rights Expressions and Contract Modelling; Potential applications for the use of Rights Expression Languages. The Call for Participation includes the details of the submission requirements for the Workshop..."
[April 17, 2003] "Sydney Firm to Protect 3G Content." By Nathan Cochrane. In Sydney Morning Herald (April 15, 2003). "A small Sydney maker of copyright enforcement technology has beaten Microsoft for the coveted crown of protecting content consumed by the next generation of multimedia mobile phones. IPR Systems' Open Digital Rights Language (ODRL) version 1.1 has been adopted by mobile makers such as Nokia, Samsung and Sony-Ericsson, operators including Vodafone and open-standards-setting body the Open Mobile Alliance to safeguard copyrighted content distributed over third-generation (3G) networks. ODRL gives content creators the power to determine exactly how their material is to be used, including how many times it can be consumed, for how long it can be consumed before it expires and how many times it can be forwarded, if at all. IPR's four engineers built the Digital Restrictions Management (DRM) language in about two years before version 1 was commercially adopted by Nokia and others in preference to Microsoft's XrML standard, in part due to political reasons, says chief scientist Renato Iannella. 'ODRL is more concise and this is a critical factor for network bandwidth for the telcos,' Iannella says... Research group Datamonitor predicts the market for content over mobile phones will kiss $US 38 billion ($A 62.7 billion) in three years. Iannella says the mobile phone operators and content producers wanted to avoid the 'Napsterisation' of their services... ODRL is an open standard provided free to developers and phone makers in an attempt to spur wide adoption. IPR makes its money by providing systems that best take advantage of the standard, says its business development manager, Fergus Stoddart. 'Nokia started using ODRL internally but they realised the need to follow emerging standards rather than invent another derivative so they decided to contact us and join the ODRL initiative and put their weight behind it,' he says. Iannella says users of devices such as Nokia's 3650 multimedia messaging service mobile phone benefit by having explicit rights to forward media once it has been consumed..." From Nokia: "The Nokia Content Publishing Toolkit 2.0 is stand alone off-line Windows application which generates OMA DRM and Download OTA files. These standardized technologies allow protection and control of paid content as well as improvement of the customer experience by ensuring that only compatible content is downloaded to terminal." [See the example screen image of the application and sample ODRL OMA output.] "Forum Nokia provides the information needed to develop applications using the technologies Nokia's products support. Today these technologies include the latest wireless standards and protocols such as Bluetooth, Java, SyncML, MMS and Symbian OS, as well as the established mobile technologies WAP and Smart Messaging..."
[April 08, 2003] "Driving Content Management with Digital Rights Management." By Renato Iannella and Peter Higgs. White Paper. IPR Systems Pty Ltd. April 09, 2003. 9 pages. "There is often confusion in the market between the functions of Content Management and Digital Rights Management systems. This is understandable as both are dealing with the production and supply of digital content and share common technologies and techniques. However they are best thought of two sides of the same coin bicycle: Both are necessary to have a valuable and practical marketplace that brings content and relevant usage rights from creators to customers... Content Management has evolved and has now been segmented into Enterprise Content Management, Digital Asset Management, Media Asset Management, and Web Content Management. Similarly IPR Systems divides DRM into:  Digital Property Management (DPM), and  Digital Rights Enforcement (DRE). Digital Rights Management (DRM) involves the description, layering, analysis, valuation, trading and monitoring of the rights over an enterprise's assets; both in physical and digital form; and of tangible and intangible value. DRM covers the digital management of rights -- be they rights in a physical manifestation of a work (e.g., a book), or be they rights in a digital manifestation of a work (e.g., an ebook). Clearly, systems that manage and supply content need to interface to, or be closely coupled with, systems that manage rights... As content is created and managed (e.g., version control, digitisation etc), traded via an ecommerce exchange, and delivered to the consumer, appropriate rights information is also captured and managed in parallel. In many cases the CM functions and the DRM functions have high dependencies, such as the protection of the content at the consumer end of the transaction. The terms and conditions agreed on in the trade will need to inform the content rendering systems to ensure that the content is only used for the purposes acquired... Current rights management technologies are focused on managing downstream rights: the flow of content from a publishing organisation to consumers. This flow is predominantly of relative simple usages or 'passive consumption.' For example, the sale of music content, in which the end consumer can only play the audio file. A more complex market requirement is the management of upstream (content sourcing) agreements which can then be aggregated, managed and transformed into downstream usage offers and agreements. A key feature of managing online rights will be the substantial increase in this re-use of digital material on the Web. The pervasive Internet is changing the nature of distribution of digital media from a passive one way flow (from Publisher to the End User) to a much more interactive cycle where creations are re-used, combined and extended ad infinitum. At all stages, the rights need to be managed and honoured with services of various degrees of sophistication... The next two years will see an explosion in the production and distribution of digital content over the Internet. Much of this content will be re-used, aggregated and transformed to increase its applicability to its various markets. Content Management systems alone will not be able to cope with this need without addressing the rights management requirements. There are applications that are currently being developed that couple Rights Enabled Content Management Systems with open, standards based Rights Management Systems. When the integration is completed they will be at the forefront of the revolution in digital content marketing..." [cache]
[April 04, 2003] "Rights-Expression Language Is Key to Interoperability. [Digital Rights Management.]" By Bill Rosenblatt (President, GiantSteps Media Technology Strategies). In The Seybold Report Volume 2, Number 24 (March 31, 2003). ISSN: 1533-9211. "Most of the pain points concerning digital rights are essentially political and cultural. But a few are technical, such as finding a standard method for describing exactly what rights are conveyed, for what price and under what restrictions. Many proprietary schemes have been proposed and (mostly) discarded. What seems likely to work in the long haul is a rights- expression language that's rich enough, simple enough and open enough to satisfy all parties in this turbulent industry. As it happens, there are two such languages. Trouble is, there needs to be one... One of the technical factors impeding the growth of the digital rights management market is the lack of interoperability among the increasing number of DRM solutions available. Rights expression languages (RELs) offer the promise of packaging assets in different DRM-enabled formats with a single set of business rules, which saves effort and promotes interoperability among different DRM-enabled components of digital-media value chains. We'll take a look at the background of RELs in general and the two most prominent emerging standard RELs: Extensible Rights Markup Language (XrML) from ContentGuard, Inc., and Open Digital Rights Language (ODRL) from IPR Systems Ltd... Today, a growing number of DRM technology vendors are adopting XrML, which is now at version 2.0; details are at www.xrml.org. Microsoft is incorporating either the full language or a subset in all of its DRM solutions, including Media Rights Manager for Windows Media audio and video, Digital Asset Server for Microsoft Reader eBooks and its recently announced Windows Rights Management Services for Windows Server 2003. Other adopters include the e-zine vendor Zinio and the Dutch infrastructure-software vendor DMDSecure. All of these companies have licensed ContentGuard's patents, as has Sony -- although the consumer electronics giant has yet to implement any technology based on XrML. ODRL, meanwhile, has made some headway in the wireless industry, thanks to efforts by the wireless giant Nokia. In addition to its adoption by the OMA, Nokia has released an SDK for implementing OMA download applications, and it has implemented the spec in its 3595 phone. ODRL is also supported in an open-source DRM package for the emerging MPEG-4 multimedia format called OpenIPMP, developed by New York-based ObjectLab Inc... For media applications, ODRL has the advantage of being more concise, meaning that rights descriptions in ODRL tend to be more compact than their equivalents in XrML and that ODRL interpreters can be smaller (in memory footprint) than XrML interpreters. The latter factor is especially important in the mobile-device space, where memory is at a premium; that is one reason why the Open Mobile Alliance (www.openmobilealliance.org) favored ODRL over XrML. ODRL also has some media-specific constructs that XrML does not share, including the ability to specify attributes of media objects such as file formats, resolutions and encoding rates..."
[August 19, 2002] "ODRL 1.1 Review. Release of Open Digital Rights Language (ODRL) 1.1 and its endorsement by the Open Mobile Alliance (OMA)." By [Bill Rosenblatt] GiantSteps/Media Technology Strategies. In DRM Watch. August 19, 2002. "ODRL has come quite a way since its pre-1.0 incarnation, where it was a lightweight yet elegant schema for expressing content rights metadata. With version 1.1, it is now a full-fledged rights data model with an associated XML-based specification language that is suitable for use in real-world content distribution services. More particularly, ODRL is now entering the territory of ContentGuard's XrML... Apart from the similarities, a key difference between ODRL and XrML is that ODRL seems more applicable to actual transactions in the media and publishing world, whereas XrML (especially in its latest incarnation, version 2.0) has designs on broader cross-vertical applicability. ODRL's primitives map more directly onto the kinds of license terms that are found in real-world media; for example, it has explicit features for specifying things like resolutions, encoding rates, and file formats for content, whereas XrML does not. This would seem to stem from the fact that XrML began life in a research lab and is now under the care of a company (ContentGuard) that needs to maximize revenue and a standards body (OASIS) that does not confine itself to specific vertical markets; while on the other hand, ODRL derives from real-world implementation experience that Iannella and his IPR colleagues have had in building content management and distribution systems for their clients in publishing and related markets. ODRL is narrower than XrML when it comes to security elements. XrML ambitiously attempts to establish 'trust levels' that can help two systems decide whether or not to engage in a transaction. This concept only scratches the surface of a huge set of issues that are very hard to model properly (just ask the folks at the Liberty Alliance). ODRL wisely doesn't touch this area, nor does it deal with content copy protection per se. Both languages specify methods for securing rights specifications -- i.e., documents written in the languages themselves -- via XML Digital Signatures and other related methods. In all, ODRL version 1.1 feels more compact and elegant than the comparatively sprawling, ambitious XrML -- but it's not 'XrML Lite'; It has its own set of complexities. Its endorsement by the OMA has lifted it from its previous status (outside of Australia and other parts of the Pacific Rim, at least) as a model primarily of interest to researchers to become a serious contender in the arena of badly-needed DRM interoperability standards. Yet ODRL must overcome three serious hurdles in order to maintain its momentum. Perhaps the most serious is ContentGuard's patent portfolio..." See details in "Proposed Open Mobile Alliance (OMA) Rights Expression Language Based Upon ODRL."
[November 21, 2001] URLs for ODRL Version 1.0 specification and MPEG submission:
ODRL status 2001-11-13: ODRL is currently at version 0.9. "Version 1.0 of ODRL will be released on 21 November 2001. Pre-release draft versions will be made available to ODRL Initiative Supporters. Version 1.0 will also be submitted to ISO/IEC MPEG in response to its Call for Proposals for a Rights Data Dictionary and Rights Expression Language for MPEG-21 Multimedia Framework..."
[June 29, 2001] Open Digital Rights Language (ODRL) Specification. Version 0.9. Also in HTML format; [cache]
Expression Language XML Schema, with documentation, cache
Data Dictionary XML Schema, with documentation, cache
[October 13, 2000] Open Digital Rights Language (ODRL). Version 0.7. 2000-10-13. 27 pages. Edited by Renato Iannella. ['ODRL will be standardised via an appropriate, open, and non-competitive organisation with an open process for the future maintenance of the standard.'] "Digital Rights Management (DRM) involves the description, layering, analysis, valuation, trading and monitoring of the rights over an enterprise's assets; both in physical and digital form; and of tangible and intangible value. DRM covers the digital management of rights -- be they rights in a physical manifestation of a work (e.g., a book), or be they rights in a digital manifestation of a work (e.g., an ebook). Current methods of managing, trading and protecting such assets are inefficient, proprietary, or else often require the information to be wrapped or embedded in a physical format. Current Rights management technologies include languages for describing the terms and conditions, tracking asset usages by enforcing controlled environments or encoded asset manifestations, and closed architectures for the overall management of rights. The Open Digital Rights Language (ODRL) provides the semantics for DRM in open and trusted environments whilst being agnostic to mechanisms to achieve the secure architectures... The ODRL model is based on an analysis and survey of sector specific requirements (models and semantics), and as such, aims to be compatible with a broad community base. ODRL aims to meet the common requirements for many sectors and has been influenced by the ongoing work and specifications/models of the following groups: (1) <indecs>, (2) Electronic Book Exchange, (3) IFLA, (4) DOI Foundation, (5) ONIX, (6) MPEG, (7) IMS, (8) Dublin Core Metadata Initiative. ODRL proposes to be compatible with the above groups by defining an independent and extensible set of semantics. . . ODRL is based on a simple, yet extensible, model for rights management which involves the clear separation of Parties, Assets, and Rights descriptions. ODRL can be expressed in XML; see the XML DTD in Appendix A and XML Schema [placeholder] in Appendix B for formal definitions. However, it is also conceivable that ODRL could be expressed in other syntaxes. ODRL is XML Namespace aware as its primary target is use with other content description and management systems. The ODRL XML Namespace URI for this version (0.7) is: http://odrl.net/0.7/. The final Version 1.0 ODRL XML Namespace URI will be http://odrl.net/1.0/. ODRL uses XML XLink to refer from XML fragments to other fragments. This is used to express the relationship between the core ODRL entities such as Asset, Reward, and Usage. Such elements can be identified with the standard ID attribute then referred to via XLink's href attribute." XML (pseudo-syntax) instances are provided to illustrate several key models in the architecture, including the ODRL Foundation Model, the ODRL Usage Model, the ODRL Constraint Model, the ODRL Narrow Model, the ODRL Rewards Model, the ODRL Administration Model, etc. See the extracted XML DTD. [cache]
XML DTD version 0.7
Open Digital Rights Language (ODRL) - Specification Version 0.5. 2000-08-23. Edited by Renato Iannella. 20 pages. 'Digital Rights Management (DRM) involves the description, layering, analysis, valuation, trading and monitoring of the rights over an enterprise's assets; both in physical and digital form; and of tangible and intangible value. Current methods of managing, trading and protecting such assets are inefficient, proprietary, or else often require the information to be wrapped or embedded in a physical format A key feature of managing online rights will be the substantial increase in re-use of digital material on the Web. The pervasive Internet is changing the nature of distribution of digital media from a passive one way flow (from Publisher to the End User) to a much more interactive cycle where creations are re-used, combined and extended ad infinitum. At all stages, the Rights need to be managed and honoured with trusted services... The Open Digital Rights Language (ODRL) provides the semantics for DRM in open and trusted environments whilst being agnostic to mechanisms to achieve the secure architectures... This document is intended to be a submission to the World Wide Web Consortium to propose the formation of a working group in the area of Digital Rights Management.' [cache]
"The Nature of Knowledge and Rights Management Systems." By Peter Higgs.
[June 28, 1999] "Toward an Open Rights Management Interoperability Framework." By John S. Erickson, Ph.D. (VP of Technology Strategy, Yankee Book Peddler, Inc.). (June 24, 1999). "With Xerox's upcoming unveiling of an XML-based version the Digital Property Rights Language (DPRL), I've been pondering to what extent Xerox and other rights management players (e.g., InterTrust) will work towards open standards. In particular, I'm curious to see if they'll work to foster a rights management interoperability framework analogous to (or perhaps falling within) the likes of ICE, cXML (Ariba), BizTalk (Microsoft), e-speak (HP), etc. From my understanding of Xerox's Rights Management Framework (RMF), this would minimally involve defining a set of tags such that the messaging aspects of RMF (perhaps RMF's rights services layer) could be expressed as XML-based messages that multiple applications/services could deal with. After participating for some time in various international "rights metadata" discussions, it is clear to me that a critical element to true distributed rights management will an open, service-level framework that enables peer-to-peer interoperation of rights management services and agents. On a broader scale, I've been trying to collect these thoughts as a working concept that I'm calling RightsTalk. I envision that the definition and evangelism for RightsTalk would be managed under a structure called RightsTalk.org. . ."
Contact: Renato Iannella
See also on digital rights management:
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