[[November 21, 2001] A communique of 2001-11-21 indicated that XMCL has been 'merged' into ODRL: 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 20, 2001] An announcement of 2001-06-20 from RealNetworks describes the formation of a new industry initiative designed to create an open XML-based standard for Internet media commerce and rights management. The Extensible Media Commerce Language (XMCL) initiative is "an open XML-based language designed to establish industry-wide standards for Internet media commerce. By standardizing the language for business rules, XMCL will enable content to be played in a way that is independent of codecs, digital rights management systems, and e-commerce systems. XMCL will greatly simplify deployment and accelerate the market for digital media commerce over the Internet. RealNetworks intends to submit the XMCL proposal to the appropriate standards organization, and will work with other industry leaders to ensure the initiative evolves into a widely accepted standard. The XMCL Initiative endorsed by many industry leaders proposes a standard business rule definition language providing rights holders the ability to take existing media business models -- such as purchase, rental, video-on-demand, and subscription services -- and deploy them on the Internet to generate new commerce opportunities. XMCL will give rights holders the freedom to use multiple back-end systems that interoperate with rights management solutions under a common interchange language."
Section 4 of the XMCL draft specification 'Core XMCL Syntax' provides detailed syntax of the core XMCL features. The XML Schema definitions used are based upon W3C XML Schema (May 02, 2001 - Recommendation); formal notation is given also in XML DTD syntax.
Abstract from the XMCL draft specification 2001-06-19: "This document specifies XMCL, the eXtensible Media Commerce Language. The language is an interchange format that describes usage rules that apply to multi-media content. It is designed to communicate these rules in an implementation independent manner for interchange between business systems and DRM implementations responsible for enforcing the rules described in the language."
From the 2001-06-19 draft specification 'Introduction':
This document specifies the Syntax and Semantics of XMCL, an eXtensible Media Commerce Language. Digital media in a rights management system flows through a number of steps on its journey to a consumer's eyes and ears. The steps are: create, package, publish, distribute, license, and consume. At least a subset of these abstract steps is implemented by all rights management systems today. The service or business owner that manages one or more of these steps varies widely depending on the relationships negotiated for a specific piece of content. However, there is a natural break between the back-end systems for publishing and licensing on one side and the trusted system that packaged the content and enforces the business rules for the content on the other. This division is between the systems that describe the business rules for the content and the specific implementation that enforces those rules.
XMCL is a "rights specification language", as defined by the Association of American Publishers. The purpose of XMCL is for interchange of business rules to be applied to media between business systems (e.g. web store fronts, customer tracking and management) and trusted delivery and playback systems (e.g., a DRM implementation that will enforce the rights described in the XMCL document). Through the use of XMCL business systems are completely free of knowledge of specific trusted system implementations. This separation of the business systems and the trusted system allow businesses to support one or more trusted systems and provides the option of changing trusted systems as conditions change without changes to the business systems.
XMCL describes the minimum, self-complete set of business rules under which digital media is licensed for consumer use. These business rules support multiple business models including rental, subscription, ownership, and video on demand/pay-per-view. When a business system authorizes a customer transaction for digital media, it generates a XMCL document that is then acted upon and enforced by a specific trusted system. The generated XMCL document is submitted to the trusted system through the APIs of the trusted system (e.g.. HTTP POST, RPC call, API call).
"An Opportunity for Standardization" (from the 'XMCL Initiative: Introduction' document):
Today, choosing a Digital Rights Management System (DRM) often locks you into a limited usage space for the content protected by the DRM due to limitations of the client software that plays back the content. To give customers what they want and allow broader usage, publishers and e-tailers have to offer the content in multiple formats, protected by multiple DRM systems. With the lack of a standard business rule definition language, these publishers or e-tailers have to specify the business rules separately for each DRM system they support.
A standard business rule definition language would bring all of these DRM systems together on the back end and reduce the cost for the publisher/e-tailer. Most importantly, a standard business rule definition language would enable the e-tailer to become independent of the particular implementation choices of any single DRM vendor and any single back-end system. Interoperability at this exchange point between back-end systems and trusted delivery systems increases the ease of use of rights management systems for the back-end operator; reduces the risks of mistakes in the setting of the business rules that could violate the rights the publisher had acquired from the content creator; and will accelerate the growth of the digital media industry as a result.
XMCL - the eXtensible Media Commerce Language. W3C Note 19-September-2002.
XMCL Submission request. May 02, 2002.
Announcement: "RealNetworks, Joined By Adobe, IBM, InterTrust, MGM, Sony Pictures Digital Entertainment, Starz Encore, Sun Microsystems and Others, Announces XMCL Initiative, an Open Standard for Internet Media Commerce. Standard Commerce Language Will Drive Rapidly-Growing Digital Media Market."
XMCL - the eXtensible Media Commerce Language. Specification Initial Draft 2001-06-19. By Jeffrey Ayars, RealNetworks Inc. 23 pages. Status: "This document is a draft of XMCL language specification. This specification is intended for submission to an international standards body for open community debate and finalization. This initial draft is produced by RealNetworks and will be superseded by a working draft produced by the standards body that takes up work on finalizing the language specification..." Also available in HTML format. [cache]
XMCL XML DTD approximation [version 2001-06-19]
Endorsements for XMCL [Anystream, Artesia, HP, RealNetworks Inc., Starz Encore Group]
"A Common Language for Media Commerce. IBM, InterTrust, MGM and others join RealNetworks in support of a common media commerce language to drive the rapidly-growing digital media market."
[June 20, 2001] "Big Guns Take Aim at Digital Copyright Management." By Sumner Lemon and Stephen Lawson. In InfoWorld (June 20, 2001). "Backed by some of the biggest names in the online entertainment industry, RealNetworks on Wednesday announced the formation of the XMCL (Extensible Media Commerce Language) Initiative. The company said the initiative will define an open XML-based framework for managing rights to digital media, including applications such as purchase, rental, video-on-demand, and subscription services. The list of companies that are backing the XMCL Initiative includes media-industry heavyweights such as Bertelsmann, EMI Group, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios (MGM), and AOL Time Warner. But Microsoft, which has its own digital-rights management framework built around the Windows Media Format 7 file format, is conspicuously absent from the list. Digital rights management technologies allow copyright holders to control how movies and songs are used and distributed online. Also, the technologies can restrict the number of times a user can play a certain file, or prevent a file from being copied and passed on to other users. XMCL will simplify rights management by letting content providers define business rules in a standard way, RealNetworks said in a statement. Specific details of how XMCL would be implemented were not made available... RealNetworks announced the XMCL Initiative at the same time it launched its RealSystem Media Commerce Suite, a suite of multimedia content applications. The software will eventually support XMCL and give users the ability to choose from a variety of back-end platforms, the company said. RealSystem Media Commerce Suite can be integrated with third-party digital rights management applications, such as flexible rights management software from InterTrust Technologies, the statement said. InterTrust, which has filed a patent infringement suit against Microsoft over digital-rights management in Windows Media Player, is a member of the XMCL Initiative..." See the discussion and references.
[June 20, 2001] "RealNetworks Pushes Copyright Initiative." By Melanie Austria Farmer and Jim Hu. In CNET News.com (June 20, 2001). "Streaming-media giant RealNetworks on Wednesday unveiled new technology intended to promote the legal use of copyrighted material over the Web. The company is aiming the software in its RealSystem Media Commerce Suite at media companies and retailers that want to deliver music, movies and other copyrighted material securely over the Web. The software can be tied into existing systems for delivery of digital content. RealNetworks also introduced an initiative to provide a common, open standard--called XMCL, for Extensible Media Commerce Language--that would enable the content to be played on systems from different providers of digital entertainment. Supporters include media and technology notables such as IBM, Napster, InterTrust, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Sony Pictures Digital Entertainment and Sun Microsystems. The moves are likely to heighten the already intense competition between RealNetworks and Microsoft, both of which distribute technology that allows consumers to watch videos or listen to music over the Web... Microsoft countered Wednesday with its own set of announcements. The Redmond, Wash.-based software giant unveiled Microsoft Producer, a system that lets people incorporate Windows Media audio and video technology into their business presentations. In addition, the company said it will begin highlighting how media and entertainment companies such as EMI Recorded Music, Viacom's CBS NewsPath and Lions Gate Entertainment are using its Windows Media digital rights management system... The control of copyrighted materials online falls into the realm of digital rights management, which will play an increasingly important role as online music becomes more popular with consumers. Content producers such as record labels and movie studios have generally acknowledged the Internet as a new way to sell and distribute their works. But the lack of safeguards preventing the unwanted dissemination of their works has made content providers more conscious of copyright abuses on the Internet. Thus, many content companies have proceeded slowly, waiting for a sufficient way to secure their works... The XMCL proposal envisions a way for digital content to be played independently of rights management systems and codecs. Codecs are the mathematical codes that compress large audio files into smaller, more usable packages that can be streamed or downloaded over the Web."
[June 20, 2001] "RealNetworks Unveils Digital Rights Standard, Products." By 'Reuters'. In InternetWeek (June 18, 2001). "Media software maker RealNetworks Inc. on Wednesday launched a new product it says will help entertainment conglomerates manage and track the use of their copyrighted material on new online services they plan to soon roll out. RealNetworks also unveiled an initiative to standardize the delivery of content via the Web in a way that is secure and profitable, marking what analysts said was the Seattle-based company's boldest move yet to tackle a main strength of competing technology by cross-town rival Microsoft Corp... Although the more technical of the announcements, Real's standardization initiative could pose a bigger threat to Microsoft, analysts said. Real's proposed standard is called the eXtensible Media Commerce Language, or XMCL, a media-oriented version of the XML (eXtensible Markup Language) standard that companies like Microsoft are betting heavily on to enable a new generation of Web-based services. Just as XML describes different types of data so different computer systems can talk to each other, XMCL would be a common language for describing the rights and rules for a piece of media like a song or a film, Albertson said... The other pillar of Real's strategy is a product called the RealSystem Media Commerce Suite, which will let online music and video stores easily package, sell and deliver their wares to customers, Albertson said..."
See also on digital rights management:
- "XML and Digital Rights Management (DRM)" - Main reference page.
- OASIS Rights Language
- Patents and Open Standards
- Open Digital Rights Language (ODRL)
- "Extensible Rights Markup Language (XrML)."
- Digital Property Rights Language (DPRL)
- MPEG Rights Expression Language
- "<indecs>2rdd Consortium - Rights Data Dictionary."
- PRISM Rights Language (PRL)
- Open Ebook Initiative Rights and Rules Working Group (OeBF)
- Electronic Book Exchange (EBX) Working Group