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Last modified: March 04, 2003
Extensible Rights Markup Language (XrML)

Extensible Rights Markup Language (XrML): 'The Digital Rights Language for Trusted Content and Services'. Web site description: "XrML provides a universal method for securely specifying and managing rights and conditions associated with all kinds of resources including digital content as well as services... XrML 2.0 is extensible and fully compliant with XML namespaces using XML schema technology. XrML 2.0 extensions can be designed for specific industries or with the inclusion of other elements, such as resource-level metadata standards like ONIX and RDF. In addition, standards such as XSLT and XPath have been employed in XrML, and XML Signature and XML Encryption have been used for authentication and protection of the rights expressions. This extensibility makes the language scale with the complexity of business models captured. XrML 2.0, the latest release announced on November 26, 2001, can be used in content-centric as well as service based business models. Rights and conditions can be securely assigned at varying levels of granularity to individuals as well as groups of individuals and the parties can be authenticated. In addition, the grants/licenses can be interpreted and enforced by the consumption application. XrML is designed to be used in either single tier or multi-tier channels of distribution with the downstream rights and conditions assigned at any level. In addition, the trust environment can also be specified in the language in order to maintain the integrity of the rights and conditions."

[May 29, 2002]   ContentGuard Releases Extensible Rights Markup Language (XrML) Version 2.1.    Version 2.1 of ContentGuard's Extensible Rights Markup Language has been submitted to the OASIS Rights Language Technical Committee, and will serve as "the basis in defining the industry standard rights language" outlined in the TC's charter. The Rights Markup Language TC has been established by ContentGuard, Microsoft, and other OASIS members to "define the industry standard for a rights language that supports a wide variety of business models and has an architecture that provides the flexibility to address the needs of the diverse communities that have recognized the need for a rights language." The XrML 2.1 release contains two main parts, in addition to four XML schemas: (1) Extensible Rights Markup Language (XrML) Core 2.1 Specification defines the core of XrML, "a general-purpose language in XML used to describe the rights and conditions for using resources. It explains the basic concepts for issuing rights in a machine-readable language and describes the language syntax and semantics; the goal is a language that can be used throughout industry to stipulate rights to use resources and the conditions under which those rights may be exercised and by whom." (2) Extensible Rights Markup Language (XrML) Standard Extension 2.1 Specification builds upon XrML Core 2.1 by defining "a set of concepts that are generally and broadly useful and applicable to XrML2 usage scenarios, but which are not necessarily at the heart of XrML2 semantics; these concepts are broadly classified, according to the purpose that they serve, into conditions, payment notions, properties, and revocation extensions." [Full context]

[February 05, 2002]   XrML Under Review for the MPEG-21 Rights Expression Language (REL).    The MPEG Multimedia Description Schemes (MDS) Group has produced a skeletal working draft for MPEG-21 Part 5 "Rights Expression Language (REL)," based upon initial work at the 58th MPEG Meeting in Pattaya, Thailand. Following receipt of several submissions in response to the MPEG Call for Proposals for a Rights Data Dictionary and Rights Description Language, three MPEG experts selected ContentGuard's Extensible Rights Markup Language (XrML) as a basis for the MPEG-21 Rights Expression Language. XrML [submission M7640] was selected as "the base architecture," and the working group is now conducting a series of Core Experiments to determine whether modification and additions will be necessary to fully meet the MPEG-21 requirements. Working group participants anticipate that they will have a fairly "stable specification" by July 2002; after subsequent formal review, comment, and voting procedures, they hope to publish the specification as an ISO/MPEG standard by June/July 2003. [Full context]

[November 27, 2001]   ContentGuard Releases XrML Version 2.0 and Submits Specification to Standards Bodies.    ContentGuard, Inc. recently announced the release of XrML (Extensible Rights Markup Language) version 2.0, confirming also that XrML has been submitted to MPEG and to TV Anytime. XrML is a "general-purpose, XML-based specification grammar for expressing rights and conditions associated with digital content, resources, and services; it is based on years of research at Xerox Palo Alto Research Center (PARC), which invented the rights expression language concept. XrML 2.0 expands the capabilities of a Digital Rights Language -- usually thought of in connection with authorized use of protected digital content -- to now also allow developers to establish the rights and conditions needed to access various Web Services. As part of a trusted environment, XrML can be used to apply rights to a wide variety of content and services to enable custom tailoring of digital offerings. For example, a Financial Services company can expand its online products from simple password access to customized and personalized offerings that combine services and content such as portfolio analysis, real time video, on-line consulting, or research reports. Each offering can use different rights (e.g., view, save, forward), conditions (e.g., free, fee based, limited time) and delivery methods (e.g., downloaded, streamed, ASP). New services with specific rights can be added to individuals or user groups through use of XrML. ContentGuard is owned by Xerox Corporation, with Microsoft Corporation holding a minority position." ContentGuard is licensing its patents (which enable developers to deploy applications based on XrML) "throughout the world on reasonable and non-discriminatory terms and conditions" [RAND]. [Full context]

Patent Issues. ContentGuard's patent claims in connection with XrML are discussed in detail within a separate section of the document "Patents and Open Standards."

Overview of ContentGuard (Xerox/Microsoft) XrML patent issues: ContentGuard's patent claims with respect to XrML are sweeping, as illustrated in the following statement [as of 2002-02-15], "ContentGuard has an important and early foundation patent portfolio pertaining to the distribution of digital works and to any rights language..." [emphasis original to this HTML document]

  • From the XrML FAQ Document 2002-02-05: "Do I need a license to use XrML? Yes. ContentGuard has a portfolio of patented technologies in the area of digital rights management. Claims in the patents cover the distribution and use of digital works. You need to be licensed to use XrML in a context covered by the patents. You can contact ContentGuard at Is there a fee associated with using XrML? There is no fee to obtain the XrML specification and schema. However, if you use XrML in a context covered by the ContentGuard patents, then there may be a fee. You need to contact ContentGuard at to discuss a license for your proposed use..."
  • ContentGuard patent licensing: ContentGuard's 'XrML' rights language has been characterized publicly as "freely available" and "[licensed] royalty-free," but such descriptions should be understood against the backdrop of ContentGuard's patent claims. ContentGuard makes reference to 'A Sturdy Patent Portfolio' said to be relevant to XrML and to any rights language: "ContentGuard has an important and early foundation patent portfolio pertaining to the distribution of digital works and to any rights language. These United States issued patents have also been filed in Japan, Europe and other countries. They contain broad fundamental claims covering: (1) Association of usage rights to content; (2) A grammar to define rights or conditions; (3) Persistent protection; (4) Distribution of composite digital content; (5) Fee accounting and reporting associated with the distribution or use of content..." ContentGuard is licensing these patents (which enable developers to deploy applications based on XrML) "throughout the world on reasonable and non-discriminatory terms and conditions" [RAND].
  • "... ContentGuard asserts, among other claims, that its patents grant it exclusive license to the very idea of a rights expression language. That claim will still hold, whether XrML becomes the eventual industry standard or not. By extension, ContentGuard could potentially continue to collect licensing fees on rights expression languages even if XrML fades into oblivion..." [from "Freedom of Expression: Emerging Standards in Rights Management" 2002-02.
  • ContentGuard's Sturdy Patent Portfolio:
    • "System for Controlling the Distribution and Use of Digital Works Using Digital Tickets." (US Patent 6,236,971)
    • "System for Controlling the Distribution and Use of Digital Work Having Attached Usage Rights Where the Usage Rights are Defined by a Usage Rights Grammar" (US Patent 5,715,403)
    • "System for Controlling the Distribution and Use of Composite Digital Works" (US Patent 5,638,443)
    • "System for Controlling the Distribution and Use of Digital Works Having a Free Reporting Mechanism" (US Patent 5,634,012)
    • "System for Controlling the Distribution and Use of Digital Works" (US Patent 5,629,980)
    • "Interactive Contents Revealing Storage Device" (US Patent 5,530,235)
    • "System for Controlling the Distribution and Use of Rendered Digital Works through Watermarking" (US Patent 6,233,684)
    • Additional patents are pending.
  • From the article of Bill Rosenblatt in "DRM Watch Update," April 02, 2002 [DRM Standards. GiantSteps/Media Technology Strategies] : "ContentGuard is able to relinquish control of OASIS' rights language design while retaining the ability to charge for licenses to the language. ContentGuard can do this because it holds patents on any rights language, not just XrML as it exists today. OASIS, unlike other standards bodies (such as the W3C), allows companies like ContentGuard to contribute technology that can be licensed for money, as long as it's on RAND (reasonable and nondiscriminatory) terms... ContentGuard's patents allow it to take legal action against other organizations that would advance their own rights language. As another important step towards market acceptance, ContentGuard will need to assure the industry that it does not intend to use its patent portfolio as a stick with which to beat other organizations. Only the passage of time will provide this assurance..."

[April 28, 2000] ContentGuard, Inc., formerly an operating unit of Xerox, recently issued a series of announcements and launched a new Web site for its rights management technology and XML centerpiece, the 'Extensible Rights Markup Language (XrML)'. Previous research and development has been done under the name "Digital Property Rights Language (DPRL)." According to published descriptions: "XrML - eXtensible rights Markup Language - provides a universal method for specifying rights and issuing conditions (licenses) associated with the use and protection of content. ContentGuard has developed and contributed XrML as an open specification licensed on a royalty-free basis to unify the Digital Rights Management industry and encourage inter-operability at an early stage. XrML facilitates the creation of an open architecture for rights management of digital content and can be easily integrated with both existing and new systems. This initiative has received significant support from all walks of the industry including technology players, content owners, publishers, eTailers and clearinghouses, and is being rapidly integrated into various applications including e-books, music and video. XrML promises to foster the rapid growth of the digital content economy. Based on pioneering research from Xerox' Palo Alto Research Center (PARC), the ContentGuard solutions offer content owners more control and flexibility over the distribution and use of their content. XrML will enable eContent owners to: (1) Describe rights, fees and conditions appropriate to commerce models they select. (2) Provide standard terms for usage rights with useful, concise and easily understandable meanings. (3) Offer vendors operational definitions of trusted systems for compliance testing and evaluation. (4) Provide extensibility to new language features without compromising XrML's other goals. XrML provides an open architecture, scalability, customization, extensibility and the capacity to integrate with both existing systems and new ones as they are developed. XrML supports and accommodates other industry standards, such as SSL, public/private key encryption and the DOI initiative. [...] Microsoft Corporation and Xerox Corporation will collaborate with ContentGuard Inc. on key digital rights management (DRM) technologies. Through this work, the three companies will improve the distribution of premium digital content, including eBooks, documents, music and video, over the Internet, while protecting against unauthorized usage or redistribution. Microsoft has also joined Xerox as a shareholder in ContentGuard, Inc. To accelerate market growth, ContentGuard is announcing the royalty-free licensing of its eXtensible rights Markup Language (XrML). This initiative has already received support from 20 industry leaders, including Adobe Systems, Inc., Barnes & Noble, Glassbook, Inc., Hewlett Packard Company, Lightning Printing, Inc., Microsoft, Preview Systems, Reciprocal, Inc.,, Inc., Time Warner Trade Publishing, Thomson Publishing and Xerox."

XrML's Published Guiding Principles:

  1. Enable rapid growth of the eContent industry for all media.
  2. Enable XrML to meet the needs of all stakeholders in the eContent industry.
  3. Establish a community of practice that is committed to develop a common rights language for use by trusted systems.
  4. Enable interpretability across multiple platforms and content types.
  5. Encourage interested parties to submit and share XrML Modifications with the community of practice that will extend and enhance the XrML Specifications.
  6. Enable future XrML enhancements and modifications to meet the needs of the DRM community, and that the standard does not become fragmented or create commercial advantage for any single party.
  7. Establish an XrML Panel of knowledgeable and interested parties, to review the XrML Modifications and make recommendations concerning incorporation of XrML Modifications in the XrML Specifications.
  8. This License Agreement does not apply to, dictate or restrict General-purpose APIs (Application Program Interfaces), operating system functions and specifications, or other software that incorporate XrML Specifications.
  9. Additional materials will be made available on the website from time to time, for example, the DTDs for the XrML Specifications.

XrML and Microsoft's DAS.

Microsoft Digital Asset Server (DAS). "DAS combines first-rate security, flexibility, and reliability in an end-to-end framework for the creation, distribution, and sales of digital works. In addition, DAS uses the eXtensible rights Management Language (XrML), the emerging standard language for articulating digital property rights. Microsoft designed DAS to provide an easy and seamless purchase and download experience for consumers while providing persistent and uncompromising protection for intellectual property in digital form. Moreover, DAS is part of an all-encompassing program for advancing antipiracy efforts within Microsoft and across the industry... (DAS) is an end-to-end framework for facilitating the secure distribution and sales of digital works. DAS offers three incremental levels of sophisticated security features and a unique architecture to provide the flexibility, scalability, and reliability needed to build innovative and profitable digital content businesses."

From the DAS FAQ document: [What is the significance of XrML?] "eXtensible rights Markup Language from ContentGuard provides a universal method for specifying rights and issuing permissions (licenses) associated with works. XrML is significant because it provides a standard for publishers to specify the rights associated with a title. Microsoft DAS is the first server technology to use XrML." [What is the XrML capability in Digital Asset Server (DAS) 1.0, and what can be expected in the near future?] " Microsoft Digital Asset Server (DAS) 1.0 provides simple rights management and generates them on the fly during the download process, according to the security level information specified for each eBook by the content owner. In future releases, DAS will provide additional XrML authoring tools..."


  • Web site

  • ContentGuard Web site

  • XrML FAQ document

  • [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 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 ( 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..."

  • [February 21, 2003] "Microsoft Announces Windows Rights Management Services For Windows Server 2003. Rights Management Solution Will Give Organizations and Employees New Ways To Protect Information." - "Microsoft Corp. today announced plans for Windows Rights Management Services (RMS), a new technology for Windows Server 2003 that will give organizations advanced ways to help secure sensitive internal business information including financial reports and confidential planning documents. Windows Rights Management Services will work with applications to provide a platform-based approach to providing persistent policy rights for Web content and sensitive corporate documents of all types. Beta code for Windows Rights Management Services will be broadly available in the second quarter of 2003. 'Customers have told us they need better solutions to help safeguard their critical business information,' said Mike Nash, corporate vice president of the Security Business Unit at Microsoft. 'What's really compelling about Rights Management technology is that it enables businesses to protect the information they most worry might leak -- either deliberately or inadvertently -- by putting persistent protections in the documents themselves.' Using Windows Rights Management Services, applications such as information portals, word processors or e-mail clients can be built so that users will be able to easily designate both who can have access to specific content and what kinds of access rights they can have. Rights and policy are managed by the server, while clients running RMS-enabled applications allow users to apply rights with a click of a button. For example, Windows Rights Management Services can be used to control forwarding, copying and printing, as well as establishing time-based expiration rules. In addition, enterprises can enforce policy broadly and reliably by centrally delivering templates that automate the process -- for example, making the policy around what constitutes 'company confidential' uniform and easy to manage. Because Windows Rights Management Services technology is an ASP.NET Web service built on the Microsoft .NET Framework, it can more easily interoperate with business processes via Web services. RMS technology uses XrML (Extensible Rights Markup Language), an emerging standard for the expression of rights on digital content. Microsoft will release two software development kits in the second quarter of 2003 to enable developers to begin to build rights management capabilities into a broad range of intra-enterprise solutions and applications for Windows clients..."

  • [June 04, 2002] "Digital Rights Put to Test." By Alex Daniels. In (Tuesday, June 4, 2002). "Music and movie moguls crowded a Capitol Hill reception last month to toast the four-year-old Digital Millenium Copyright Act, the landmark law guarding copyrighted material from digital pirates... Miron, the CEO of ContentGuard agrees that content owners can make money on the Internet, even in competition with free music and video offerings. Reliable DRM software and exciting content will help, he says, but the patchwork of different protection products on the market is holding things back. 'The industry would be a hell of a lot better off if all participants had a common way to express rights,' for their material, he says. Content Guard is majority owned by Xerox and funded in the 'triple-digit millions' by Microsoft. The company hopes that XrML, a language developed at Xerox's Palo Alto Research Center, will become the standard language for expressing rights on media files due to its ability to operate on different computer systems and applications. ContentGuard designs custom software using XrML and hopes to earn revenue from patents it holds on computer languages expressing copyrights. The company won't disclose revenues. Two other languages, ODRL and XCML, are also in the running to become the standard. Last fall, ContentGuard scored a win when the MPEG-21, an international group working to develop standards for the creation and distribution of multimedia content selected XrML as its base language. The company is now submitting XrML to other standards bodies. But even if the software becomes the coin of the realm in the digital copyright world, it won't matter unless studios and record labels to warm up to the Internet. And Miron isn't sure how that will happen. Options include monthly subscriptions or fees for downloads..." [alt URL]

  • [April 03, 2002] "Contentguard Contributes XrML to OASIS Standards Consortium. ContentGuard, HP, Microsoft, Reuters and VeriSign Among the First To Join the OASIS Rights Language Technical Committee." - ContentGuard "today announced it would contribute the eXtensible rights Markup Language (XrML) to OASIS, the XML interoperability standards consortium, for long-term development and governance of the rights language. This contribution is in support of the OASIS Rights Language Technical Committee, which was formed to advance a common XML digital rights language standard for the DRM marketplace. ContentGuard also confirmed today that it will hand control of XrML to an international standards organization. The company is currently in discussions with several standards organizations about accepting this governance role. By allowing the governance and development of XrML to be managed by an independent body, ContentGuard is seeking to open up XrML's future development to broad industry participation. 'ContentGuard is delivering on its promise to turn XrML over to a global standards body,' said Michael Miron, ContentGuard CEO. 'After extensive research and numerous discussions with members of the standards community and industry leaders we are confident that OASIS, an international standards consortium focused on developing interoperable specifications built on public standards such as XML, is in the best position to oversee XrML's development and work with other standards organizations who share a common vision of a single extensible rights language standard.' Through the establishment of the OASIS Rights Language Technical Committee, content owners, DRM developers and all technology providers now have an open and well-recognized forum allowing them to participate in the development of a worldwide standard digital rights language. In addition, the committee is well positioned to extend XrML directly or in concert with other standards groups to address the specific needs of various industry sectors. The technical committee is also expected to form liaisons and establish work processes with other standards organizations, such as MPEG-21, that are committed to standardizing a digital rights language... XrML, the language for digital rights management, provides a universal method for specifying rights and conditions associated with the use and protection of digital content and services. Originally developed at Xerox's Palo Alto Research Center (PARC), the specification facilitates the creation of an open architecture for rights management of digital content or services. It can be integrated with both existing and new DRM systems. XrML is a general-purpose rights language, agnostic to the type of resource, platform, media or business applications. The latest release, XrML 2.0, expands the capabilities of a Digital Rights Language to enable developers to establish the rights and conditions needed to access Web Services in addition to discrete digital content. It also contains additional capabilities in the areas of extensibility, security and life cycle management..." See related references in: (1) "OASIS Members Propose a Rights Language Technical Committee"; (2) Call for TC Participation; (3) "XML and Digital Rights Management (DRM)."

  • [April 03, 2002] "ContentGuard Takes Standards Route For DRM Markup." By Kevin Murphy. From Yahoo News (UK). April 03, 2002. "ContentGuard Inc. wants to advance the fortunes of itself and the online media industry by opening its XrML digital rights management specification to industry standardization... Having OASIS stamp its seal of approval on XrML could increase ContentGuard's potential royalties. OASIS allows 'reasonable and non-discriminatory' license fees to be sought when a company owns a patent on a technology that forms part of the standard. The World Wide Web Consortium does not, but [ContentGuard CEO Michael] Miron gave the fact that the W3C is simply not interested in DRM as the reason ContentGuard is going with OASIS. 'Among our patents is the use of any rights language, whether XrML or not,' said Miron, adding that the company has already committed to RAND licensing terms, and that ContentGuard already offers risk-free licenses for developers of DRM applications. 'We propose to license our patents to anybody for free... for development purposes only,' said Miron. 'When you go to market for commercial purposes, then you pay us a license fee'..."

  • [April 18, 2002] "The Wireless, Non-Free, Paperless Future. Future of News." By Leslie Gornstein. In Online Journalism Review. Posted: 2002-04-18, modified 2002-05-02. ['Technologies in research labs today will soon change how we get our news.'] "...Here are just a few of the ways gizmos in the pipeline now may change the news experience in the near future... Nothing Will Be Free: The biggest change is that the information you get over your laptop, Palm or pen probably won't be free. And if it is free to peek at, you probably won't be able to copy and paste it, print it, look at it a second time, or store it on your hard drive in any way -- unless you pay for the privilege. A relatively new markup language called XrML is being tweaked by Xerox, Microsoft and others to protect copyrighted materials in the digital domain. At Xerox, researchers are developing a digital rights manager software suite that will let people use XrML to protect everything from songs to written stories. A song being offered for free download at a mall kiosk may go into a 13-year-old's MP3 player, but once the kid gets home, he may find he can't put it on the Net or even upload it to his PC without a message popping up on his computer monitor, asking if he would like to purchase the privilege. The language is being hailed by at least one standards board as the way to shut down piracy and free rides in general... 'DRM (digital rights management) isn't just hacker proofing,' says Michael Miron, chief executive at ContentGuard, a Xerox spin-off that's spearheading XrML rights software in cooperation with Microsoft. 'You need security, but you also need to deal with conditions of use.' What's scary about DRM is that there's nothing built into the forthcoming rights protection software that protects consumers' rights under fair use laws -- the same laws that allow people to tape their favorite TV shows. But Miron says assuring such rights is too much of a burden for his software team, arguing that every country has different intellectual property laws. The rights management revolution is already underway; a Microsoft eBook reader that complies with XrML rights management standards was released last summer. More XrML products are on their way later this year, Miron says..."

  • [March 25, 2002]   OASIS Members Propose a Rights Language Technical Committee.    Representatives from ContentGuard, Hewlett Packard, Microsoft, Reuters, and Verisign have proposed the formation of an OASIS Rights Language Technical Committee. Chaired by Hari Reddy of ContentGuard, the TC will "continue work previously done by ContentGuard, Inc. on XrML to define the industry standard for a rights language that supports a wide variety of business models and has an architecture that provides flexibility to address the needs of the diverse communities." The TC will "define a governance and language extension development process for the language that comprehends maintaining an evergreen language while minimizing the impact of change on all market participants." It will also define relationships with complementary standards efforts within OASIS and establish liaisons with standards bodies. ContentGuard, which has copyrights to the XrML 2.0 specification and schema, will submit the Extensible Rights Markup Language™ (XrML™) Version 2.0 to the TC at the initial meeting. [Full context]

  • "XrML: The Technology Standard for Trusted Systems in the eContent Marketplace." XrML White Paper. "... XrML supports the publishing and sales of digital material including books, movies, music, games and software by addressing the implementation of trusted systems that enable buying, selling and using digital works. It also supports access and use controls for the non-financial exchange of secure digital documents. The key advantages of XrML include: (1) Ease of use. Computer-based rules provide consistent language and syntax, reducing the need for human intervention at all stages in the value chain. (2) Reduced risk. Extensively researched for several years and having a number of patents, the XrML model provides a solid foundation for language and syntax standards. Moreover, the XrML concept has been proved with commercial implementation already in place. (3) Accelerated growth of the eContent marketplace. XrML permits any number of digital content providers to quickly enter the industry, offering the same look and feel to everyone while encouraging technology providers to continually - and more easily - add new features and capabilities... Created at the Xerox Palo Alto Research Center (PARC) and licensed royalty-free, XrML provides an open architecture, scalability, customization, extensibility and the capacity to integrate with existing and new systems. XrML assures digital content providers of the largest possible market based on a technology built around industry standards, such as XML, SSL, public/private key encryption (so that, even if a document is illegally copied, it can not be read) and the DOI initiative. Because XrML creates the structure for rights that are enforced by machines but are human understandable, all participants in the value chain can answer the critical question, 'What rights accompany this content?' Moreover, XrML enables wholesale prices to be kept current and consistent. Terms can be defined clearly and uniformly on multiple platforms, such as copying a work and placing it on additional platforms, or lending, giving away or re-selling a digital work..." Also in PDF format.

  • Announcement 2001-11-26: "ContentGuard Releases New Version of Digital Rights Language, XrML 2.0, and Proposes It to Standards Bodies. Support for Web Services, Release of Software Developer's Kit Also Move XrML Closer to Becoming Industry Standard for Rights Language." [source]

  • XrML and web services

  • XrML 2.0 Highlights

  • XrML 2.0 download [cache]

  • XrML Version 2.0 XML schemas [unofficial copies]:

  • [February 06, 2002] "Freedom of Expression: Emerging Standards in Rights Management. [Feature Story.]" By Neil McAllister (Senior Technology Editor). In New.Architect: Internet Strategies for Technology Leaders Volume 7, Issue 3 (March 2002), pages 36-39. ISSN: 1537-9000. [New.Architect was formerly WebTechniques] ['XrML, ODRL, XMCL -- Rights expression languages promise standards-based DRM. But can we really all just get along? Demand for digital content has never been higher, but widespread copyright violations threaten the success of the online media marketplace. Enter DRM. Neil explores how this set of breakthrough technologies is securing intellectual property and making content-driven revenue a reality.'] "It's one thing to standardize a language, but quite another for any one language to become a standard. To help legitimize their efforts, the creators of XMCL, ODRL, and XrML have each announced their intent to submit their work to various prominent standards bodies for ongoing development. The extent to which they've followed through on those promises, however, has varied... How diverse can XrML's trusted systems be? In November 2001, ContentGuard published the specification for XrML 2.0, the first significant revision of the language since its evolution from DPRL. This new iteration broadened the number of supported business models beyond the Napster approach to include both content-driven and service-driven approaches. Instead of merely assigning rights to individual pieces of content, XrML 2.0 lets you define access procedures for libraries, collections, databases, or even Web services. The most frequent criticism leveled at XrML is that the language is overly complex, because it comprises more than 100 distinct elements. However, its comprehensive feature set has earned it an impressive roster of endorsements from digital media and publishing heavyweights including Adobe, Audible, Barnes and Noble, Hewlett-Packard, McGraw-Hill, St. Martin's Press, Wiley, and Time Warner Trade Publishing. Even given these companies' collective blessing, Microsoft remains ContentGuard's most important partner. The development of Microsoft Digital Asset Server indicated that XrML had moved beyond white papers and specifications to become a real-world solution with active deployment. Thus, XrML remains unique, even though it must now share the market with some more recent challengers..."

  • "The Language forDigital Rights Management." Presentation at "Electronic Book 2001: Applications, Authors and Accessibility" (Fourth Annual NIST Electronic Book Conference). November, 2001. 12 slides. "... Each 'digital rights expression' could specify a combination of what rights are available, for what time period, under what access conditions, for what fees, within which territory, and with what obligations..."

  • [December 13, 2001] "Digital Rights Management: Reviewing XrML 2.0. How well is ContentGuard responding to challenges to its rights description language?" By Bill Rosenblatt (President, GiantSteps Media Technology Strategies). In Seybold Report: Analyzing Publishing Technology [ISSN: 1533-9211] Volume 1, Number 18 (December 17, 2001). ['ContentGuard's second effort at a rights specification language offers more expressive power and now supports non-document content types, but it hasn't cured the complexity problem. Openness and outreach are the challenges that ContentGuard still faces.'] "With Extensible Rights Markup Language (XrML) 2.0 (, the rights specification language from ContentGuard takes a further evolutionary step away from its roots in the Digital Property Rights Language (DPRL) invented by Dr. Mark Stefik of Xerox PARC in 1996. The first version of XrML moved the language's syntactic basis from its original Lisp to XML, but kept the semantics largely intact. Version 2.0 moves the syntax slightly from XML DTD to XML Schema and alters the semantics -- the power of the language -- significantly. Although the language has existed for a few years, XrML has been slow to be adopted by DRM technology vendors. DRM technologists have criticized it as too complex, making it difficult to implement, especially in post-PC Internet devices with slow processors and small memory footprints. This criticism has had some validity: The language tried to be all-encompassing and to muck around in DRM implementation details, such as levels of security, that DRM technology vendors have found unnecessary... Version 2.0 of the language is well integrated into the web of existing and emerging standards in the XML community, including Schema, namespaces, XPath and digital signature standards; in fact, one must be conversant with many of these to fully understand the language specification and to write good XrML code. ContentGuard is trying to find an existing and respected standards body to take responsibility for the language (IDEAlliance, keeper of both PRISM and ICE, would be a logical candidate). This is an improvement upon its previous intention of forming and managing an authoring group itself. ContentGuard's strategy appears to be to make money by licensing the technology -- whatever some outside body defines it to be. It can do this because its patents cover the idea of a rights language in general, no matter what the specifics of the language are... XrML 1.3 had a few features designed to support some service-oriented business models, such as subscriptions and private currencies (tickets), but the language's conceptions of both rights and consideration required for exercising rights were centered on document-like content. XrML 2.0 fixes this, all the way. The language can support any Internet-based service -- whether it involves 'content' or not. In fact, XrML 2.0 can support fine-grained rights control on individual pieces of data in a database. This feature is bound to generate some controversy among the Electronic Frontier Foundation and other advocates of the balance of interests in copyright law. Currently, individual data items ('facts') are not protected under U.S. copyright law, although there is an effort afoot among online database providers (and others) to make them so. Protecting online database records with a DRM system powered by XrML 2.0 would bypass this issue by doing an end run around the copyright laws..."

  • [December 13, 2001] "XrML 2.0 Review." By [Bill Rosenblatt] GiantSteps/Media Technology Strategies 'DRM Watch'. November 26, 2001. ['ContentGuard releases version 2.0 of the Extensible Rights Markup Language (XrML), announces its intention to hand the language over to an as yet unnamed standards body for further stewardship, and submits it for consideration as a part of the MPEG-21 standard under development. ContentGuard restructured its business in July 2001 so that it now focuses exclusively on developing the XrML language, advancing it as a standard, and creating revenue through licensing fees. XrML 2.0 is the first major deliverable from the new ContentGuard, and the emphasis on the language (rather than on ContentGuard's former DRM products and services) is quite apparent nt'] "... Overall, XrML 2.0 is a positive step for ContentGuard, and by extension, for the DRM industry as a whole. But it's not the only rights description language vying for industry-standard status. For example, the aforementioned ODRL is also being submitted to MPEG-21. ContentGuard needs to continue building its momentum in the areas mentioned above to beat out these competitors and finally bring order to the chaotic world of DRM systems." [substantially re-published in the Seybold article, cited above]

  • [February 05, 2002] "The Language for Digital Rights." By Michael Miron, Thomas DeMartini, Xin Wang, and Brad Gandee (ContentGuard, Inc.). Presented at MPEG Meetings, Pattaya, Thailand, 2001-12. 31 slides. [Michael Miron:] Overview, XrML origins ContentGuard philosophy, MPEG submission roadmap; [Thomas DeMartini and Xin Wang:] XrML structure, features, meeting MPEG requirements, use cases [Brad Gandee:] Deployment support (tools), governance, extensions. Philosophy Underpinning XrML: (1) Single language across all media types, platforms, formats, resources, products & services to facilitate interoperability (2) Application/domain agnostic structure (3) Comprehensive to express wide variety of business models (4) Application to all phases of life cycle (5) Extensible to allow adaptability and minimize future cost of change (6) Ease of implementation and deployment... ContentGuard Patent Policy: (1) ContentGuard holds fundamental early patents; (2) Claims cover the use of any Rights Language; (3) ContentGuard is licensing XrML implementations on RAND basis. Business Models Supported in XrML: Unlimited usage; Flat fee sale; Pay per view; Preview; Promotion; Subscription/Membership; Transfer; Gifting; Library loan; Site/volume license; Rent; Multi-tier models; Territory restricted; Component based model; User types based model; Payment to multiple Rights Holders; Superdistribution; Composite content; Personal lending... XrML Submission Documents m7640..." See also the [unofficial] PDF version.

  • XrML: Extensible rights Markup Language. XrML Specification Version 1.03. Includes revisions of 6/23/2000. 119 pages. Draft. "This specification defines XrML (eXtensible rights Markup Language), an extension of Xerox DPRL 2.0 in XML. XrML documents provide descriptions of usage rights, fees and conditions for digital contents, together with message integrity and entity authentication in these descriptions. Status of this document Although the extensible rights markup language (XrML) has already benefited from comments from publishers and other interested parties, the language is not frozen. Currently, this document is a draft. Its description of works and rights is mainly from DPRL v.2. Rules for generating and processing XrML documents are still in discussion. Feedback and suggestions are solicited... XrML is the shorthand for eXtensible rights Markup Language. It is a language in XML (eXtensible Markup Language) for describing specifications of rights, fees and conditions for using digital contents (or properties), together with message integrity and entity authentication within these specifications. It is intended to support commerce in digital contents, that is, publishing and selling electronic books, digital movies, digital music, interactive games, computer software and other creations distributed in digital form. It is also intended to support specification of access and use controls for secure digital documents in cases where financial exchange is not part of the terms of use. XrML documents are XML conforming. As such, they are readily viewed, edited, and validated with standard XML tools. The use of XrML for usage rights on digital contents is to ensure that trusted systems can exchange digital contents and interoperate. Trusted systems (or repositories) are systems that can hold digital contents and which can be trusted to honor the rights, conditions, and fees specified for digital contents. In document commerce, trusted systems are for authoring, playing, and selling digital works. They include personal systems, on-line storefront systems, library systems, and others."

  • XrML XML DTD, Version 1.1 - as shipped with the Version 1.03 spec.

  • Extensible rights Markup Language 1.1 DTD. Date: 2000/06/25 14:18:27. Namespace Copyright 2000 ContentGuard, Inc. Revision history supplied in a comment.

  • XrML: Extensible Rights Markup Language. 'Draft' document. Version 1.0. April 25, 2000. 117 pages, 'protected' format. Appendix B (pages 84-99) of the document presents the "Grammar for the Digital Property Language," being the "Extensible Rights Markup Language 1.0 DTD" with the 'name space' Note: several XML examples in the text of the specification reflect incomplete editing of the previous DPRL draft (not matching the DTD and otherwise being invalid XML)

  • Read the XrML Specification [Warning!]

  • Discussion/News forum

  • "ContentGuard, Inc. Marks Its Spin-off From Xerox With Microsoft Alliance And XrML Standards Initiative. Microsoft collaborates with ContentGuard, Inc. and Xerox on rights management. Industry leaders announce support for XrML standard."

  • [November 13, 2001] "E-Books and Digital Rights Management Struggle Together." By Mike Letts. In Seybold Report: Analyzing Publishing Technology [ISSN: 1533-9211] Volume 1, Number 15 (November 1, 2001), pages 8-12. ['E-book and rights-management vendors have come to understand that they are in the same boat: They both depend on finding a new balance between property rights and fair use. Meanwhile, both are avoiding consumer markets in favor of enterprise publishing and reference works.'] "Recurring themes were prevalent at Seybold San Francisco 2001, with digital rights management and electronic book vendors hedging bets on exactly when electronic content distribution will take hold among consumers. The more important question is where to focus their attention until it does...If nothing else, the DRM developments of the past several months -- though overshadowed by the Dmitry Sklyarov debacle and the ensuing debates about the Digital Millennium Copyright Act -- have made it clear that there are still issues that must be hashed out... A large and increasingly vocal portion of the industry has already written DRM off, offering intriguing arguments for the ubiquitous 'freedom' of content, while others are equally insistent on protecting the financial basis of the industry. The rest of the attendees could only hope that a middle ground may be found through revamped legislation and better-developed rights-management systems. On the [Seybold San Francisco] show floor, it was clear that the e-book and DRM vendors have come to a general understanding: For at least the time being, they're traveling in the same boat. Until a more equitable balance between copyright law and fair use can be reached, both DRM and e-book vendors are tiptoeing away from consumer e-books... Microsoft technology partner and electronic-content service provider OverDrive made several announcements, one of which included DRM vendor and XrML developer ContentGuard. ContentGuard, a Xerox spinoff that has developed the rights-description language XrML, gained a valuable teammate at Seybold San Francisco. OverDrive announced that not only will it work with ContentGuard to promote XrML as an industry standard, but it will begin using XrML across its service offerings. Specifically, [OverDrive CEO] Potash mentioned three of the company's offerings, ReaderWorks, Midas and ContentReserve. Each addresses a different point of exchange... The OverDrive announcement entrenches XrML in the Microsoft camp. Representatives from Microsoft and OverDrive repeatedly affirmed their strong commitment to XrML (which is also the rights-expression language used by Microsoft's DAS solution) throughout the week. The proclamations were most likely designed to assuage potential fears among publishers that ContentGuard's recent struggles might put XrML at risk. ContentGuard was forced to undergo some corporate refocusing over the last several months and has shifted from a services-based approach to focusing solely on licensing its XrML technology and related patents. As a DRM developer, ContentGuard certainly isn't alone in its troubles, but XrML has gained significant mindshare during the past 12 months. OverDrive is one of the leading conversion and service providers for publishers looking to implement Microsoft's .LIT format, and its partnership with ContentGuard is a very positive step forward in its goal of pushing XrML as an industry standard. As the DRM and e-book shakeout continues -- and, as usual, it appears to be a bipolar Microsoft vs. Adobe world on both fronts -- these partnerships will become more and more valuable..."

  • [September 21, 2001] "ContentGuard Scales Back Operations. Will Discontinue Services and Concentrate on XrML." By Mike Letts. In Seybold Report: Analyzing Publishing Technology [ISSN: 1533-9211] Volume 1, Number 11 (September 3, 2001), page 31. "Hard times have fallen on high-profile digital rights management (DRM) provider ContentGuard, which has announced that it is in the process of discontinuing all of its service offerings, as well as several product lines. As a result, the company is directing customers to other service providers or vendors. In conjunction with the scaling back of operations, ContentGuard cut its workforce from about 90 employees to 30 and is slimming down or closing several of its smaller offices. For the foreseeable future, said Michael Miron, co-chairman of the board of directors and CEO of ContentGuard, the focus will fall almost solely on promoting the company's XrML rights language as a standard for the digital content industry... In addition to pushing forward with XrML, Miron noted that ContentGuard also plans on releasing a series of new development tools for customers that will allow them to integrate XrML with their own systems. Some will be free, and some will be for-purchase, said Miron. The first of these toolkits will be available 'soon,' he said, perhaps as early as this fall. In addition, some of the toolkits will allow industry participants to create extensions to the language, although Miron said the company has no plans to openly publish XrML or relinquish control of its licensing... [Editorial comment:] ContentGuard's inability to sell its services is indicative of the growing pains of the DRM market. Huge legislative and technical issues need to be ironed out before concrete revenues will be seen, so the attrition is sure to continue. Perhaps the question that should be asked is: If a company with the backing of Microsoft and Xerox can't make it, who can?"

  • [May 2001] "Preventing Content from Being Napsterized. New Technologies Target Theft of Online Intellectual Property." By J. D. Lasica. [Special to The Digital Edge.] In Electronic Publishing. Newspaper Association of America. May 2001. "A survey of the field suggests that DRM solutions fall into four overlapping categories: (1) Reprints and permissions, in which a traditional rights and permissions department extends its service to cyberspace. (2) Encrypted content solutions, where technology companies license software that prevents users from swiping any material a copyright holder deems off-limits. (3) Content distribution, either through a contract with a syndication service, partner or programming language. (4) Copyright enforcement, where software agents scour the Net to search for unauthorized reproductions of intellectual property. Here's an overview of these various approaches to copyright protection... Still another approach is being pushed by ContentGuard, a Xerox spin-off in Bethesda, MD., that has partnered with Microsoft. Its crown jewel is XrML, a computer language the allows content owners to tag any content -- text, image, video, song -- with license and copyright information. Developed at Xerox's Palo Alto Research Center, XrML (Extensible Rights Markup Language) is an open standard that works across all computer platforms. With ContentGuard's software solution, says company president Ranjit Singh, a publisher can decide not only how to protect its digital content, but how to distribute and market it as well. Material can be sold for a flat fee for perpetual viewing rights or rented for a certain time period or a specified number of viewings. Repeat customers could receive a discount. Advertising could be included in the package... The process doesn't end with the initial transfer of the work. The end user could be granted redistribution rights specified by the publisher. If a text document is licensed so that a user can give it away free to as many as four people, the tag would render the file useless once it's passed to a fifth person. Or, say, a person who purchased an electronic book could forward it to her friends, but only the first three chapters would open and her friends would have to follow a link to the publisher's site to purchase rights to access the rest. In essence, XrML consists of an encryption engine with a built-in online cash register. After the content is encoded, the user must use a key, or password, to see it -- presumably, after forking over some dough, filling out a marketing survey, providing an e-mail address, or the like. ContentGuard receives between 4 and 10 percent of a typical transaction..."

  • [April 19, 2001] "ContentGuard An early leader in digital rights management. Company to Watch." By Elizabeth Gardner. In InternetWorld (April 15, 2001), page 16. ['With a portfolio of digital rights patents from Xerox PARC, ContentGuard may be the best-positioned player in the emerging DRM field.'] "... There may be no company better situated to take advantage of this [DRM - Digital Rights Management] market than ContentGuard, which spun off from Xerox a year ago and owns a portfolio of DRM patents developed at the renowned Palo Alto Research Center (PARC). The company unveiled its first suite of tools and services, called RightsEdge, earlier this year. A minority investment from Microsoft means ContentGuard products are likely to become front-runners as DRM gets built into various Microsoft products. There's nothing like being affiliated with the software industry's most powerful setter of de facto standards. But ContentGuard would prefer an open standard to a de facto one. To that end it has developed the Extensible Rights Markup Language (XrML), a subset of XML used to protect assets in combination with a compliant vendor's products. ContentGuard CEO Michael Miron says the company has issued 1,800 XrML licenses so far; the company doesn't charge for the license, but requires that licensees adhere to the terms of an agreement on how the specification may be implemented and modified. Backers include Adobe, Hewlett-Packard, AOL Time Warner, and Bertelsmann. The make-or-break year for DRM and XrML may well not come until 2003..."

  • [March 19, 2001] "The eXtensible Rights Markup Language (XrML). By Bradley L. Jones. From EarthWeb, March 16, 2001. ['Is Digital Rights Management important? You know what the music industry will say! We asked Brad Gandee, XrML Standard Evangelist, about a standard that is here to help. XrML is the eXtensible Rights Markup Language that has been developed by Xerox Palo Alto Research Center and licensed to the industry royalty free in order to drive its adoption. Simply put, this is an XML-based language that is used to mark digital content such as electronic books and music. Brad Gandee, XrML Standard Evangelist, took the time to answer a few questions on XrML for'] "Q: Who and how many have licensed XrML to date? A: More than 2000 companies and organizations, from multiple industries including DRM, publishing, e-media (audio & video), intellectual property, enterprise, etc., have licensed XrML since April 2000. The actual number of licensees as of 2/28/01 was 2031. Q: What does the adoption forecast look like for the next six months? A: There are approximately 30 new licensees every week. Over the next six months we forecast, according to the current rate of 30 licensees per week, additional licensees in the neighborhood of 2720. We anticipate that this figure may increase once an XrML SDK is released and as XrML becomes involved with more standards organizations. In addition, the rate of new licensees could rise due to the increased attention to rights languages within MPEG and with the restart of work on the EBX specification within OEBF. Q: Why hasn't XrML been handed over to a standards organization yet? A: We have not handed XrML over to a standards organization yet for a couple reasons. First there are many different standards bodies focused on different content types, each with their own perspective. We see the need for keeping XrML open and applicable to all of the content types. If we put the language under the control of one of these organizations too early, then it may end up perfect for one type content but become inflexible for many others. With the potential that the digital content market holds, we see a world where many different types of content come together dynamically in new recombinant forms, marketed and "published" across new channels and in new ways. The rights language that is used to express all of the new business models needs to remain content neutral. Another reason we have not handed XrML over to a standards body is that there has not yet been one that is prepared to take on the role of overseeing a rights language. For example, the W3C, which might be considered a good candidate for a home for XrML, just held a DRM Workshop in the third week of January in order to determine if they have a role to play in the DRM space. As a result of that workshop they may be considering the formation of a working group to look into rights languages, which will take time. In the meantime there is a DRM market out there that is moving forward..."

  • [June 19, 2000] "Protecting Intellectual Property on the Web." By Stephanie Sanborn. In InfoWorld (June 19, 2000). "... ContentGuard, a DRM company spun off from Xerox, currently specializes in the publishing arena. In April ContentGuard focused on rights with the creation of an XrML (Extensible rights Markup Language) standard. 'XrML ... specifies rights around the content,' says Ranjit Singh, president and COO of ContentGuard, in McLean, Va. 'All valuable content will eventually have rights associated with it, because there's concern that the whole notion of the Internet is seamless, frictionless distribution, but it also has the effect of perfect reproduction instantaneously.' XrML is licensed royalty-free by ContentGuard; the company is also setting up an XrML industry forum and working group to develop extensions and upgrades. ContentGuard also will expand into markets other than publishing such as digital audio and video during the next few months, Singh says... InterTrust's commerce platform associates access rules with content and ensures the rules follow the content. These rules can also be extended offline so a user can, for example, buy digital music without having to be connected to the backbone, Shamoon says. 'In the future, DRM will be part of every digital environment,' Shamoon added. 'It will be part of the OS, part of the portable device, part of the server -- it will be part of the computer'..."

  • [May 10, 2000] "Xerox and Microsoft Form Digital Rights Management Company." In Windows and .Net Magazine. May 10, 2000. "On April 27, [2000] at WinHEC, Microsoft announced a joint venture with Xerox called ContentGuard, a startup Internet company that is a spin-off of Xerox. ContentGuard will provide digital rights management (DRM) software technology that protects and manages books and documents, music, software, and other valuable content for distribution over the Web. Microsoft will contribute future technology and startup money to this venture, and Xerox will contribute about 17 key patents to the new company. Xerox will own 75 percent of ContentGuard, and Microsoft will own the remaining 25 percent. ContentGuard will be based in McLean, Virginia, with offices in Palo Alto and El Segundo, California... Industry analysts anticipate that future word processing documents, spreadsheets, email messages, media players, and e-book readers will all have built-in DRM features, and that these features will be almost transparent to the document publishers and readers. High-value digital content, such as market research, business reports, books, periodicals, sheet music, patent applications, and academic course packs, have all been early adopters of this technology. Xerox and Microsoft jointly announced plans to extend ContentGuard's technology to audio and video content... ContentGuard's Internet content protection software locks digital content, preventing unauthorized users from forwarding it or copying it unless they have paid or registered with the content owner. A reader must obtain a digitally-signed license to unlock the content. When users attempt to access a ContentGuard-enabled document, they are sent to a DRM Web site where they make a payment as they would in any standard e-commerce transaction. The user can then download the digital content and see or hear it by employing a standard viewer or player. Although the user can distribute the work, subsequent readers or viewers will also require a registration. ContentGuard currently has competition from other companies offering DRM technology in the market. ContentGuard uses Extensible Rights Markup Language (XrML). To work broadly, this technology requires a standard for DRM on the Internet. In the WinHEC announcement, Microsoft and Xerox noted that Microsoft and ContentGuard will collaborate on the development of a common DRM standard for the digital content. ContentGuard will deliver its DRM XrML code royalty-free to developers and content providers to make this standard widely available..." [source]

  • [April 28, 2000] "Microsoft Takes Stake in Xerox E-Commerce Spinoff to Deliver Total Publishing and Rights Management Solution for eBooks, Digital Content on the Web. ContentGuard Offers Secure Internet Management and Distribution of Copyright Material, Greater Freedom for Publishers." - "Xerox Corporation and Microsoft Corporation joined forces today to launch ContentGuard, Inc., a new Internet company that will deliver a comprehensive software system to protect books, documents, music, software and other valuable content distributed over the Web. The system gives publishers and authors more control over their digital material, thus allowing them unprecedented freedom and ability to innovate in the delivery and marketing of digital content to consumers. ContentGuard and Microsoft will also collaborate on future development of digital rights management (DRM) technology and standards, including the establishment of XrML (eXtensible rights Markup Language) as a common standard. The XrML code will be freely licensed to the industry to enable interoperability across rights management systems. Microsoft will support ContentGuard's licensing and rights labeling format in its own DRM solutions. Microsoft Reader, a new software product for displaying books on screen, will be the first product to incorporate the new ContentGuard technology when it debuts this summer. The technology will also support Microsoft media formats and technologies, including future versions of Windows Media Player and Windows Media Rights Manager." [announcement from Xerox]

  • "Microsoft Takes Stake in Xerox E-Commerce Spinoff. ContentGuard Delivers Total Publishing, Rights Management Solution for eBooks, Digital Content On the Web."

  • [April 27, 2000] "Microsoft Invests in Xerox E-Commerce Spin-Off." By Peter Sayer and Brad Shewmake. In InfoWorld (April 27, 2000). "Xerox [has] announced the launch of ContentGuard, its Internet content management spin-off focusing on digital rights management (RDM), while Microsoft announced it will make an investment in the subsidiary. The two companies will collaborate on future development of DRM technology and standards and hope to establish XrML (Extensible Rights Markup Language) as a common standard for all forms of digital information and entertainment. They plan to offer royalty-free licenses for XrML to enable interoperability across rights management systems, said Rick Thoman, Xerox president and CEO... In addition to investing in the company, Microsoft will use ContentGuard's technology to extend future versions of its applications, including Microsoft Reader, a new software product for displaying eBooks due to be launched mid-year, according to Microsoft President and CEO Steve Ballmer... Ballmer also added that future releases of Windows Media Player and Windows Media Rights Manager will also include software from ContentGuard. He also intimated that implementation in the Microsoft Office suite was also in the works. As an independent entity, ContentGuard will be further funded from other sources, according to both parties. Other investors are expected to be announced in the future. Ballmer and Thoman also noted that Xerox and Microsoft will not only be primary funders of ContentGuard, but also key customers and partners...Xerox will retain a majority share in ContentGuard, formerly the Xerox Rights Management group, according to the statement, but further financial details of the deal were not disclosed..."

  • XrML's extensive patent portfolio

  • "The Bit and the Pendulum: Balancing the Interests of Stakeholders in Digital Publishing." By Mark Stefik and Alex Silverman.

  • [April 28, 2000] "Preview Systems to Support New Digital Rights Management Specification From Xerox Spin-Off, ContentGuard, Inc. Specification Provides a Common Framework for Managing Rights to Digital Goods." - "Preview Systems today announced that it will support XrML, eXtensible rights Markup Language, a specification for Digital Rights Management (DRM). XrML provides a solution for assigning usage rights to digital goods, such as software, music, video, text and images. The XrML specification, originally developed at Xerox's Palo Alto Research Center (PARC), has been licensed to the industry, royalty-free, by ContentGuard, Inc., a new company launched today by Xerox Corporation. A broad range of other companies involved in DRM -- including Adobe, Barnes and Noble, Hewlett Packard, Microsoft, Reciprocal and Time Warner -- are also supporting the XrML initiative, which is designed to ensure interoperability across all DRM platforms. Preview Systems' technology provides an Internet-based infrastructure for digital goods commerce. Content publishers, record labels and their distribution channel partners can use Preview Systems' solution to sell and fulfill digital content and manage end-user-licensing rights. Preview Systems' technology platform -- which is also compatible with technologies from Microsoft, Sony, Samsung and Intel -- is designed to integrate into legacy e-commerce systems and to securely manage licensing and distribution rights across multiple formats. Ultimately, this gives consumers the ability to conveniently purchase secure digital products from multiple publishers and record labels..."

  • [April 28, 2000] "Xerox, Microsoft join for Web property rights." By Anne Knowles. In PC Week (April 27, 2000). "In a week in which the fight between musicians and MP3 advocates came to a head, Xerox Corp. and Microsoft Corp. announced they were forming a new company to help content owners manage digital property rights. ContentGuard Inc., the Xerox spin off funded in part by Microsoft, plans to provide a suite of software that will let owners of digital content, such as books and music, assign rights and bill for the use of their creations. ContentGuard's self-named suite of software will use XrML, a language developed by Xerox that uses XML to assign rights to digital content. The rights travel with the content wherever it goes, all the way down to the PC, which Thoman said differentiates ContentGuard from many other products on the market that stop at the server. Twenty companies, including Adobe, Hewlett-Packard Co. and Microsoft, have signed on to support XrML. The specification for the potential standard is available now at Xerox's web site."

  • ContentGuard Position Paper for W3C DRM Workshop. By Brad Gandee and Xin Wang. W3C Workshop on Digital Rights Management for the Web, 22-23 January 2001. "ContentGuard develops DRM technology and solutions and has a number of active customers that have implemented our technology and deployed our solutions as part of their digital content business initiative. ContentGuard has also developed and licenses, on a royalty-free basis, XrML, eXtensible rights Mark-up Language in order to enable the digital content marketplace..." [cache]

  • See also: W3C Workshop on Digital Rights Management [2001-01-22/23], cf. the Call For Participation and program.

  • See also:

Note, in relation to ContentGuard's IP declaration to OASIS: ContentGuard, the ContentGuard logo, XrML, the XrML logo, "eXtensible rights Markup Language", "the catalyst for the revolution in eContent", RightsEdge, eContentPackager, eContentSeller, the Cycle diagram, and the DRM using XrML diagram are trademarks of ContentGuard Holdings, Inc. See the Legal statement.

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