WIPO Panel: Rights Management Information At Core Of IP Protection01/10/2007 by Catherine Saez, Intellectual Property Watch Leave a CommentShare this Story:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Google+ (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Much of our best content is available only to IP Watch subscribers. We are a non-profit independent news service, and subscribing to our service helps support our goals of bringing more transparency to global IP and innovation policies. To access all of our content, please subscribe now.By Catherine Saez The growing volume of audiovisual, musical or text-based content online offers opportunities and challenges to copyright owners, intermediaries such as search engines, and users, according to panellists at a recent World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) seminar. Among the challenges are the ownership, licensing and management of intellectual property.Rights Management Information (RMI), as defined in the 1996 WIPO “Internet” treaties, identifies content protected by copyright or related rights, the rights owners for such content and the terms and conditions of use associated with it. RMI is playing an essential role in protecting copyrights in the network environment, according to panellists, most of whom were from an industry perspective.The relevance of RMI, existing technologies and standards were discussed in the 17 September WIPO seminar. Referencing Internet search engines in his opening remarks, Michael Keplinger, WIPO deputy director general for copyright and related rights, said, “RMI can provide real advantage to users.”The key to appropriate rights management information, said Norman Paskin, founding director of Tertius Ltd, is identifiers. According to him, identifiers need to be as proficient as possible for search purposes but also to manage data. They need accurate and detailed metadata, data provided to refine or better define the original data.Rights metadata are a mix of data from many sources, said Paskin. They can describe rights (permission, approvals), the type of work (creations, types, classification), the legal rights attached to a work (intellectual property) and the financial details (terms, currencies rights). The identifiers need to define what is being named in a way that everybody agrees upon. “You must know and you must say what is being identified” said Paskin.The next step is to get identifiers to work together whether they refer to music, book or films. One of the solutions is enabling semantic interoperability, meaning that the identifiers are able to be used in services outside the direct control of the issuing assigner. They have to be usable and understandable by many different users. “[The] assumption you make may not be clear to somebody else” Paskin told Intellectual Property Watch. “All sectors of industry have different standards and references; they need hooks between them.”He said the ultimate goal is that data is understood by computers, that is, that it is “machine readable” so that data is quickly identified and usable, in a library for example, where librarians could access the rights attached to a particular book.Current Systems of Identification Aim at ProficiencySeveral systems of identification have been used for several years such as the International Standard Audiovisual Number (ISAN). ISAN which identifies audiovisual content, relates to specific metadata and can be attached in the work and its different related versions.In the text-based content area, EDItEUR is an international group proposing an international standard for representing and communicating book industry product information in electronic form, called ONIX. ONIX standards are maintained by EDItEUR under the direction of an international steering group.In October, the Volltextsuche-online (VTO) platform will be launched by Marketing- und Verlagsservice des Buchhandels GmbH, using the ONIX format and offering a search engine as well as a central platform for all search engines.Creative Commons and RMIsOutside of the industry area, other players are finding application for RMIs.Open source, free software or Creative Commons are examples of such applications. Creative Commons, a nonprofit organisation launched in 2002, offers a solution with more restrictive options than free software or open source. It is a legal and technical tool enabling a “some rights reserved model” because “there is a huge space between ignoring copyright and ignoring fair use and public good” said Mike Linksvayer, vice president of the organisation.Creative Commons provides six mainstream licences building upon four conditions: attribution (use of copyrighted work but credit given the way the author wishes), non-commercial nature (use of copyrighted work but for non-commercial purposes only), no derivative work (use of copyrighted work but only verbatim copies, no derivative works), and share alike (derivative works are allowed but only under a licence identical to the licence that governs the original work), in a mix and match fashion.Linksvayer described the major differences between rights description versus rights management. Examples are the balance between encouraging fans versus discouraging casual pirates or copy and use promotion versus copy and use protection. He said that rights description and rights management were not necessarily mutually exclusive.Other emerging applications for RMIs are for search engines such as the Automated Content Access Protocol (ACAP), which is being developed as an industry standard by the publishing industry. Not yet in service, ACAP will be machine readable and will enable the providers of all types of content published on the web to communicate permissions information relating to access and use of that content in a form that can be automatically recognised and interpreted so that business partners can systematically comply with the publishers’ policies said Mark Bide, ACAP project coordinator.Publishers aware that the power of search technology and search companies has grown exponentially now want to engage with search engines and other intermediaries on the Internet but in B2B (business-to-business) relationships, said Bide. This is where ACAP will be used. The project will be presented during a conference in New York on 29 November.Taking Users into ConsiderationMore and more content on the web is being generated by users. “We are all copyright owners” said Andrés Guadamaz, lecturer in e-commerce at the University of Edinburgh (Scotland). “The industry is finally realising that user-generated content is expanding” he said. He praised the Creative Commons initiative as “doing things right,” working in machine-readable formats and providing interoperability, and concluded, “We have to take the user into consideration; users will always choose the path of less resistance.”Catherine Saez may be reached at email@example.com.Share this Story:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Google+ (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Related"WIPO Panel: Rights Management Information At Core Of IP Protection" by Intellectual Property Watch is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.