New Standard For Online Linking Of Rights Data Emerges, But Will It Take Off?15/12/2015 by Dugie Standeford for 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.A new standard developed and tested by the Linked Content Coalition’s Rights Data Integration project could revolutionise the way copyrights are managed online, one of its technical advisors has said in an interview. The question now is whether organisations are willing to use and pay for it. The Linked Content Coalition, a consortium of content sector standards bodies, was formed to try to develop a data model that could support interoperability of copyright protection information, Rightscom Director and Chief Data Architect Godfrey Rust said in an 11 December interview with Intellectual Property Watch. Rightscom ‘s website says it specialises in solutions for managing, trading and protecting intellectual property rights and digital content on networks.RDI, a two-year project partly funded by the European Commission and just reaching its conclusion, successfully tested the model to see if it would work.The issue LCC/RDI wanted to tackle is how to discover automatically who owns or controls content online – that is, whether it is in copyright and, if so, who the rights holders are, and how to licence it – said Rust, currently technical advisor/liaison for LCC and metadata lead on the RDI project.Googling that information separately for each musical work, film or other content is no longer feasible, because users want, for example, to be able to feed thumbnail photos en masse into a system that will send back copyright information on all of them, he said.The copyright world “is still like going into supermarkets when you have no bar codes,” Rust said: Someone who posts a video on YouTube, for example, has no way of identifying herself, her content or her rights in any way a computer can easily read.This is a “primitive situation” where rights data often either isn’t available or is not available in machine-readable form, Rust told Intellectual Property Watch. The idea is to link identifiers, which computers easily do now for such services as buying plane tickets online, but the problem is that information about copyright is a mess. The LCC set out to make rights information linkable by, among other things, taking all the different kinds of data and converting it into a common form that allows content users to query many sources, he said. The RDI project worked with 20 different sources, took sample data in various forms, mapped it, queried it, and proved that the system can integrate data, he said.Many problems arise not from copyright law but from rights administration, when users cannot obtain the information they need to use content, Rust said. One reason for copyright owners to support RDI/LCC is the threat of loss of their rights under copyright law, he said.LCC/RDI is neutral and doesn’t support any particular business model, he said. The standard can be used with orphan works whose authors are unknown or not found, as well as with public-domain works, he said. It can also automatically detect rights conflicts, allowing them to be sorted out efficiently. The RDI model avoids the question of legal arguments as much as possible, said Rust. It defines “right” as a state in which someone is permitted to do something with something, which encompasses not just copyright but also neighbouring rights and any other kind of permission.“Plenty of Money Potential”The UK Copyright Hub has begun putting in place permanent services based on the LCC/RDI architecture, and several project partners, including a collecting society, are also basing internal systems on the model, Rust said.The push now is for some “big implementations” that can help the standard reach critical mass. The LCC is also in talks with the European Commission and commercial companies to explore the possibility of backing, he said. Everyone wants the standard but not everyone is willing to pay for it, he noted.There are two obvious groups that would benefit from using RDI, said Rust. Established educational, political and cultural organisations that provide aggregated and sometimes global rights information services could provide RDI services as a public service supported by funding or commissions.Similarly, intermediaries such as start-ups, aggregators and commercial companies could use the standard as a value-added service, offering it free as a way for subscribers to manage their rights as a means to then provide additional (paid) services to the rightsholders, he said.The Copyright Hub and RDI are particularly focussed on the “long tail” of creators and users – the huge amounts of content published on the internet every day, most of which has no commercial value, said Rust.The vast majority of the material is unidentified and is therefore not automatable, but only a small amount of that content has to be valuable for the RDI standard to generate greater value, he said.It’s therefore aimed at the very large, very low-value market which rights owners cannot currently afford to deal with, said Rust, who added: “There’s plenty of money potential” there. Image Credits: RDIShare 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)RelatedDugie Standeford may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org."New Standard For Online Linking Of Rights Data Emerges, But Will It Take Off?" by Intellectual Property Watch is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.