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Stuart Myles

on 22 April 2010

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Transcript of RELs

Adopting a
Rights Expression Language Complete, Flexible, Standard A REL for AP Adopt a standard language for expressing rights for internal use within the Associated Press
and with our external clients and partners, including via the AP News Registry. •To support all of the concepts the AP needs to express usage rights for content
•To enable automatic processing of rights expressions in distribution and editorial tools
•To easily extend rights expressions as the business needs of the AP and its partners evolve Stuart Myles A Standard REL The AP is therefore taking a lead role within the IPTC and as part of the ACAP 2.0 initiative to establish a usage rights standard that can be adopted across the publishing industry. Since usage rights need to be passed between publishing companies, their suppliers and clients, they are an ideal area for standardization. A REL is a machine-readable language to convey rights associated with a piece of content.

The idea is to be able to automatically answer the question
“Can we use this content for this particular purpose?”

Rights are permissions and restrictions on the use of a piece of content,
granted by a rights holder to a user.

The basic structure is

{Party A} grants {Party B} the right to {Action C} with {Item D} under {Condition E} Rights Expression Languages? “No New York”
“Not for Yahoo”
“No Canada mobile”
“No sales”
“Any non-commercial use, requires attribution”
“No Internet/Mobile usage without Football Association Premier League (FAPL) license”
“No mobile use until 2 hours after the match, website users are obliged to comply with DFL restrictions” Rights Examples What are the use cases? Editorial Use Cases Is this use permitted in this circumstance? Derived works Distribution We need to distribute
usage rights information
Ultimately, clients are responsible for observing them Criteria to Evaluate RELs Derived by
looking at current rights statements
thinking of plausible rights in the future Two sets of criteria
concepts to be expressed
features of the languages Features to be Expressed Rights A set of Permissions and Prohibitions
Assigned by a particular organization
The set must be considered as a whole

•The REL should allow the identification of the granting organization (the Assigner)
•The REL should allow the Assigner to clearly indicate which set of Permissions and Prohibitions are to be considered as a set.
•The REL should allow for “except” clauses – such as “no permitted use except for websites in the UK” Permissions and Prohibitions Identification of the Assignee(s)
Constraints by
- place
- delivery channel
- date and time
- number
- purpose
- "no modification"
- "no derived works"

Duties, such as “attribution”

Combinations of facets

Allow for “all” What Existing REL
is the Best Fit? PRISM PLUS DDM ODRL ONIX I looked at five candidates ONIX-PL “ONIX-PL is an XML format for the communication of license terms for digital publications in a structured and substantially encoded form, designed to serve the interests of all parties in the licensing chain.”
PRISM “The PRISM Usage Rights Namespace (prismUsageRights) seeks to aid publishers in the tracking of rights metadata. Like the PRL namespace, it does not serve to provide rights enforcement. The elements in this namespace capture publisher information regarding permissions, restrictions, recipients, rights owners/agents, and content warnings. There are several elements that specifically pertain to rights surrounding image manipulation. The breadth of the PRISM Usage Rights Namespace greatly surpasses that previously supplied by the PRISM Rights Language (PRL).”

PLUS “The PLUS Coalition is an international non-profit initiative on a mission to simplify and facilitate the communication and management of image rights. Organized by respected associations, leading companies, standards bodies, scholars and industry experts, the PLUS Coalition exists for the benefit of all communities involved in creating, distributing, using and preserving images. Spanning more than thirty countries, these diverse stakeholders have collaborated to develop PLUS, a system of standards that makes it easier to communicate, understand and manage image rights in all countries. The PLUS Coalition exists at the crossroads between technology, commerce, the arts, preservation and education.”

http://www.useplus.com/ DDM “DDM (Digital Distribution Management) attempts to address these challenges by suggesting standard metadata, rules and definitions which unambiguously describe video Ownership and Distribution Rights within the context of News. DDM also allows this information to be associated with video to the level of individual frames.” ODRL “The Open Digital Rights Language (ODRL) Initiative is an international effort aimed at developing and promoting an open standard for rights expressions. ODRL is intended to provide flexible and interoperable mechanisms to support transparent and innovative use of digital content in publishing, distributing and consuming of digital media across all sectors and communities.”

http://odrl.net/2.0/ Language Features Concept Identification Extensibility Processing Model Human Readable
Machine Readable Formal Conceptual Model Easy to Embed
Easy to use Standalone Governance Intellectual Property Rights •Precise (machine readable) ids for entities (organizations, places, etc.)
•Controlled vocabularies with defined semantics for permitted or restricted actions, duties, etc.
•Allow use of established standards for controlled vocabularies (e.g. ISO country codes, currency codes)
•Ability to use custom (provider defined) controlled vocabularies
•Ability to use either code lists or literals
•Don't build the controlled vocabularies into the XML schema (if defined using XSD)
How do providers supply their own concepts and extensions to the language?
•If in XML XSD, does it allow other namespaces (via xs:any)?
•Reuse of other schema or standards, such as vCard, Dublin Core, etc.
•Is it possible to automatically evaluate rights expressions?
•Is the processing model formally described?
•Does the processing model meet the needs of the news industry? (Including presenting decisions to editorial)?
•Ability to specify within an instance document the conflict resolution policy (i.e. when both rights and restrictions are included, how to resolve any conflict? which one takes precedence?)
•Does the processing model make an “Open World Assumption”? (Not contradicted by "all rights reserved")
Easy to embed in "envelope" languages, e.g. NewsML-G2, ATOM or APPL
•Not require its own envelope (e.g. header stuff)
•If in XML XSD, not make all the element definitions local
•Allow the envelope to specify the licensed content

Is an envelope supported? Interestingly, several of the RELs are not really machine readable
Conversely, having a human readable version of the rights expression is important. A formal conceptual model allows the same information to be represented in different concrete schema
Interesting encodings might be XMP, RDF, XML, OWL, JSON, RDFa, microformats What is the process for getting changes incorporated to the language and/or conceptual model? •What are the IPR policies of the governing body?
•Under what country’s laws will the policy be subject to legal interpretation?
•Are there any licensing requirements entailed by use of a language or technology? My REL Evaluation
Summary PRISM PLUS DDM ONIX Plus Packs are good But extending beyond existing Plus packs
is done via uncontrolled fields
Designed to support news publishing concepts
Allows you to put supply some codes (e.g. for countries)
However it is mainly fields that are meant for humans to read
Slightly better than PLUS but still not machine processable Not bad for simple outing of organizations or locations
Lacks more sophisticated features e.g. duties or constraints A pretty good framework. Some concepts (e.g. distribution channel, duties, counts) are missing, as are some more sophisticated features (such as being able to specify the conflict resolution policy).

However, there are significant problems with the
ONIX-PL language that would require major surgery to overcome. Of the five RELs I evaluated, ODRL best met the requirements.
ODRL lets us creates usage rights that involve
places, organizations, dates and times, counts and particular actions or duties.
Because ODRL is defined using an underlying conceptual model,
it can be conveyed using different concrete expression languages and it is easy to extend.
I discovered that the ODRL v2 standard is being actively developed.
The team was quite open to feedback and agreed to add a missing concept.
ODRL My Recommendation ACAP 2.0 should:

Review more real world rights expressions
Ensure ODRL meets those needs
Where it doesn't, request changes

Create a news profile of ODRL
News specific vocabularies
News specific processing model

Work with news influencers to drive adoption
Standards bodies, such as IPTC
CMS vendors
Key publishers

Getting a standard adopted is tremendous work
Building upon an existing standard saves a lot of work
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