IPTC to Update RightsML to Align With W3C’s ODRL

A ODRL (Open Rights Digital Language) Candidate Recommendation was released by W3C’s Permissions & Obligations Expressions (POE) Working Group on 26 September: ODRL has been updated to a generic information model that can be customized by any industry or business sector. IPTC is looking for members and experts with experience in defining licensing information in a machine-readable way to help adapt IPTC’s RightsML standard according to the new ODRL Recommendation, which will specifically address the needs of the news industry.

IPTC’s RightsMLhttps://iptc.org/standards/rightsml/ – is a standard providing a data model for marking up rights expressions about content of all relevant media types in a machine-readable way. The standard was introduced in 2012 and from the start it was built on ODRL – Open Digital Rights Language – a rights expression framework defined outside IPTC. At that time, a W3C Community Group was backing ODRL.

In early 2016 W3C established a formal Permissions & Obligations Expressions (POE) Working Group – https://www.w3.org/2016/poe/charter – to make a W3C Recommendation from the Community Group specifications, and on 26 September a Candidate Recommendation was released. The work on that W3C Recommendation will be closed by the end of 2017, and IPTC will take action to align a next RightsML version with the Recommendation.

IPTC Action: Update RightsML by Synchronising It With the New W3C Recommendation as ODRL RightsML Profile

The transfer of ODRL from a Community Group to a Recommendation approved by the W3C Consortium was not only a copy and paste action. The basic design has not been changed but the status of many actions, constraints or party functions has been changed from “normative” to “non-normative.” The reason was to make the ODRL Recommendation a generic information model which can be easily adapted to the different needs of various business sectors. This has been demonstrated by the range of participants of the W3C Working Group covering needs and interests from media companies and their trade associations, financial data providers, and universities.

The solution for that is called ODRL Profile: it defines all the actions, kinds of constraints, types of involved parties and more which are typical to a business sector and these definitions are add-ons to the basic Information Model of the Recommendation. This also slims down the specifications: businesses behind media assets don’t have to take care of the requirements regarding e.g. scientific papers.

IPTC has taken the role of defining the RightsML Profile of ODRL covering the needs of the news industry. Writing down the definitions fitting into the context of ODRL will not be that hard. Michael Steidl and Stuart Myles of the IPTC are invited experts of the ODRL/POE Working Group and have been active in its development from the start.

The big challenge is to determine which business needs of the news industry should be covered by the actions, constraints or parties defined by the RightsML Profile. To achieve that we need people from IPTC members and experts from other companies who have any experience in defining licensing information in a machine-readable wayRegular conference calls will take place from October 2017 to early 2018 to select and define what should be included to update RightsML Profile.

ODRL: From Candidate Recommendation to the Final Recommendation

On 26 September 2017, W3C published the Candidate Recommendation of ODRL. Links to the relevant W3C documents and other relevant resources are provided in the Details section below.

This opens a test phase until mid-November; in this period the Information Model and Vocabulary documents should be reviewed and comments may be posted. Further, W3C procedures specify that the Information Model and Vocabulary should be implemented into software at least by two parties and be tested against a list of criteria. Any party interested in ODRL and all IPTC members are invited to take this action. For more information contact Michael Steidl (mdirector@iptc.org).

Details for Creating the RightsML ODRL Profile: