Feeds

ISO applauded for MPEG 21 DRM blessing

Rights Expression Language

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

New hybrid storage solutions

The International Standards Organisation (ISO) - which these days we are obliged to call the International Organisation for Standardisation - has blessed a major part of the future MPEG 21 standard with ratification.

In effect, MPEG 21 Part Five is the rights expression language (REL) part of the future DRM standard. By approving its first DRM standard ever, under the name of ISO/IEC 21000-5, the ISO earned the plaudits this week of a whole list of relevant interested parties from Content-guard, which has pioneered the work on REL, through to Microsoft, Samsung, the RIAA, the MPAA, Universal Music and Warner Brothers, along with a host of consulting groups and specialist software houses.

The standardisation of an XML-based MPEG 21 REL is one of the key interoperability staging posts, the other being the creation of a Rights Data Dictionary (RDD), which is Part Six of the MPEG 21 standard.

The other parts of the standard are the digital item declaration which describes what's in a piece of digital content; the digital item identification, which lays a unique identifier on any digital content file; authentication and interoperability of management tools; an adaptation layer that takes care of movement between different networks and finally the standard needs a file format and system specifications.

But if the two key elements for interoperability, the REL and the Data Dictionary get completed, then a most closed DRM systems that adhere to these could work out proprietary handoffs between systems while waiting for the standard.

Not surprisingly the Microsoft inspired Content Reference Forum, which pushed this same REL standard prior to Christmas, was one of the entities to applaud the ISO standard. A full specification to the standard can be downloaded at the ISO site, but it makes it clear that ISO/IEC 21000-5:2004 only specifies the syntax and semantics of a Rights Expression Language.

It makes it clear that it does not clarify who is allowed to create Rights Expressions, nor does it specify the security measures of systems that use the REL, or how to go about handling monetary transactions, as most of these are in the other parts of the MPEG 21 standard and beyond.

But it says it does define an authorisation model to specify whether the semantics of a set of Rights Expressions permit a given Party to enjoy a given Right at any given time. It is independent of formats, products, security technology or other DRM system components, and it says it enables automated multi-tier distribution of digital content.

By multi-tier it doesn't automatically mean that it will be set up to allow file sharers to pass it on to other consumers, although that should be possible, but more directly relates to rights offered to retail and online distributors of content.

Neither the ISO nor MPEG has given any indication of how long it will take to ratify all or any other part of the MPEG 21 standards stack.

Copyright © 2004 Faultline

Faultline is published by Rethink Research, a London-based publishing and consulting firm. This weekly newsletter is an assessment of the impact of events that have happened each week in the world of digital media. Faultline is where media meets technology. Subscription details here.

Security for virtualized datacentres

More from The Register

next story
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
Driving with an Apple Watch could land you with a £100 FINE
Bad news for tech-addicted fanbois behind the wheel
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Sony says year's losses will be FOUR TIMES DEEPER than thought
Losses of more than $2 BILLION loom over troubled Japanese corp
Radio hams can encrypt, in emergencies, says Ofcom
Consultation promises new spectrum and hints at relaxed licence conditions
Why Oracle CEO Larry Ellison had to go ... Except he hasn't
Silicon Valley's veteran seadog in piratical Putin impression
Big Content Australia just blew a big hole in its credibility
AHEDA's research on average content prices did not expose methodology, so appears less than rigourous
Bono: Apple will sort out monetising music where the labels failed
Remastered so hard it would be difficult or impossible to master it again
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.