Axmedis 2007 conference
Axmedis 2007


  Panel 1  

Enabling DRM Interoperability with Interoperable Rights Expression Languages

Panel objective

DRM (Digital Rights Management) technologies have been around for about 10 years - a rather long way. There are some successfully deployed systems in practice that start to affect people's daily content consumption experiences and advance digital content marketplace. However, the interoperability issues among the DRM systems give consumers poor user experience and hinder even wider adoption of DRM in the marketplace. The panel is to discuss how to easy those DRM interoperability issues to facilitate the acceleration of adoption of DRM technologies in the marketplace.

Specific issues are:
            - System issues around DRM and REL (Rights Expression Languages) interoperability
            - Future of RELs
            - What the industry needs to do with interoperability solutions

Among many DRM interoperability issues, the one with rights expression languages has been brought up lately. The issue is, as content moves from one DRM system into another DRM system, how to make rights expressed in one REL for the first DRM system understandable in the second DRM system that uses another REL to express its rights. One possible solution to this issue is to have a reference REL, to which others should relate in order to obtain interoperability between systems using different RELs. However, other solutions are possible. To facilitate the interoperability among RELs, MPEG-21 REL, for instance, is defining profiles (extensions and subsets of the original ISO/IEC IS 21000-5) that try to match specific scenarios that might have alternative RELs. Examples include the MAM (Mobile And optical Media) profile, that tries to facilitate interoperability with, for example, OMA (Open Mobile Alliance) DRM, and the DAC (Dissemination And Capture) profile, one of its goals being to facilitate interoperability with several other systems in the broadcast area, such as TV-Anytime.

Several experts from the MPEG Committee (ISO/IEC JTC1/SC29/WG11) have organized an open Industrial Panel to discuss how to enable DRM interoperability through resolving interoperability issues around RELs, not only from the MPEG point of view but also from others, such as ODRL, OMA, TV-Anytime, Coral, DMP, etc. For this reason, experts from some of these groups have collaborated in the organization of the Panel.
Apart from the MPEG-21 and ODRL Rights Expression Languages, the panel will review two publicly available ‘rights expression’ signalling conventions targeted at the broadcast industry. The first, TV-Anytime’s Rights Management and Protection Information (RMPI), was the result of work by participants of the TV-Anytime forum and published in 2005. The second more recent publication is from the Digital Video Broadcasting Project (DVB) Consortium, known as DVB Usage State Information (USI) and has been released in the DVB ‘Blue Book’ as part of the DVB specification for the DVB Copy Protection and Copy Management (CPCM) system. These two specifications share some similarities in approach, scope and design and will be reviewed in the context of the business models they potentially support.

The target audience is those involved in the analysis, use and development of multimedia content creation, management and distribution systems using different DRM systems and solutions.

Panel questions

Some of the questions that will be discussed in the panel are:

  • Is MPEG-21 REL profiling a way to achieve REL interoperability?
  • Is it reasonable to use a limited REL?
  • Is it feasible a business model based on the interoperation of different RELs?
  • Do we need a dictionary or ontology?
  • How is the market evolving and what is requiring on this?
  • What the industry needs to do with the interoperability solutions?
  • Is it necessary to standardize protocols to communicate between servers (such as a license server) and their clients?
  • Is Trusted Computing a possibility to achieve Interoperability? Can it be a base for a secure conversion of licenses in decentralized systems?


- Eva Rodriguez, DMAG, Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya: MPEG-21 REL and its profiles
- Alapan Arnab, University of Cape Town, South Africa: ODRL version 2 and/or OMA REL
- Nigel Earnshaw, BBC, UK: TV-Anytime RMPI and DVB USI, the broadcast view
- Richard Owens, WIPO: IPR issues
- Marc Gauvin, sDae: The DMP view

Moderator: Jaime Delgado, DMAG, Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya


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