Intellectual Property Rights Ontology (IPROnto)

An ontology to model Intellectual Property Rights suited for Digital Rights Management

Specification Document - 01 December 2003

Latest version:
Last update:
$Date: 2003-12-01 $
Revision: 6.2
Roberto García
Jaime Delgado - DMAG Group
Roberto García - DMAG Group


IPROnto is an ontology for the domain of Intellectual Property Rights (IPR). While it focusses on e-commerce applications in which multimedia content subject to rights is distributed, its use is a reference for the Digital Rights Management (DRM) technologies.
IPROnto has a static and a dynamic view. The static view could be partly seen as a tree, where the different concepts are related. The main parts are those related to the Agreements (Contracts and Licenses), Rigths (Exploitation, Moral, . . . ) and those related to the LegalEntity concept.
Furthermore, a content life cycle helps putting actors, events and rights into context. The ontology helps developing DRM applications by changing the currrent syntactic approach of standards such as MPEG, to a more semantic-oriented approach. IPROnto was started in the 2003, at the same time when current MPEG-21 REL (Rights Expression Language) and RDD (Rights Data Dictionary) were being conceived.
This document contains a detailed description of the model under the for of an OWL Ontology.


1 Introduction

In the Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) field, there are different initiatives trying to solve the problem of interoperability between Digital Rights Management (DRM) systems. They have started from isolated and proprietary initiatives but lately clearly moving to a web-broad application domain. Therefore, there is a need for a common language for IPR representation in the Web.

Current initiatives are mainly working at a syntactic level. They focus on a syntactic approach, the formalisation of some XML DTDs and Schemas that define Rights Expression Languages. The semantics of these languages, the meaning of their expressions, is formalised separately into Rights Data Dictionaries where definitions are given in natural language, solely for human consumption and not easily automatable.

However, we have determined that the use of a Semantic Web approach, and particularly Web Ontologies, is the optimal way to solve this problem in the Web context. Our idea is to facilitate the automation and interoperability of IPR frameworks integrating both parts, called Rights Expression Language and Rights Data Dictionary. These objectives can be accomplished using ontologies, that can provide the required definitions of the rights expression language terms in a machine-readable form. Thus, from the automatic processing point of view, a more complete vision of the application domain is available and more sophisticated processes can be carried out. Moreover, the modularity of web ontologies, constituted by concept and relation definitions openly referenceable, allows their free extension and adaptation.

IPROnto is the ontology we have developed following this approach. IPROnto is our contribution to MPEG-21 Rights Expression Language - Rights Data Dictionary Call for Proposals (RDD-REL CfP).

2 IPROnto at a Glance

The summarized statistics for this ontology follows:

Total Number of Classes: 113
Total Number of Datatype Properties: 0
Total Number of Object Properties: 54
Total Number of Annotation Properties: 0
Ontology classification: OWL DL
DL Expressivity: ALCHI

3 Namespaces


4 Relevant documents

IPROnto: An Ontology for Digital Rights Management
Delgado, J.; Gallego, I.; Llorente, S. and García, R.
16th Annual Conference on Legal Knowledge and Information Systems, JURIX 2003
Frontiers in Artificial Intelligence and Applications, Vol. 106, IOS Press, 2003

Regulatory Ontologies: An Intellectual Property Rights approach
Delgado, J.; Gallego, I.; Llorente, S. and García, R.
Workshop on Regulatory Ontologies and the Modeling of Complaint Regulations, WORM CoRe 2003
Lecture Notes in Computer Science, Vol. 2889, pp 621 - 634. Springer-Verlarg, 2003

An Architecture for Negotiation with Mobile Agents
Delgado, J.; Gallego, I.; García, R. and Gil, R.
Mobile Agents for Telecommunication Applications, MATA 2002
Lecture Notes in Computer Science, Vol. 2521. Springer-Verlarg (2002) 21-31

Broker-based secure negotiation of Intellectual Property Rights
Delgado, J.; Gallego, I. and Perramon, X.
Information Security, 4th International Conference, ISC 2001
Lecture Notes in Computer Science, Vol. 2200. Springer-Verlag (2001) 486-496

Brokerage of Intellectual Property Rights in the Semantic Web
García, R. and Delgado, J.
Proceedings Semantic Web Working Symposium, SWWS 2001, 245-260

Negotiation of Copyright in E-Commerce of Multimedia Publishing Material
Delgado, J. and Gallego, I.
5th International ICCC/IFIP Conference on Electronic Publishing
IOS Press (2001) 298-306

Use of Mobile Agents for IPR Management and Negotiation
Gallego, I.; Delgado, J. and García, R.
Mobile Agents for Telecommunication Applications, MATA 2000
Lecture Notes in Computer Science, Vol. 1931. Springer-Verlarg (2000) 205-213