Warren's Washington Communication Daily, 2006/02/27

Posted by permission of Warren Communications News, http://www.warren-news.com

First Digital Registration Body

Digital Media Project to Ease Online Content Distribution

A unique registration system for digital works could ease tensions between content providers and distribu­tors. The Digital Media Project (DMP), which last year rolled out a standard for interoperable digital rights man­agement (DRM) platforms, is at work on a way to mark content with authenticating identifiers, board member and CEDEO digital media consultant Leonardo Chiariglione said Tues. in an interview.

Online buyers of MP3 files can’t be sure they’re getting what they paid for or a virus, Chiariglione said. Streaming protected content demands a "governance infrastructure" assuring producers and users data haven't been tampered with, he said. The first infrastructural phase -- the DMP project -- involves establishment of a process that assigns identifiers to each "bunch of bits" registered to a content owner, allowing easy verification of the data.

The system will be run by an authority appointed by but independent of the DMP, Chiariglione said. That body will name and oversee content registrars that assign identifiers to digital material, as BMI and ASCAP do to musical works and the International Standard Book Numbering system does to books, he said. The DMP seeks candidates for that root authority, likely from the ranks of nonprofits or govt. agencies, he said.

This will create the first body handling registration of digital works, Chiariglione said, calling its mecha­nism a "powerful technology" and an "incredible step forward" for antipiracy efforts, he said. The infrastructure should be in place by the 2nd half of 2007.

The DMP is well along on an o pen-source standard for DRM intero perability at the device level, said Chi­ariglione. The specification is being applied mainly to intra- and inter-company documents, allowing more flexibil­ity for reading, editing and other manipulation of material. But it also can be applied to business-to-business and business-to-consumer content, he said.

A DMP-developed International Organization for Standardization standard for streaming licensed content is expected in Oct., Chiariglione said. Other DMP members include MPEG LA, Telecom Italia, Telefonica, Mitsubi­shi Electric, and the BBC. -- Dugie Standeford