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Wednesday, July 16, 2003
Rightscom publishes white paper on MPEG-21 Rights Expression Language

Rightscom (, the strategic consultancy for the management of digital content, announces the publication of a white paper on the MPEG (Moving Picture Expert Group) Rights Expression Language (REL), one of the cornerstones of the MPEG-21 Multimedia Framework standard.

Trading in intellectual property rights will be the key driver for generating maximum revenues from the exploitation of digital technology on networks. The importance of effective security for digital content on networks is well understood. However, content consumers will not be encouraged to purchase digital content unless the offering itself is attractive. Without a technology that enables content owners to package their content and sell it using a wide variety of business models - outright sale, rental, subscription, bundling and value added purchase - content offers will remain basic. In addition, rights owners need to know that their rights can be packaged with machine-readable licences, guaranteed to be ubiquitous, unambiguous and secure over any digital network. The MPEG REL makes all this possible.

Based on XrML created by digital rights management (DRM) technology provider ContentGuard, the MPEG REL was developed for the music and audio-visual industries to create a permission language that defines a content consumer's usage rights. It has already been adopted as the basis for technologies in other content sectors, such as publishing. The Open eBook Forum ( is creating its own "Rights Grammar" based on the REL for securing rights in the distribution of ebooks, which is intended to be interoperable with the MPEG specification. This holds out the possibility that, in the future, different content sectors using different DRM technologies will be able to work together on the basis of a single REL.

The MPEG-21 Rights Expression Language - A White Paper" is available free of charge and can be downloaded from

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