Executives from news media, publishing, TV, film, music, IT and Internet media businesses have teamed up with existing standards and licensing organisations to work in coalition on a cross-media global project that will result in better and easier management of copyright in the online world.
The Linked Content Coalition (LCC) launched April 25 on the eve of World Intellectual Property Day. Its remit is to work over the next 12 months to create the right conditions for a fully connected standards-based rights management and communications infrastructure. This will enable businesses and individuals to go with the grain of technology to manage their rights, and communicate information about them to users, much more effectively online.
The Chairman of the LCC Project Board, Christoph Keese, President of Public Affairs at Axel Springer said that copyright was the cornerstone of the creative sector. “The future success of businesses which invest in quality content the world over depend on it working for us online just as it has always worked for publishing books, newspapers, TV channels, films and music. As the internet and mobile platforms operate increasingly in a ‘machine to machine’ environment, driven by data, the management of copyright must not be left behind,” he declared.
To address this problem, and in response to the call from Commission Vice-President Neelie Kroes for ‘Big Ideas for the Digital Agenda’, the European Publishers Council (EPC) first conceived the idea of the project, originally entitled ‘the answer to the machine is in the machine’. This led to the formation of the cross-media Linked Content Coalition to carry out the work.
The LCC’s role is to encourage existing standards organisations to work with the creative industries to use standards technology to identify, organise, communicate and license their rights more effectively. Participants in the project will identify what works, what doesn’t work, what exists already and what is yet required. Technical work will be undertaken by experts from across the media industry and recommendations will be made to link the various strands of rights-management data needed for the modern management of online copyright. This approach will benefit business users and consumers trying to find and use material, and will be business-model neutral so will facilitate commercial and non-commercial/cultural use of content.
The Executive Director of the European Publishers Council, Angela Mills Wade, noted that creative industries globally had embraced the digital age and innovated across all media platforms.” However, we recognise that the digital economy is a huge and still largely untapped market which we can continue to grow with a more efficient use of technology to manage our rights,” she said.
Neil Gaffney, Executive Vice-President-Global Services and European Society Relations at EMI Music Publishing, said: “In order to grow the digital economy for the benefit of businesses and consumers alike, a more effective and universal deployment of technology is required as soon as possible. We are very excited that this project will take us a giant step closer to realising that goal.”
He added, “It is essential that any work of this kind involves every part of the content industry and is carried out in an international context. We are delighted with the response from interested parties from throughout the media and creative industries and look forward to welcoming anyone who has an interest in online rights management for content to engage with the project.”
Klaus Hansen, Director of the Danish Producers Association, said: “Unless we put in place the basic standards, we cannot scale up licensing and expand our audiovisual content to new platforms.”
Other coalition members include ITV, Microsoft, News International and the RTL Group.