Advanced Television

Linked Content Coalition forges ahead

November 19, 2012

By Colin Mann

A media industry project aimed at making content more accessible and user-friendly is pressing ahead with its plans to create the basis for a universally recognisable way to communicate rights information for online content.

The objective of the Linked Content Coalition (LCC) is to create something that would achieve what the banking sector’s ‘IBAN’ achieves. The IBAN allows transactions to take place between banks all over the world despite each bank having their own internal systems. The LCC work will enable a similar level of functionality for accessing, using and sharing all kinds of digital content whether that be text, music or film, for example. Every sector has its own system for expressing and managing rights. LCC is doing the groundwork to make it possible to create that umbrella layer of communication over the whole content sector like the IBAN.

Progress of the technical work was presented at the project’s second plenary in Brussels last week with indications that the LCC is on track to create a unique rights reference model for the entire content sector. The project, that will be subject to peer review and testing, is due for completion in January 2013.

Aligned with the European Commission’s vision for ‘Licensing Europe’, the project has the backing of the European Commission and was also cited in a recent UK Government report by Richard Hooper and Ros Lynch on the creation of a Digital Copyright Exchange as the way forward for managing online copyright via a ‘Copyright Hub’.

Francisco Pinto Balsemão, Chairman and CEO of media company Impresa in Portugal and Chairman of the European Publishers Council, the organisation that initiated LCC, said: “We are reaching out to the whole media sector with this project. The work we are undertaking is technical, but the driver behind the LCC is to boost the global media sector. Our industry has an extraordinary potential for growth, but this growth is currently held back by the lack of a common rights language to exploit our high-quality content online using technology that goes with the grain of the internet. The LCC will plug this gap.”

Balsemão said the LCC would provide a ‘rights reference model’ for all types of creative content. “Our content will be more accessible which will facilitate the creation of new online business models. We will be able to express our terms and conditions automatically as well as in person so that anyone putting content on the web will be able to attach universally recognisable copyright permissions to it. Anyone and everyone involved in the media and content sectors should be interested in the LCC and its objectives,” he suggested.

The output of the LCC project will be open and free for others to work with according to their own business licensing needs.

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