Press Release

3 June 2004: ISO Publication of the MPEG Rights Data Dictionary Standard, ISO/IEC 21000-6

The Contecs:DD Consortium (comprising the International DOI Foundation, Melodies and Memories Global Ltd, the Motion Picture Association, the Recording Industry Association of America and Rightscom Ltd), the International Publishers Association, the Association of American Publishers, The International Scientific, Technical and Medical Publishers, the and the Publishers Association (UK) and EDItEUR welcome the publication by ISO of the MPEG Rights Data Dictionary standard, ISO/IEC 21000-6.

The ISO MPEG Rights Data Dictionary (RDD) provides the basis for a resource to create widely understood, consistent meaning for Digital Rights Management (DRM) systems. The RDD will be available to all those involved in building and deploying DRM systems to ensure that the terms used in permissions granted by the systems can be interpreted consistently.

The RDD specification is intended to support the ISO MPEG Rights Expression Language. Together, the two standards equip the DRM world with interoperable ways of expressing rules and interoperable ways of communicating the meaning of these rules. This is to the benefit of rights holders, who can be confident that business rules can be interpreted consistently and to consumers, who can be sure that usage permissions will not vary unpredictably across different systems. Manufacturers can also benefit because their systems can interoperate without detailed negotiation on the interpretation of permissions.

To support the new standard, MPEG is recommending the appointment of the International DOI Foundation (IDF) and its technical partner, Rightscom, as the Registration Agency for the RDD. The Registration Authority will enable DRM builders, device manufacturers and other parties to register their terms in a database, which will be available for automated queries to determine the precise meaning of terms in permissions.

Chris Barlas, who edited the RDD standard said: "The MPEG Rights Data Dictionary is a unique addition to the DRM environment. By providing a set of standard meanings to enable different communities to exchange precise information, the system cuts down on possible misinterpretation. It is a big boost for DRM interoperability."

Norman Paskin, Director of IDF said: "Rights are complex and many metadata schemes are already in use; the deployment of an interoperable and standard dictionary provides a solution to cope with this real-world diversity. The MPEG RDD is a realisation of the concept of semantic interoperability we have campaigned for, and we are delighted to see it now made available ".

As required by ISO, the Contecs:DD Consortium is currently engaged in the preparation of licensing procedures for the underlying RDD technology.

Copies of the standard may be purchased through the ISO web site.

Notes for editors:

Contecs:DD is a consortium formed in 2001 to work on tools for the sharing of understanding of the meaning in rights management systems. Its members are:

  • International DOI Foundation ( ­ the open membership body developing and deploying the Digital Object Identifier (DOI), a system for persistent identification and semantic interoperability of intellectual property in the digital environment;
  • Melodies & Memories Global Limited (MMG - - a subsidiary of Dentsu that focuses on enabling digital content distribution and associated advanced business models through the provisions of a common digital contract and metadata mediation infrastructure. Dentsu is a global advertising and communications company based in Japan.
  • Motion Picture Association ( - represents the interests of major motion picture companies in the global marketplace. On behalf of its Member Companies, the MPA, through its Office of Technology participates in technological standards bodies, works with technology companies to develop content protection systems and conducts technology compliance and enforcement testing. The MPA is headquartered in Encino, California and has regional offices located in Brussels (Europe, Middle East and Africa), Mexico City (Latin America), Montreal (Canada) and Hong Kong (Asia-Pacific). MPA Member Companies include: Buena Vista International, Inc.; Columbia TriStar Film Distributors International Inc.; Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc.; Paramount Pictures Corporation; Twentieth Century Fox International Corporation; Universal International Films, Inc.; and Warner Bros. Studios.
  • Recording Industry Association of America ( - the trade group that represents the US recording industry, which works on this project in conjunction with IFPI which represents the industry internationally.
  • Rightscom ( ­ London based consultancy, specialising in digital rights management and architecture.

MPEG is a technical working group of ISO/IEC, responsible for the development of standards for coded representation of digital audio and video, including the MPEG-21 Multimedia Framework.

ISO is the International Organisation for Standardisation, based in Geneva. ISO manages a joint technical committee with the International Electrotechnical Commission, producing technical standards for information technology. MPEG is part of this joint technical committee.

A Rights Data Dictionary is a structured collection of terms for describing usage rights that might be part of the business rules governing content consumption in the digital environment.

A Rights Expression Language is a secure computer language which content owners and their partners can use to express business rules in the digital environment.

Further information can be obtained from:

Norman Paskin
International DOI Foundation
+44 1865 314033


Chris Barlas
+44 20 7620 4433


"The approval of the RDD, based on the fundamental work of the earlier (Interoperability of Data in e-Commerce) project, is an excellent step. Editeur's ONIX (Online Information Exchange) standard and The International DOI Foundation both use dictionary terms entirely consistent with the RDD and we look forward to more applications making use of this fundamental interoperability achievement".

International Association of Scientific, Technical & Medical Publishers (STM)
łThe organisation represents the interests of its members around the world in order to advance technical standards that enhance the broad and reliable dissemination of academic research information. STM is delighted that the MPEG RDD has now been accepted as a published standard in the DRM environment. This is an important step forward.˛

International Publishers Association
"International publishers license their content in increasingly complex ways in a wide variety of jurisdictions. In the past legal ambiguities have made complex licensing arrangements difficult to negotiate, expensive to manage and nearly impossible to monitor. The new standard, and the Registration Authority to be set up to support it, will enable the development of tools that combine semantic certainty with customer friendliness and will open the door to new kinds of licensing arrangements. This is a very important step indeed."