The Digital Media Manifesto



L. Chiariglione


Response to "Comments on Final draft of Digital Media Manifesto"




Commented text is in italic

1: Should paragraphs be numbered? Or at least sections eg 2.1 Analogue Media

I have received similar comments. My impression is that such frequent numbering would make reading obsessive. Indeed the introduction of bold was made to help the reader keep the thread of reasoning but was not meant to mark a strong separation. If there is a strong sentiment in favour of adding subsections I am ready to do it

2: I know it's difficult, but the term 'media' is used interchangeably to mean both the medium and the message. This means that occasionally I have to stop, go back, and think about which usage is meant.

I know, but it would require a major effort to redress this. If there are specific suggestions where this ambiguity hurts, please say.

3: The term end-user should always be hyphenated.

Life is an endless learning process. I thought hyphens were required only when two words were in adjectival position. But you are the master (of the language) and I obey.

4: The end of section one ... the bullet list ... refers to 'end-user rights'. I think it is useful for end-users (as all players) to understand that these are actually 'rights and privileges' since the essence of any agreement, as Lord Goodman famously put it, is benefit and burden on both sides. Only a small point but it could defuse arguments over whether 'fair use', 'home taping' and other exemptions are actually rights in the same way that a copyright is a right.

This is a thorny issue. The text now says: end-user rights and customary usage expectations

5: First para of 2 ... it may be simplest to just use $ here. In any case the other currency character has come out as a question mark on my machine so I don't know whether it's Euros, Pounds, Yen or Lire 8=) .

It is just an example of monetary chauvinism (actually originated by a Briton!)

6: Start of 'Analogue Media' ... this is an example of the duality of the term media. The section heading and the first use of the word are actually slightly different meanings of the word. This is one instance where 'Although media can be packaged' might be better as 'Although content can be packaged ...' .


You go a long way towards solving the duality issue by introducing the term 'CMSU' but I don't know whether this is a widely accepted expression.

It is not, but it is a useful tool to escape from the "copy" obsession, as if what differentiates humans from beasts is their ability to "copy".

It is a bit of a stumbling block in reading and using the terms 'content' and 'distribution technologies' where you need to differentiate between the medium and the message. More importantly, I think that the use of the word 'immaterial' is incorrect since this word means 'doesn't matter' whereas what you actually mean is 'has no material form'. 'Intangible' is perhaps a better word. This would rewrite Analogue Media in this way (with a little added nod to MacLuhan):

Although content can be packaged in different ways, they share the common feature that the media content is intangible. Whereas physical devices are required to create, move, store and use content, the content exists on a fundamentally separate level from its physical carriers. The older technologies for these carriers - now referred to as "analogue" - were employed throughout history by all content media until about 20 years ago. Traditionally, the tight connection of content with the technology it employed was a major feature. Examples include vinyl recording, broadcasting, cable television distribution and VHS recording. In each case the technology used materially affected the content; blurring the distinction between the medium and
the message.

The physical nature of analogue technologies played a major role in shaping media businesses, imposing unique and various limitations on cost, delivery, consumption, etc. This union between the technology and its intangible content also shaped public policy and legislation, for example laws concerning intellectual property and usage rights such as "fair use".

I have taken the good points of what you say.

7: The 2nd para of Digitised Media includes this sentence: In the early years the negative impact on business of the compact disc (CD) - the first example of digitised consumer media - was minimal because duplication was extremely difficult and costly, although it was always technically possible.
I think I know what you mean but what you are actually saying is that CDs per se had a negative impact. Can I suggest ...

In the early years the negative impact on business of the unlawful production of compact discs (CDs) - the first example of digital consumer media - was minimal because duplication was extremely difficult and costly, although it was always technically possible.

No, this is not what the DMM meant. Professional pirates are to be dealt with by police, the DMM has nothing to say about them

8: In 'Legal solutions, so far' ... you refer to 'consumption devices'. I think you don't mean 'consumer' but 'consumption' has too many connotations of eating and disease (to an English person anyway) to seem right to me. Perhaps it just needs to say 'hardware' instead of 'consumption devices'.

Good spotting. We decided long time ago that we did not want to consume only use. So it is end-user devices.

9: Next to last para of 'DRM technology solution' ... Is a further worry of the value chain players also that the price of entry may be too high? (Thoughts from a small company!)

With "possibly contains some disabling features" I tried to emulate British understatement. Did I fail? ;-)

10: Last para the reference 'End-users ... can no longer do things they assumed it was their right to do' ... the use of the word 'assumed' may imply that the end-users were in error, which of course they were not. Can I suggest 'can no longer do all the things that they used to do with content'?

I am concerned by anything that has to do with this "rights" thing. Is this the meaning of the word "assume" in English? What you propose is too weak. Unless you say that assume has this negative connotation I would like to retain it.

11: In 'One stalemate ..." I think that it is incorrect (at least as far as the UK is concerned) to say that the DM stalemate is slowing broadband down. Is it not the opposite? Broadband is slowed by lack of action by Telcos in a monopoly infrastructure (outwith the scope of this document). How about just 'The slow progress of broadband deployment is slowing the development of a networked market for DM and, in turn, slowing DM technological development.'

It is partly a matter of chicken and egg. The point is: because it is impossible to set up a DM distribution business using a network, because there is no Interoperable DRM platform, there is no incentive on the part of telcos to upgrade the infrastructure.

12: CMSU again (this time used as a verb!) In this case could you replace it with 'support'?

Impossible to use an acronym as a verb?

13: You note that major players have avoided exploring P2P. You may know this but Ashley Highfield, at IBC, said that the BBC is planning
to use P2P to alleviate bandwidth bottlenecks when it starts making its archive content available on the Internet. (Just an aside rather than an addition to the document.)

Obviously if somebody has decided to give away his assets, any means to make those assets flow away is welcome.

14: I think reversing the order of Society, Business and Individuals in the bullet list would have more impact.


15: Similarly ...and this is definitely an attempt to sex things up ... the next sentence could read ' ... profitably extend one of the noblest and most valued human activities - creation of works of art music and literature.'


16: In the first bullet list in 'Acting on two fronts ...' As per comment 11, the absence of a reliable means of distribution is a consequence of slow broadband deployment rather then the other way around. It may be truer to say that the absence of a strong high-bandwidth content market is slowing the deployment by not providing a market driver for broadband.

As I said above, that is not the point. It is the fact that no rights holder is willing to entrust its content to the network.

17: Potential benefits bullet list ... The order could be optimised. At the moment it seems a bit random.

No, there is a logic: moving downstream.

Section 3 reads very well and I have only a few suggestions. There is one thing that isn't mentioned but I think is important and that is the possible effect of both DRM and technology obsolescence on our ability to 'read' all this digital stuff many years from now. As I have recently helped to resurrect the Domesday Project this is a subject close to my heart.

Is it possible to include something to this effect? It would possibly be part of the Mapping rights traditionally enjoyed by users to the DM space section: the right of access to material whose copyright has expired. I would be grateful if this could be added.

This is being belatedly introduced, unfortunately not in an organic way. To have more I need to have specific text.

1: Para under the lists of actions ... you refer to individual legislations. Is this either 'individual jurisdictions' or 'individual pieces of legislation'?


2: Next para there's a typo 'value-chian'


3: Next para: What is a 'virtuos circle'? Is it the opposite of a vicious circle? It's a new one to me.

I agree. Because of my mistake a virtuous circle has become vicious... Sorry.

4: Section 3.1.1 ... comparing the first two paragraphs I can't see what the difference is between the 'basic user rights' in para 1 and the 'end-user exceptions' in para 2. Also at the end of para 2 perhaps it should be 'custom and practice' rather than 'common practices'.

I may become a lawyer (thereby fulfilling my mother's wish) after all this. Yes, lawyers think they are different things. OK for custom and practice.

5: Should there be a section break after the 'Right to privacy' para? In any case it needs to be clear that the next para isn't part of that subsection.


BTW: The 3.1.1. analysis is brilliant. Congratulations!

Not everybody thinks so :-(

6: Half way through 3.1.2 there is another 'immaterial' where you mean 'intangible'.


7: 3.1.3 section Economics etc ... I re-read the second para ('Many of the business issues ... ' several times before I udnerstood it. Perhaps it needs a comma after 'incumbent telcos' in the first line.


8: 3.1.4 ... IP and IPR and used and I suggest it should always be IPR.

This has been reviewed by a lawyer. I dare not touch it...

9: 3.1.4 para beginning 'The MPEG-2 standard ...'. In the first sentence you refer to 'relative IPR' when I think you mean 'related IPR'.


10: End of 3.1.4 just before the references ... '... might become discriminatory towards small firms ..' would be better as '... might discriminate against small firms ...'.


11: End of 3.2.1 refers to 'fielded applications'. I'm not sure what this means. could it be '... a given application may achieve initial success in its field.'?

I made it "deployed"

12: 3.2.2 Reference to VHS and Beta perhaps should say Betamax since many people think SP when you say Beta.


13: Next para: 'The first example of DM ...". Is this referring to SCMS (if I remember it right). It took me a while to realise that you were talking about DAT (so the acronym should be included) . Since CDs didn't have any DRM (and DAT had this first generation SCMS) the second sentence is a non sequiteur which means that I am not understanding the first sentence. A paradigm is mentioned but then SCMS is described but this doesn't apply to CDs. Could you revisit that paragraph and clarify it perhaps? (I hope I'm making some sense here.)

The sentence is now: "The first example of Digital Media - the CD - followed the same paradigm as analogue end-user devices. The same was true for the Digital Audio Tape, however, US legislation forced manufacturers to introduce so-called "first generation" DRM system in the form of "copy generation management system"

14: 3.2.2. para 6 I'v got that $/? again.

You should definitely join the EMU

15: Next para. I think OnDigital was the company and it was later renamed ITV Digital.


16: 3.2.2 final para. How about 'Undoubtedly' instead of 'probably'? It stops the sentiment sounding vague.


1: Section 4 3rd para and elsewhere. The term 'clear text' seems odd when applied to television. The term 'free-to-view' or 'free-to-air'
is more commonly used in digial TV to describe this.

I know, but what you propose only applied to broadcasting

2: Rights holders para 2. 'The DMP intends to provide solutions ...'. This implies a solution that the DMP will implement. Perhaps 'offer', 'describe' or 'define' would be more appropriate?


3: Digital Terrestrial Television: 'clear text' as above. Also the sentence 'Availability of the Interoperable DRM specification will let broadcasters not consider the problem of deploying STBs' is somewhat convoluted. Could it be 'Availability of the Interoperable DRM specification allows broadcasters to avoid the problem of deploying STBs'.

OK (for the second)

4: Digital Libraries: This is where I suggest a reference to making sure DRM does not prevent out-of-copyright material being accessed. If the DRM is truly standardised it won't be a problem as long as decryption keys are available and not kept 'commercially secret'. We risk losing some of our cultural heritage if we mess up this one. Also, copyright 'expires' rather than 'elapses'. To say it 'lapses' implies that it could have been renewed so 'expired' is the best word for the first sentence.

At the end of 3rd para. I have added "It will also be possible to offer end-users access to out-of-copyright protected content"

5: Public authorities: I don't think dirigisme is an English word. What does it mean?

It is a French word much used by British to bash a particular French approach to steer the economy :-). Is it 'nationalisation'?

Also, you could say an engine has 'stalled' rather than 'jammed'.

I found this in the Collins, the best (I think) IT-EN dictionary. The word should mean what used to happen years ago with new engines (no longer now). If you misused them they would "jam". Is it wrong?

6: Annex 3 Typo in title.

I do not find it. Maybe it was removed.