The Digital Media Manifesto



L. Chiariglione


Key points about the Digital Media Project




Key points about the Digital Media Project

The Digital Media Project (DMP) offers a response to the most critical problems that prevent the full use of Digital Media that respect the rights of creators, the wishes of end-users and the interests of business players on the value chain ( DMP will be registered in Geneva on the 1st of Decembre 2003 as a not-for-profit organisation with the goal to “promote the continuing successful development, deployment and use of Digital Media”.

 DMP acknowledges that the future of Digital Media is linked to the introduction of Digital Rights Management (DRM) technologies. The problem with DRM, however, is not so much technology (which largely exists) but the fact that, on the business front, DRM implies a redesign of the value chain and, on the end-user front, a change of scope of media use – that DMP calls ‘traditional rights and usages” (TRU) – people have grown accustomed to in the last few decades and resent being deprived of, when they already know the benefits Digital Media brings to them.

The current DMP work plan addresses 7 “major actions”. Four of them are at the policy and 3 at the technical level.

Policy Action No. 1 (P1) is “Mapping traditional rights and usages to the DM space”. Purpose of this task is to identify, document and convert TRUs into technical requirement to be used in the specification of Interoperable DRM Platform that technically supports TRUs (the objective of Technical Action T1, see below). P1 assumes that it will be the task of individual jurisdictions to mandate which TRUs should be mandatorily supported by the Interoperable DRM Platform, while other TRUs will be left to individual negotiations.

Technical Action No. 1 (T1) is “Interoperable DRM platform”. Purpose of this task is to develop technical specifications of Interoperable DRM Platform capable to supporting DRM solutions deployed by different value-chain players using requirements from P1.

Technical Action No. 2 (T2) is “Interoperable end-user devices”. Purpose of this task is to develop specifications for end-user devices which can consume protected content provided through the Interoperable DRM Platform of T1. The key design parametre of these devices is to be “open” in the sense that end users should be able to buy such devices in the shops from multiple suppliers.

Technical Action No. 3 (T3) is “End-to-end conformance”. Purpose of this task is to develop recommended practices for value-chain players to check for conformance at three levels: legal – e.g. by checking that content offering satisfies local law or regulation, business – e.g. by checking adherence to business rules attached to content and technical – e.g. by checking that a playback device has the required security level.

Policy Action No. 2 (P2) is “Phasing out analogue legacies”. The plan is to develop a roadmap to phase out levies and other obstacles. The roadmap should be linked to actual deployment and usage of Interoperable DRM Platform.

Policy Action No. 3 (P3) is “Deployment of broadband access”. The plan is to create a neutral environment to rediscuss current assumptions on how broadband deployment can best be promoted. The main tool identified so far is the development of scenarios of mutual dependence of broadband access deployment on legislation, type and importance of Digital Media services.

Policy Action No. 4 (P4) is “Improving development of and access to standards”. The purpose of this task is to improve the way standards are developed taking into account expected usage modalities.

DMP will be run on a day-by-day basis by a Board of Directors, a core of which will be elected at DMP incorporation on the 1st of Decembre 2003. The General Assembly, meeting every 3 months, will be the supreme body of DMP where all members are represented.

Recommended Actions are planned to be released in mid 2005 and Technical Specifications and Recommended Practices at the end of 2005.

Membership fees are set at 4,000 CHF (about 3,000 USD or about 2,500 EUR).