Rights Expression Languages

Rights Expression Languages

Pramod A. Jamkhedkar (University of New Mexico, USA) and Gregory L. Heileman (University of New Mexico, USA)
Copyright: © 2009 |Pages: 21
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-262-6.ch001
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Rights expression languages (RELs) form a central component of digital rights management (DRM) systems. The process of development of RELs transforms the rights requirements to a formal language ready to be used in DRM systems. Decisions regarding the design of the conceptual model, syntax, semantics, and other such properties of the language, affect not only each other, but also the integration of the language in DRM systems, and the design of DRM system as a whole. This chapter provides a detailed analysis of each step of this process and the tradeoffs involved that not only affect the properties of the REL, but also the DRM system using that REL.
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Every time there has been progress in the ability to make copies of some intellectual work, the need for copyright has arisen. Traditionally, copyright has been expressed using natural languages, in sufficient detail, so as to have standing in a court of law. The advent of computers, the Internet, and digital content, has created the need for management of copyright electronically, also known as digital rights management (DRM). To manage copyright electronically, it is necessary that copyright agreements be expressed in a machine-readable form. Computers or intelligent devices can then interpret copyright agreements, and ensure that usage of copyrighted digital content is in accordance with the copyright agreement associated with the content. In DRM terminology, languages used to express copyright agreements in a machine-readable form are called rights expression languages (RELs).

Over the past several years, a number of RELs have been developed, with the eXtensible rights Markup Language (XrML) (“XrML 2.0 Technical Overview”, 2002) and the Open Digital Rights Language (ODRL) (Iannella, 2002) becoming the most popular. Recently, XrML was adopted as the standard REL for inclusion in the MPEG-21 standard (“The MPEG-21 Rights Expression Language”, 2003) and ODRL was accepted by the Open Mobile Alliance as the standard REL for mobile content (“Enabler Release Definition for DRM V2.0.”, 2003). Nevertheless, these RELs have not been extensively used in applications, despite the fact that many businesses suffer from problems that could be solved using appropriate DRM technologies. For instance, Apple and Microsoft have created their own lightweight DRM technologies, iTunes and Windows Media DRM, respectively, that do not make use of any commercially available REL. Lack of standardized general purpose RELs has been one of the major reasons for the fragmented nature of the DRM industry.

The fragmented nature of the DRM industry, in turn has led to a lack of interoperability, and this is one of the major reasons for limited acceptance of DRM among content users. RELs play a major role in influencing the design of DRM systems. To understand the problems with DRM systems, it is therefore necessary to understand the process underlying the development of RELs, along with their role in DRM systems. There are many aspects to the process of developing a REL, which aims to map the rights requirements to a machine-readable language that is sufficiently expressive to capture these requirements. These properties include the structure, syntax, and semantics, among many other features of RELs. In this paper, we study the factors that influence the design of RELs, in terms of these properties, and how these properties, in turn affect each other and the design of DRM systems.

There has been other literature on this topic, especially ones that provide a comprehensive survey of RELs. Coyle (2004) provides an overview of the different elements of RELs along with important ways to analyze RELs. The discussion is based on four leading REL initiatives of the time, namely, ODRL, XrML, Creative Commons and METS Rights. Guth (2003) provides a similar analysis of RELs, along with additional discussion on applications supplemented with examples on sample licenses of different RELs. Barlas (2006), similarly, provides a comprehensive discussion on the role of RELs, along with an explanation of different RELs along with various standards adopted. Wang (2005) provides an analysis on the design principles of RELs, in which several issues such as interoperability, extensibility, identification, etc. are discussed. Jamkhedkar, Heileman, and Martinez-Ortiz (2006) provide another view for the design of RELs, in which they propose refactoring and simplification of RELs to allow easy interoperability and formalization. This paper provides a different approach in which it discusses different stages in the development of RELs, along with an emphasis on formal rights expression calculus.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Syntax: Structure, or form of valid expressions in a language.

Superdistribution: Distribution of digital content along a chain of users, in such a way, that each user plays the role of both a consumer and a distributor.

Semantics: Meaning associated with the symbols and valid expressions in a language.

Interoperability: Capability of one independent DRM system to interface with other independent DRM system, and allow seamless flow of content.

Trust Management: Management of trust, in terms of rights and capabilities, among the entities in a given DRM system.

Rights Expression Languages (RELs): Formal, machine-readable languages used for expressing copyright agreements in DRM systems.

Conceptual Model: An abstract model that captures the entities, and relationship among the entities present in copyright statements.

Extensible Markup Language (XML): A general-purpose specification language that allows creating custom languages by defining language specific markups (or tags).

Digital Rights Management (DRM): Management of copyright over digital content and services.

Complete Chapter List

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Editorial Advisory Board
Table of Contents
Borko Furht
Shiguo Lian, Yan Zhang
Shiguo Lian, Yan Zhang
Chapter 1
Pramod A. Jamkhedkar, Gregory L. Heileman
Rights expression languages (RELs) form a central component of digital rights management (DRM) systems. The process of development of RELs... Sample PDF
Rights Expression Languages
Chapter 2
Deepali Brahmbhatt, Mark Stamp
This chapter presents a digital rights management (DRM) system designed for streaming media. A brief, general introduction to DRM is also provided... Sample PDF
Digital Rights Management for Streaming Media
Chapter 3
Jean-Henry Morin
This chapter introduces and discusses much needed alternatives to the traditional either/or debate on total security of secure multimedia... Sample PDF
Rethinking DRM Using Exception Management
Chapter 4
Mercè Serra Joan, Bert Greevenbosch, Anja Becker, Harald Fuchs
This chapter gives an overview of the Open Mobile AllianceTM Digital Rights Management (OMA DRM) standard, which allows for the secure distribution... Sample PDF
Overview of OMA Digital Rights Management
Chapter 5
Hugo Jonker, Sjouke Mauw
The use of Digital Rights Management (DRM) systems involves several stakeholders, such as the content provider, the license provider, and the user... Sample PDF
Discovering the Core Security Requirements of DRM Systems by Means of Objective Trees
Chapter 6
Pallavi Priyadarshini, Mark Stamp
Peer-to-peer (P2P) networks have proliferated and become ubiquitous. A school of thought has emerged that harnessing the established user-base and... Sample PDF
Digital Rights Management for Untrusted Peer-to-Peer Networks
Chapter 7
L. Badia, A. Erta, U. Malesci
Traditional analog video surveillance systems technology has recently become inadequate to face the massive demand of security systems consisting of... Sample PDF
Pervasive Video Surveillance Systems Over TCP/IP Networks
Chapter 8
Ramya Venkataramu, Mark Stamp
Digital Rights Management (DRM) technology is used to control access to copyrighted digital content. Apple employs a DRM system known as Fairplay in... Sample PDF
P2PTunes: A Peer-to-Peer Digital Rights Management System
Chapter 9
Nicolas Anciaux, Luc Bouganim, Philippe Pucheral
This chapter advocates the convergence between Access Control (AC) models, focusing on the granularity of sharing, and Digital Right Management... Sample PDF
A Hardware Approach for Trusted Access and Usage Control
Chapter 10
Ionut Florescu
Regarding fundamental protocols in cryptography, the Diffie-Hellman (Diffie and Hellman, 1976) public key exchange protocol is one of the oldest and... Sample PDF
A Summary of Recent and Old Results on the Security of the Diffie-Hellman Key Exchange Protocol in Finite Groups
Chapter 11
Guojun Wang, Yirong Wu, Geyong Min, Ronghua Shi
Secret sharing aims at distributing and sharing a secret among a group of participants efficiently. In this chapter, we propose a plane-based access... Sample PDF
Secret Sharing with k-Dimensional Access Structure
Chapter 12
Supavadee Aramvith, Rhandley D. Cajote
Presently, both wireless communications and multimedia communications have experienced unequaled rapid growth and commercial success. Building on... Sample PDF
Wireless Video Transmission
Chapter 13
M. Hassan Shirali-Shahreza, Mohammad Shirali-Shahreza
Establishing hidden communication is an important subject of discussion that has gained increasing importance recently, particularly with the... Sample PDF
A Survey of Information Hiding
Chapter 14
Fan Zhang
The digital multimedia, including text, image, graphics, audio, video, and so forth, has become a main way for information communication along with... Sample PDF
Digital Watermarking Capacity and Detection Error Rate
Chapter 15
Digital Watermarking  (pages 277-297)
Aidan Mooney
As Internet usage continues to grow, people are becoming more aware of the need to protect the display and presentation of digital documents.... Sample PDF
Digital Watermarking
Chapter 16
Pradeep K. Atrey, Abdulmotaleb El Saddik, Mohan Kankanhalli
Digital video authentication has been a topic of immense interest to researchers in the past few years. Authentication of a digital video refers to... Sample PDF
Digital Video Authentication
Chapter 17
Tieyan Li
The multimedia community is moving from monolithic applications to more flexible and scalable proliferate solutions. Security issues such as access... Sample PDF
Flexible Multimedia Stream Authentication
Chapter 18
K-G Stenborg
Media that is distributed digitally can be copied and redistributed illegally. Embedding an individual watermark in the media object for each... Sample PDF
Scalable Distribution of Watermarked Media
Chapter 19
Hafiz Malik
This chapter provides critical analysis of current state-of-the-art in steganography. First part of the this chapter provides the classification of... Sample PDF
Critical Analysis of Digital Steganography
Chapter 20
Esther Palomar, Juan M.E. Tapiador, Julio C. Hernandez-Castro, Arturo Ribagorda
Perhaps the most popular feature offered by Peer-to-Peer (P2P) networks is the possibility of having several replicas of the same content... Sample PDF
Secure Content Distribution in Pure P2P
Chapter 21
Andreas U. Schmidt, Nicolai Kuntze
Security in the value creation chain hinges on many single components and their interrelations. Trusted Platforms open ways to fulfil the pertinent... Sample PDF
Trust in the Value-Creation Chain of Multimedia Goods
Chapter 22
Goo-Rak Kwon, Sung-Jea Ko
The objective of this chapter introduces an advanced encryption of MP3 and MPEG-4 coder with a quality degradation-based security model. For the MP3... Sample PDF
Copyright Protection of A/V Codec for Mobile Multimedia Devices
Chapter 23
Frank Y. Shih, Yi-Ta Wu
Steganography is the art of hiding secret data inside other innocent media file. Steganalysis is the process of detecting hidden data which are... Sample PDF
Digital Steganography Based on Genetic Algorithm
Chapter 24
Guangjie Liu, Shiguo Lian, Yuewei Dai, Zhiquan Wang
Image steganography is a common form of information hiding which embeds as many message bits into images and keep the introduced distortion... Sample PDF
Adaptive Image Steganography Based on Structural Similarity Metric
Chapter 25
Shiguo Lian
Video watermarking technique embeds some information into videos by modifying video content slightly. The embedded information, named watermark, may... Sample PDF
A Survey on Video Watermarking
Chapter 26
Minglei Liu, Ce Zhu
Digital watermarking is a useful and powerful tool for multimedia security such as copyright protection, tamper proofing and assessment, broadcast... Sample PDF
Multiple Description Coding with Application in Multimedia Watermarking
Chapter 27
Hsuan T. Chang, Chih-Chung Hsu
This chapter introduces a pioneer concept in which multiple images are simultaneously considered in the compression and secured distribution... Sample PDF
Fractal-Based Secured Multiple-Image Compression and Distribution
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