The MPEG Rights Data Dictionary standard (ISO/IEC 21000-6) has been developed to meet the needs of rights owners and consumers by providing a consistent vocabulary for digital rights management.
From the beginning Rightscom was closely involved in the development of the specification. It brought together the Contecs:DD consortium and wrote the proposal which was adopted as baseline by MPEG. The company also provided the editors, who used their expertise in rights semantics, gained during the project.
The core of the RDD is a set of clear, consistent, structured, integrated and uniquely identified terms to express the rights that content owners may wish to grant to users. These rights are expressed as verbs (such as Play, Print and Adapt). While the dictionary contained in the standard is fairly basic, it is recognized that terms may in future be required to be extremely specialized and granular. As the dictionary is founded on a logical data model, it will be possible to extend it to meet the needs of content owners and other participants in the value chain. For instance, it could be used to express a very specific set of semantic requirements from a rights holder or a technology provider. In this way, it could provide semantics expressing the parameters of a small device which can then be mapped to rights semantics in a complex grant made by a content owner.
In addition to providing semantics to support the MPEG Rights Expression Language, the RDD is designed to support the mapping of terms from different namespaces. For instance, there may be a need to create a rights expression that requires semantics from two content domains. While the semantics in each domain will be interpretable within the domain, cross domain interpretation would be difficult without some kind of translation process. The mapping process will be the responsibility of the Registration Authority, to be set up by ISO in due course.
The MPEG Rights Data Dictionary is both prescriptive and descriptive. It is prescriptive in the sense that the meaning it ascribes to a Term is the meaning and there is no room for interpretation. By deploying a Term from the MPEG RDD, a user agrees that its meaning is definitive. It is descriptive in that it describes rights, but does not carry any legal weight.