Open Platform for Multichannel Media Distribution Management

Roberto García, Juan Manuel Gimeno
Universitat de Lleida, Spain

Keywords: User Generated Content, Copyright Management, DRM, User Interface, Adaptation, Personalisation


This position paper presents OMediaDis, a research project where GRIHO (the HCI and Data Integration Research Group) from the Universitat de Lleida is planning to integrate its research lines about Human Computer Interaction, User Interface Plasticity, Semantic Copyright Management and Social Networks.

The motivation of this project is based on the fact that, although the Internet offers many opportunities to media creation and distribution, there are legal, economic and technological barriers that prevent it becoming an open medium for media dissemination beyond open access content.

The platform is aimed for small content providers, small content distributors and professionals, in a context of quick proliferation of digital content dissemination channels (local digital television channels, rich media on mobile phones, web video, etc.).

The OMediaDis project contributes a platform, based on a formal conceptualisation of the legal domain as a copyright ontology (García & Gil, 2008), whose objective is to facilitate the development of an open semantic digital rights management system. This platform will be able to process licenses, whether commercial and not, in a flexible and low cost way.

It will also remove entry barriers caused by proprietary systems, while making interoperability easier. OMediaDis will integrate content use tracking instead of the more common encryption protection that makes integration more difficult and does not respect user rights.

The platform is based on Semantic Web technologies (Garcia, 2008) in order to take profit from the copyright ontology and other media ontologies (García, Tsinaraki, Celma & Christodoulakis, 2008). It also benefits from previous experiences in the context of newspaper media (García, Perdrix, Gil & Oliva, 2008).

Due to the small size and diversity of the involved action, the platform will also integrate content promotion by means of social networking and customer loyalty building mechanisms.

Finally, in order to make it easier for users to reach platform functionality, the platform development is based on a usability and accessibility engineering process model. This model involves users throughout the whole process and increases the quality of the interaction with the resulting product, with the consequent improvement in the efficiency, efficacy and satisfaction of platform use.

Based on this premises, a data driven user interface will be developed, which will automatically generate the user interface from the underlying semantic data following user interface design patterns (García, Gimeno, Perdrix, Gil, & Oliva, 2008). The first step of this process will generate an abstract interface that will then be particularised to different device and user profiles.


The project aims to develop a platform that allows the easy distribution of digital content  from different content providers, especially small and medium ones. The platform will offer providers a set of advanced services for the management of content that will facilitate the expansion of its market, with special emphasis on distribution channels such as Internet, Digital Television and mobile devices.

Moreover, it will reduce entry barriers for small content providers and individual professionals because it saves them the investment in content management systems, especially with regard to systems with digital rights management features. Currently, mechanisms such as Creative Commons allow the easy publication of content, but limit the inclusion of commercial terms in content licenses in a formalised way.

The platform services specially intended for content providers are:

A part from content providers, the platform is also intended for other players in the content value chain (e.g. content distributors interested in providing content through other channels, other providers who want to repack content in new forms, authors who want to reuse the content for new creations, etc., including also end users). In the context of the OMediaDis platform we call them the content consumers.

Next, there are the platform services specially intended for content consumers, though some of them might be also useful for content providers:

Besides the previous services, one more concern is to make it easy and accessible for the users to consume these services. Users will interact with the platform not just from their computers but also from their mobile devices (cell phones, smart phones, PDAs, etc.) or  interactive TV sets.

In order to provide an user interface capable of dealing with great range of user devices and easily personalisable, the user interface generation process is rooted on the underlying semantic data, i.e. a data driven user interface. The user interface is automatically generated following user interface design patterns and and a dynamic object-action interaction paradigm (García, Gimeno, Perdrix, Gil, & Oliva, 2008), also known as noun-verb interaction paradigm (Raskin, 2000).

The first step of this automatic process will generate an abstract interface that will then be particularised to different device and user profiles. This way it will be possible to perform adaptation to particular devices and personalisation to user profiles. Both the device profiles and the user profiles will be also based on semantic metadata and semantic web technologies will be used in order to combine the abstract interface and the different profiles, while the combination process will be always guided by well known user interface design patterns (Tidwell, 2006) for improved usability and accessibility.


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