Keywords: User Generated Content, Copyright Management, DRM, User Interface,
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
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:
Content Publishing: the contents are published through the platform. They can continue to be under the control of the provider (stored in its information systems) or in the case of small providers, the platform can also provide content storage.
Semantic indexing and metadata generation: the contents published through the platform are annotated with semantic metadata in a semi-automatic way. The metadata will be grounded in semantic models (ontologies) in order to be able to offer richer services for content search, links among pieces of content, recommendations, etc.
Assisted metadata edition: the user can review and enrich the metadata automatically generated by the previous service. The user will get assistance during the edition through the user interface (by using the knowledge captured by the underlying ontologies). Moreover, users can enrich the conceptual models used by the platform by introducing new concepts and relationships into the ontologies.
Definition of licensing terms: the content provider can define conditions under which makes public the contents, what are the uses of the same policies that allow and even negotiating with these conditions. The terms of these licenses may vary from open policies (type of Creative Commons) to more restrictive policies aimed solely at the commercial exploitation of content.
Content use reports: every time content is used through the platform, the event is recorded while keeping the privacy level requested by the user. From these records, reports are generated for each piece of content, each content provider,...
Unauthorised uses monitoring: the platform avoids intrusive measures based on content encryption because they are the source of most incompatibility problems and user rights violations, two of the main concerns of DRM systems users (Rosenblatt, 2005). On the contrary, the platform is based on monitoring measures of intellectual property usage. Content, when published through the platform, is associated identifiers using watermarks (imperceptible changes of the content that allow its monitoring) and fingerprints (the recognition of content specific features that allow tracking it). These measures will be used to monitor content (both inside and outside the platform). The platform will offer an Application Program Interface (API) so suppliers outside the platform can verify that its contents are not offered on the platform without authorisation.
Definition of customer loyalty services: content providers will get an API to develop customer loyalty building services. For instance, there will be a service to check if a given user has licensed a piece of content in order to give the user a discount rate on other pieces of content or services outside the platform, e.g. a discount on the price of a ticket for a live event. The aim is to encourage the legal consumption of content by providing some added value to the user.
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:
Access Control: the platform is able to control, when the
interaction is performed through the platform, to which contents a given
user has access and what kind of actions the user can perform on each
piece of content. This control is based on the knowledge captured by the
copyright ontology and the copyright licenses modelled with it. License
checking is implemented using Semantic Web technologies.
Recommendations: the platform will present the users with
proposals of content to be consumed. This proposals will be based on
user profiles. The profile is initially defined explicitly by the user,
but it is dynamically updated by using information extracted from
search, navigation, comments, recommendation to other users and the
consumed content. By having information about the real use of contents
served by the platform, these recommendations will be specially targeted
to each user, so they will be very effective. Besides, by being more
relevant, they will be perceived as less intrusive by the user.
Moreover, by allowing the users to recommend content to other users, the
platform creates social networks among content consumers that complement
those generated automatically from the profiles.
Content annotation: consumers will be able to contribute additional metadata for content in addition to that metadata previously generated semi-automatically by 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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