FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
BOSTON, MA, October 30, 1995 -- Fifteen organizations from the U.S., Canada, France, Japan and Taiwan today endorsed the Platform for Internet Content Selection (PICS) and said they will support whatever standards evolve from the development effort. The organizations include: Adobe Systems, Inc.; Delphi Internet Services; First Floor, First Virtual Holdings Incorporated; France Telecom; FTP Software; Industrial Technology Research Institute of Taiwan; O'Reilly and Associates; NCD; NEC; Recreational Software Advisory Council; SoftQuad, Inc.; Songline Studios and Telequip Corp.
PICS is the cross-industry working group assembled under the auspices of MIT's World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) to develop an easy-to-use Internet content labelling and selection platform that empowers people worldwide to selectively control online content they receive through personal computers. The platform is expected to be made widely available over the Internet early next year.
PICS is a viewpoint-neutral, voluntary solution to a worldwide challenge, said Albert Vezza, associate director of MIT's Laboratory for Computer Science and PICS Steering Committee member. As such, the endorsement and participation of individuals and organizations in labeling content and devising multiple labeling services based on the PICS platform will be critical to the broader success of this project. We look forward to the support of even more organizations as this important work continues.
Working on the PICS project are: Adobe Systems, Inc.; Apple; America Online; AT&T; Center for Democracy and Technology; CompuServe; Delphi Internet Services; Digital Equipment Corporation; IBM; First Floor, First Virtual Holdings Incorporated; France Telecom; FTP Software; Industrial Technology Research Institute of Taiwan; Information Technology Association of America; INRIA; Interactive Services Association; MCI; Microsoft; MIT/LCS/World Wide Web Consortium; NCD; NEC; Netscape Communications Corporation; NewView; OReilly and Associates; Open Market; Prodigy Services Company; Progressive Networks; Providence Systems/Parental Guidance; Recreational Software Advisory Council; SafeSurf; SoftQuad, Inc.; Songline Studios; Spyglass; SurfWatch Software; Telequip Corp.; Time Warner Pathfinder; and Viacom Nickelodeon.
PICS is the result of a merger of independent efforts by the W3C and IHPEG. The cross-industry group is working on the development of standards that facilitate:
First-Party Rating: PICS standards will empower content providers to voluntarily label the content they create and distribute on the Internet.
Third-Party Rating: PICS standards will empower multiple independent labeling services to associate additional labels with content created and distributed by others. Services may devise their own labeling systems, and the same content may receive different labels from different services.
Ease-of-Use: PICS standards will empower parents and teachers to use ratings andlabels from a diversity of sources to control the information their children receive.
PICS members believe that an open labeling platform which incorporates these features provides the best way to preserve and enhance the vibrancy and diversity of the Internet. Easy access to technology which enables first- and third-party rating of content will give users maximum control over the content they receive without requiring new restrictions on content providers.
The W3C exists to develop common protocols and reference codes for the evolution of the World Wide Web. It is an industry consortium hosted by MIT's Laboratory for Computer Science and INRIA. Services provided by the Consortium include: a repository of information about the World Wide Web for developers and users; a reference code implementation to embody and promote protocols; and various prototype and sample applications to demonstrate use of new technology. Membership is open to any organization. To date, the Consortium comprises more than 90 organizations.
For more information about the Consortium and its members visit the Consortium homepage at: http://www.w3.org/.