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Community & Business Groups

Notes, July 26th, 2023

Update on meetings and presentations of the TDM protocol 

On 5th June a webinar on the protocol and how to implement it was organized by FEP and EDRLab; more than 70 publishers attended, and positive feedback was received. 

On July 11th, in Bruxelles, the TDM protocol was presented by AIE at the “Seminar on best practices for opting-out of generative ML training”, organized by Open Future. AIE and FEP attended the event, which was an occasion to exchange with organizations representing other rightsholders in the content industry, the EC Commission, AI experts, and other projects/initiatives offering solutions for machine-readable opt-out, namely the C2PA coalition and Spawning. The latter integrates different opt-out methods in order to provide a service to AI companies that, given a URL in input, can check if there is an opt-out associated with the resource that AI players intend to use.  

Collaboration with Spawning AI

After some exchanges, Spawning AI has already integrated partially the opt-out solution developed by the TDM Rep CG in their service, and they are open to collaborating further with the CG. 

Discussion on possible developments of the protocol

EDRLab presented an overview of the different opt-out initiatives that are in touch with our CG. Some of them are media-specific (like the ones by IPTC and C2PA) and provide solutions at the content metadata level, other like Spawning AI (and the TDM Rep protocol) are applicable to any content type, at the URL level. Even though different solutions (content specific and not-content-specific) are complementary and can coexist in line with the different standards and practices in the content industry, there are significant differences in the semantic approach adopted by IPTC and C2PA on one hand, and the TDM Rep on the other: in particular, the different solutions reflect different views on whether the TDM concept would cover all/some AI usages, and whether indexing by search engines could be part of the opt-out. Such discrepancies are partly due to the different legal frameworks (US vs. EU) where such initiatives were developed.

Considering the rapid evolution of AI applications, and the ongoing discussion in the creative industries on rights reservation and licensing for AI, the CG agreed to continue to monitor the situation and exchange with the other initiatives in this field before taking any decision on the possible refinement of the protocol with new properties or values.

In the short term, it was agreed that:

  • the CG will check if the semantics of the protocol can be further clarified at the level of the specifications, to prevent any ambiguity and facilitate interoperability among different solutions.
  • the CG will work at a FAQ for non-techies that will further clarify the meaning of the TDM opt-out in light of the EU legal framework and will provide practical insight to the adopters on how to implement it in the context of AI.

Implementation in EPUB files

Given the increasing interest by the publishing sector – including, among GC members, Mondadori, Penguin Random House, and the STM association – for the integration of the TDM protocol in EPUB files, it was agreed that the CG will liaise with the W3C Publishing Community Group and the Publishing Business Group, which follow EPUB related developments, via EDRLab (who is member of both groups).

Particularly, it was agreed that: 

  • On behalf of the CG, EDRLab will send to the W3C Publishing Business Group a proposal to be discussed during their next meeting in September;
  • Should CG members have views or suggestions on the integration of TDM Rep in EPUB, they are requested to share them within the CG mailing list at their earliest convenience, so that they can be taken into account in the framework of the collaboration with the W3C Publishing Business and Community Groups

Other activities

  •  A FAQ for non-tech users: the group agreed to work on a FAQ; for more details see above;
  •  Keeping track of early adopters: group members are invited to share on the CG mailing list information about new adopters of the protocol. The list of the early adopted will be publicized on the website of the CG, in order to give visibility to it. Early adopters are also encouraged to publicize the adoption of the protocol on their own websites.

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