digital rights management(DRM), and
IP rights managementIPRM is that DRM is about locking down assets to mitigate against piracy. IPRM is about identifying and calculating clearance to use assets for any given context, and enabling publishers to make informed decisions about using specific assets.
Open Digital Rights Language, is a well-established, robust, extensible XML markup designed specifically for this purpose. At it's core is the ability to define relationships between parties, assets, and permissions (i.e., print, display, execute). But it's real power is the ability to express complex permissions that include conditions and constraints. For example, "a licensee can use an asset in a printed book, but the print run is limited to 2,000 copies, and the asset creator must be given proper attribution and will receive two copies of the book prior to its release", or "the asset can be used in print, except that it can't be distributed in North Korea".
This is powerful, and gives publishers the capability to monitor and evaluate rights clearance while the product is in development. Using an XML Database and XQuery, it's relatively trivial to calculate clearances for all assets for a product and to display the information in a dashboard. Editors can monitor the progress of rights clearances against all assets and determine whether to acquire additional rights to use assets that haven't been cleared, or to use other assets instead. Publishers can also track asset usage to ensure that the proper royalties are paid. It also helps publishers in "what if" scenarios: they can easily determine the cost and feasibility of adapting a product for a different market, which will tell them how many of the existing assets are cleared for use in that market and how many remain that either need additional clearance or should be replace with other assets.
Another scenario we're working on is using ODRL for wholly-owned assets. Publishers frequently commission third parties to produce photos, images, and other rich media for which the publisher retains the rights to. They want to reuse these assets for obvious cost savings, however, they don't want to over-expose assets. Frequently, editorial teams are primarily focused on one project or program, and have little insight as to what others are doing, so it's quite possible that an image could be used by more than one product at the same time. Not that this is always a bad thing, but it can lead to over-exposure. Using ODRL to manage access to assets, using embargo dates and other usage information, editorial groups can quickly make informed decisions whether to use an asset or look for another.
Pretty cool stuff