The W3C Permissions & Obligations Working Group had its inaugural meeting today. Co-chaired by Renato Ianella (Monegraph) and Ben Whittam-Smith (Thomson Reuters), it is taking the existing and widely implemented ODRL specification and ‘putting it through the Rec Track’ – that is, applying the formal W3C process to create a full standard with the same status as an ISO standard.
Renato Ianella has been working in this space for 15 years, publishing an informal ‘Note’ back in September 2002. Ben Whittam-Smith is responsible for rights management issues at TR and operates a system based on the existing ODRL specification. Other participants in the call include Michael Stiedl of IPTC, Stuart Myles of Associated Press, and Paul Jessop who is representing RIAA.
What’s this got to do with Big Data Europe? The platform is designed to make it easy to process large amounts of data from disparate sources. In order to be able to do that in commercial settings, it’s very important to be able to recognise what you can and can’t do with data in different circumstances. Although everyone likes open data, one of the benefits of the BDE platform is that you can instantiate it locally and use it in any kind of environment, open or otherwise, so being able to automatically detect what permissions and obligations go with which dataset or data source is critical. As well as representatives from the publishing industry, the new Working Group includes members such as Sabrina Kirrane and Simon Steyskal from the Vienna University of Economics and Business, and Serena Villata from INRIA who are concerned with exactly the kind of data-centric problems that BDE is designed to help solve.
For more information about the P&OE Working Group and how you can get involved, please contact Phil Archer at W3C.