Subject: News from IMPRIMATUR
From: Emanuella Giavarra (
Date: to 27 helmi† 1997 - 00:53:11 EET

Dear list members,

Recently, the results of the first year of the IMPRIMATUR project were
published in the first issue of the IMPRIMATUR Newsletter. I was not able
to find the full text of the Newsletter on the IMPRIMATUR Web-site. The
full text is given below. More information on this project can be found

-------------------------------------------------------------------------Esprit Project 20676



                               January 1997


 Authors' Licensing and Collecting Society (UK) : Bertelsmann (D) :
British Library (UK) : Confederation Internationale des Societes
d'Auteurs et Compositeurs (F) : CliPet Communications (UK) : Croft
Communication Consultants (UK) : Digicash (NL) : EUSIDIC (L) :
International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (UK) : Interactive
Multimedia Association (USA) : Teles AG (D) : Telia Infomedia (S) :
University of Florence (I)

-------------------------------------------------------------------------"It is vital to get a consensus, even if it involves some vigorous
arguments along the way. We are now at a crucial cross-roads, with the
analogue 20th Century giving way to the digital 21st. Common standards
will be essential if we are to avoid the mistakes of the past."

--Chris Barlas, Chairman of the Authors' Licensing and Collecting Society
and project manager for IMPRIMATUR, speaking at the project's launch in
November 1995.

AN OVERVIEW BY ALCS (Coodinating Partner)

Since the launch of the IMPRIMATUR project in December 1995, a great deal
of work has been achieved and, while the results so far may not appear to
be about to change the world, the project is in good shape.

In the three months following the launch of IMPRIMATUR, three major tasks
were achieved:

* Methodology - it was decided almost immediately that the basic
methodology for conducting information gathering would be based on a
scenario approach. This was quite difficult to integrate into
traditional data processing, but after a great deal of discussion and
drafting, a methodology, which continues to serve the project well,
was designed.
* Key issues - all partners were involved in identifying the key issues
which the Consortium wanted to investigate. This resulted in the
project's first Deliverable to the European Commission.
* Publicity - the third task was to publicise the existence of
IMPRIMATUR, and this was achieved by all the partners presenting the
project as often as possible at as many international conferences and
meetings as possible. Presentations were made all over Europe, to
several varied audiences in the United States and in Hong Kong. To
support this work of publicity, a basic information brochure was
produced and a Web Site was established.

Once launched, publicised and equipped with a methodology, the partners
set out on the first data gathering exercise, which is explained
elsewhere in this Newsletter. In the meantime, the work of building the
basic server began - a daunting task for the Project's technical
partners, who were also working across national and language barriers.
These two activities proceeded in parallel and by the end of the summer,
with the basic server in place, some interesting results had been gained
from the first data gathering exercise, and the first version of the
IMPRIMATUR Business model was a reality.

Autumn saw preparations for the first Consensus Forum in full swing while
at the same time, the data gathering process changed from being virtual
to actual, a series of face to face Special Interest Group meetings were
held in London, Bologna and Toronto. Further meetings are planned for
Brussels, Florence and elsewhere.


Year 2 of the Project will bring more development and change. Work on the
basic server will continue and the Trials, in collaboration with other
projects, will begin. As time goes by, this integration of copyright
management software will enhance the work of the Consortium to the point
where there is a fully functioning ECMS in operation. In the meantime,
the work of data gathering and Consensus will continue and the technical
partners will adjust their work in the light of what rightholders and
users say they want in the way of functionality and control.

It must be said that the work of IMPRIMATUR depends greatly on input it
receives from outside. A recent visit from a MITI sponsored Delegation
was extremely valuable in bringing the Japanese perspective on ECMS to
the attention of the Consortium. Similar visits from US companies, and
visits by IMPRIMATUR partners to the US also helps to inform the
Consortium of activity outside Europe. This is further facilitated by the
growing list of Affiliate Partners, organisations who have expressed a
wish to align themselves with the basic IMPRIMATUR aims. Such partners
currently include:
the International Federation of Reproduction Rights Organisations,
International STM, EdiTeur, AEPO and the US Copyright Office.

The next twelve months will be an exciting time for everyone involved in
the creation of an international regime of interoperable ECMS. One route
the Project may investigate is the development of a Memorandum of
Understanding to which all the players in the market could sign up -
although clearly such a document might be difficult to draft. It is only
by continuing to promote consensus and a vision of rightholders and users
working together, that IMPRIMATUR can help bring about more international
understanding of these extremely complex issues.


IMPRIMATUR's objective is to reach a consensus on copyright management
for all future investors in electronic markets. Most important, this
means balancing the right of easy access to consumers with the right to
intellectual property protection for providers of creative services.
Without the consensus, and without interoperable standards on the
information superhighway, there is a real risk that the massive potential
of the electronic marketplace will be shackled.

Under the leadership of Eusidic, the information gathering process over
the last 12 months has primarily taken the form of a series of Special
Interest Groups, which focus on the key commercial, legal, technical and
standards areas, the latter two in collaboration with COPEARMS.

Work over the last months has involved a great deal of research,
particularly in the methodological area, in order to establish a
consistent system for information gathering. Out of this, a
scenario-based approach was developed, which was also aimed at
demystifying the issue of intellectual property for the lay person.

Virtual SIG

The round of special interest groups began with a Virtual SIG. A
questionnaire, containing five scenarios, was circulated to almost 200
key opinion formers in the field of IPR. Participation was relatively
high - in particular, from representatives of multimedia industries of
the USA and the EU, who returned the questionnaires with personal
comments. The questionnaire was also posted on the Internet with
interactive forms, enabling net browsers to submit answers to a database.

The responses indicated that there were more questions than answers.
However, the virtual SIG phase provided the project with very valuable
insights on a range of issues and their importance to different players,
and it helped to establish a clear list of key issues to be addressed in
next SIG phases. With this, first phase of information gathering and
analysis has now finished.

Next steps

The experience from the Virtual SIG was invaluable - and has indicated
how important "real" meetings are when trying to gather information. The
focus for information gathering in the future, therefore, will take a
slightly different form - whilst the questionnaires will continuously be
announced on the Web Site, future enquiries will be carried out via
specially convened face-to-face meetings.

Some of these meetings have already taken place and, using the same
scenario approach, participants in the meetings provided value input. The
results will be fed into the consensus building process and will
eventually reach the European Commission. Organisations wishing to host
such special interest group meetings are invited to contact Herman van
Bolhuis the SIG organiser at Eusidic



The first version of the IMPRIMATUR Demonstrator considered the interests
of the author/creation provider, the media distributor and the purchaser.
The Scenario is focused on the following basic transactions between these
three parties:

1. Uploading a creation to the media distributor - the authoring system
was implemented as a Lotus Notes application supporting the author at
a Lotus Notes Workstation. So far, "test creations" have been simply
image and text files, but the implementation is not limited to these
two types.

Each creation is wrapped by a Lotus Notes document containing additional
header information (such as title, price, author's identification and
E-cash account ID), and the creation itself as a file attachment. A free
preview or thumbnail image may then be added to the creation's header
information as appropriate. The document is subsequently uploaded to a
database on the media distributor's Lotus Notes Server.

1. Public catalogue access at the media distributor - on the media
distributor system, an Internet Server provides public information
about available creations via http. For a given Lotus Notes Database,
interactive catalogue pages are generated online from the "free" parts
of header information found in the creation's documents.

1. Buying a creation - access to a creation listed in the public
catalogue is controlled by a CGI script issuing an E-cash payment
request to the purchaser before returning either the requested file -
provided that the purchaser makes the payment - or an error message -
if payment is not made. For each creation provider, all sales of his
creations are recorded in a separate logfile.

1. Receiving royalties for sold creations - the media distributor's
Internet Server also enables the author to collect his payments and to
check his creation's logfile entries. The mechanism used for
transferring payments to the author is similar to the one used for
selling a creation; however, logfile access and payments will only be
possible if the author initiates his requests from an IP address which
is granted access by a corresponding entry in the logfile.

Logging Mechanism

The author's ability to monitor the sales of his creations is obviously
one of the main issues arising with the scenario above. Whenever an
author uploads his first creation, the media distributor must create a
logfile for this author to record payment transactions (as long as no
logfile exists, the creation is not yet "on sale").

Logfile entries which are modified by the logging transactions are:

1. the total amount of payment received since first upload (or the number
of copies sold); and
2. the current amount of payment yet to collect by the author

To prevent unauthorised meddling with this data, logfile information
should reside on an external hardware device permitting only restricted
access (logfiles may not be deleted, nor may the "total amount received"
ever be decreased).

Confidentiality, Authentication and Watermarking

Lotus Notes already supports authentication and confidentiality during
the upload of creations to the media distributor. On the purchaser's
side, appropriate mechanisms still have to be added, as well as a means
of watermarking a creation with signatures of the author, media
distributor and purchaser.


The first version of an implementation of the IMPRIMATUR system has now
been released. A demonstration was made in Brussels in November at the
EITC 96. Final project-internal tests with real content are now

What are the Trials ?

Why are the Trials being carried out?

How can you help?


The IMPRIMATUR project has built an IPR-managed server, originally
located in Florence, Italy. This and consecutive IMPRIMATUR IPR-managed
servers will support an Electronic Copyright Management System, ECMS.

The system is offered by IMPRIMATUR to other projects and organisations
as a platform for testing solutions for IPR management on top of open
networks such as the Internet. The goal is to utilise the IMPRIMATUR
platform as a test-bed to provide information which will inform the
consensus-building process of IMPRIMATUR and provide general guidance to
vertical projects in relation to the design of their IPR management
strategies in line with an emerging consensus.

The experiments are to be designed and run by the vertical projects, and
will essentially permit the modelling of technical IPR management
proposals from the vertical projects in the IMPRIMATUR system and an
analysis of the modelling to give comparative data across the vertical

The first version of an implementation of the IMPRIMATUR system has now
been released. A demonstration was made in Brussels in November at the
'EITC96'. Final project-internal tests with real "content" are now


Within IMPRIMATUR, 'Trials & Experiments' will verify that the system
works in accordance with decided technical specifications and that it
deals with the chosen business model.

External to the project, IMPRIMATUR will validate that the current
version of the IMPRIMATUR business model provides a valid model for the
delivery of goods and services and that there is a user satisfaction with
the system.


Each Trial will be individually designed to the needs and expectations of
each content provider. The needs of IMPRIMATUR and the Client are
negotiated in a Contract Review and a Trial Plan resulting from it.


The First Consensus Forum, London, November 1996

IMPRIMATUR hosted the first Consensus Forum in London on 21/22 November,
the aim of which was to see how consensus on a number of crucial
copyright issues could be reached between a wide spectrum of interested
parties. Fifty delegates from across the multimedia industry were invited
to participate in 2 Plenary Sessions and 5 parallel workshops. The
project was fortunate to secure the services of 5 internationally
respected chairmen to conduct the workshops, and it was their guidance
that made for such a satisfying experience.

The five workshops covered a range of topics, providing and end to end
profile of the digital rights trading process. In order the titles of the
workshops were :

  1. Initial ownership of rights
  2. Registration and identifiers
  3. ECMS Proprietary or....?
  4. Liability of intermediaries
  5. Privacy and Human rights

Each workshop was conducted on a confidential basis, which was intended
to allow the delegates to speak freely and frankly without having
necessarily to represent the views of their constituencies - to a certain
extent this approach seems to have worked, given that a measure of
consensus was achieved during the workshops. In particular, the workshop
on Liability of Intermediaries produced a very interesting and valuable
result, achieved by focusing on each single activity and function along
the value chain rather than on the players themselves. This approach has
produced a liability grid that may be of help in the future in resolving
this particularly difficult issue. Elsewhere there was agreement on some
basic identification issues and some new definitions in the privacy area.
The Forum Report containing the findings of the workshops and comments on
the findings made by the Panellists at the Second Plenary session is
available from the IMPRIMATUR co-ordinating office (£10). A version will
also be posted to the IMPRIMATUR web site early in February.

A second Consensus Forum is planned for 12/13 May 1997, in Stockholm,
where the key issue will be Business and Generic models of Digital Rights

The Identifier Forum, Washington DC, November 1996

As part of its consensus building activity, the IMPRIMATUR project
jointly convened a meeting with the Association of American Publishers in
Washington DC on 8 November, for those with an interest in identification
in the publishing industry. Creator and Publisher Groups were
represented, along with technologists and libraries information
specialists. The meeting was of immense value and it is proposed that
there will be a follow up meeting in Europe later in1997. A report of the
Washington Identifier Forum is available from the IMPRIMATUR
Co-ordinating Office.


In trying to achieve consensus, it is vital to keep in close contact with
the decision makers - Governments, other competent authorities and
inter-Governmental and non-Governmental organisations must co-operate to
ensure that standards are agreed and applied. The issues surrounding
electronic copyright management, in particular the standardisation of
identifiers, formats to encode such identifiers, watermarking and digital
tracking, are components of any workable ECMS, and it is important that
IMPRIMATUR keeps those authorities and organisations fully abreast of its
work, objectives and progress to prepare, facilitate and accelerate such

Since the inception of the Project, preliminary contact has been made
with Governmental and non-Governmental authorities in many European Union
countries, as well as the USA and Japan. The inter-Governmental
organisations directly concerned, including the World Intellectual
Property Organisation (WIPO), have also been informed of the existence,
aims and results of the Project.

In the same vein, contacts have been established with umbrella
organisations representing various categories of rights holders
(scientific, technical and medial publishers, book publishers, music
publishers, film and record producers) and users (broadcasters and
telecom companies).

CISAC (International Confederation of Societies of Authors and
Composers), who replaced Bull (who withdrew form the project) are the
coordination point for IMPRIMATUR for any information being sent to high
level officials. CISAC are also directly involved in contacts with other
interested parties organisations. CISAC will be feeding the results of
the recent Consensus Forum to officials.


Working alongside IMPRIMATUR is the COPEARMS project, one of whose main
activities is to provide assistance to other European Commission
sponsored projects in the design of Electronic Copyright Management
Systems (ECMS).

So far, COPEARMS has provided assistance to five projects, all of them
part funded by the European Commission. Assistance is of a technical and
legal nature with technology based on that developed within the CITED
(Copyright in Transmitted Electronic Documents) project.

COPEARMS is working closely with IMPRIMATUR and there are frequent
meetings between the co-ordinating partners of both projects: management
consultants Bureau van Dijk are co-ordinating COPEARMS. This
collaborative approach is essential to gain a sense of the range of
intellectual property issues in a variety of domains and will aid the
IMPRIMATUR project ultimately to gain consensus within the information

End Of Bulletin

Authors' Licensing and Collecting Society (Coordinating Partner)
8 Bedford Square
London WC1B 3RA

Phone : 44 (0)171 436 5578
Fax : 44 (0)171 436 5579
Email :

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