provides a trusted environment for collaboration
and rights trading, allowing different individuals to work together to
develop multimedia content flexibly and cost effectively, while
protecting each intellectual contribution. European organisations
ranging from film companies and sound studios to video producers and
electronic publishers are now using the
networked agency dedicated to multimedia content development for European
co-productions. A complete, reliable one-stop shop for all types of rights
transactions, it provides a secure environment for the development of titles
in the audio-visual and electronic publishing industries. This enables
producers based in different countries to develop new content under flexible
option agreements, while enjoying full protection for their intellectual
The system is designed to tackle the
important issues that arise before allocation of an ISBN or ISAN, such as the
search for partners, financing, packaging and marketing. The projects scope
includes stories, screenplays, music, storyboards, dialogues, character
design and talent and location scouting.
covers writers agreements,
development finance contracts, co-production arrangements, market testing and
distribution agreements. Moreover, the protected environment
allows for wider use of open options, which are more cost-effective than
"Under investment in development is the major cause of
weakness of European multimedia content in the global market," says project
co-ordinator Claudio Papalia of Consortile Audiovisivo Multimedia (CAM).
"On the whole, independent European content producers spend less than 5% of
their budgets on title development, while the average US producer invests
more than 10% of a much larger budget.
is providing EU-based
organisations with the opportunity to achieve multi-dimensional quality
through trans-national networking and enlargement of creative groups on a
How it Works
technology is based on
original software, known as the Notary System, combined with a set of
exclusive tools for multimedia content development. These comprise
ethical-legal, collaborative, editorial and transactional models and
Titles are developed on a series of levels, using
networked agency on-line services. For example, editorial advice can be
provided at the embryo stage to give shape and structure to a project,
allowing it to be put forward for co-production. At the next level, the
work is taken from structured to potentially partnered project, using
services such as brainstorming, marketing consultancy, script analysis and
legal advice and so on to the next level and towards production.
An electronic signature, firmly restricted to recognised parties, allows
access to the site. Producers, screenwriters, editors and other
participants, such as marketing, financial or technical consultants may
enter the platform as project collaborators.
Participants browse a list of projects
in which they are currently involved, access the project development
environment and check current provisions of contracts. Information on other
titles under development is also available.
An alternative form of access is as a prospective partner, such as a
distributor, a broadcasters commissioning editor, or a venture capitalist
- seeking to evaluate new proposals from independent producers. Under a
strict non-disclosure agreement, prospective partners can verify editorial
interest in possible co-production, browse information on a list of titles
under development, make suggestions and start negotiations.
What has been Achieved?
has been developed in close co-operation with potential
users. At an early stage, four special interest groups (SIG) were formed
under the themes of ethical and legal, collaborative aspects, transactional
aspects and quality evaluation, each group consisting of entrepreneurs,
local specialists, a scientific director and a co-ordinator. Each SIG held
a two-day workshop every four months, with the proceedings partially
published electronically and in hard copy.
The work of these groups lead to the definition of the
ethical criteria, the main model contracts, the editorial procedures, the
quality policies, the business model and plan for a networked agency
dedicated to development of multimedia content for European co-production
and global release. In the whole, the groups issued the specifications that
brought engineering to the
"In my quality of Scientific Director of the Ethical-Legal Expertise Work
Group of the
Project, I had the opportunity to appreciate the main
features of the
technology, explains Professor Avv. Marco Ricolfi. " I
believe that this technology introduces an equitable and transparent code
for creative collaborations and clearance of rights before publication: the
criteria and the methodology are consistent with the recent trends of
intellectual property protection, as set out by the EU and by WIPO."
Thirty partners, ranging from film companies and sound studios to video
producers and electronic publishers are now using the system to create
content. The interest raised by the system currently involves producers
from the five largest European countries. More than fifty producers and
some hundreds of projects are expected to be serviced by the system before
the end of 2001.
"Cinema, TV, music are largely collaborative areas where transnational
co-production can allow independent labels to overcome financial weakness,
says Dr. Leonardo Chiariglione, Head of Multimedia Research at Centro Studi
e Laboratori Telecomunicazioni (CSELT) in Turin. "The
approach, based on secure
recording of contributions and flows of knowledge during the development
phase of media content can represent a first step for enhancing creative
collaborations in secure virtual environments, even before writing
contracts are subscribed. The fact of enabling producers and authors to
collaborate under wide options can also help to overcome traditional
barriers, such as those imposed by the different applicable laws, e.g.
droit dauteur and copyright."
The project has also
publicised its activities widely via press conferences and radio
interviews, as well as through participation in major industry events, such
as the interactive content marketplace at MILIA, the Cannes, Venice and
Turin film festivals and MIPCOM, the international film and programme
market for television, video, cable and satellite.
"Yorkshire Media Production Agency (YMPA) is established to promote talent
and content within the fields of film, television, and new media in the UK.
Through contact at the Cannes Film Festival, we have been privileged in
receiving advanced information on the development of the
explains YMPA Managing Director, Colin Pons. "At the end of the project,
YMPA was allowed to operate the system for assessment purposes. We believe
that the assumptions made in the generation of
and the prototypes for a
secure virtual IPR trade environment allowing cross boarder multi country
collaboration are timely and potentially very productive. It is evident
from the trials so far conducted that the implementation of
will accelerate the development of film, video and new media productions.
We are grateful for being given the opportunity to test this software
within a secure and trusted environment.
The systems content is now being expanded to encompass further creative
talent, as well as producers and publishers, editors, legal consultants,
distributors and broadcasters, rights agencies, collective rights
organisations and financial institutions. The projects participants also
plan to license the product to other sectors, such as advertising, fashion
Co-ordinator, Consortile Audiovisivo Multimedia (CAM), represents 25
medium and small audio-visual producers and interactive content developers.
Turin based CAM is leading the expert work groups and managing the pilot.
The technology itself has been engineered by French trustware architect
EURITIS. The company specialises in information retrieval, intellectual
property rights and notarisation of electronic transactions and provides
Internet and network security and workstation control.
Consortile Audiovisivo Multimedia (CAM)
Corso Sommeiller 17
IT 10128 Torino
EURITIS SA, Marseille. France
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