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Image BONA FIDE ( Broker Based Network Architecture for Fail-safe IPR Clearance of                                    Digital Content )

The BONA FIDE broker architecture provides efficient and secure handling of multimedia content, easy and secure content registration by rights holders, flexible support of different licensing schemes and automatic distribution of licensed content to producers. The technology is being used to enhance the distribution of web-based educational products and industrial training, and for the development of advanced systems for use by web portals.

Download this page                                Detailed Report

What is BONA FIDE?

BONA FIDE was developed to address major issues in multimedia rights clearance, such as the availability of information about processes and procedures for locating and clearing rights, the use of model legal contracts and the availability of advanced multimedia storage and delivery mechanisms.

The pilot broker system is designed to store and distribute multimedia content in a secure environment on behalf of rights holders and to allow usage to be monitored. Producers and end users can search for, acquire and pay for suitable content.

"The broker offers a level of security which cannot be supplied by Web only solutions." explains project co-ordinator Nikos Achilleopoulos of Archetypon SA. "It is an open system, which assumes the role of a reliable intermediary in the content circulation chain. It provides automatic distribution of multimedia content according to defined search profiles - a middle layer offering fast, secure and transparent transactions without the interaction complexities."

Painting The BONA FIDE database currently contains several thousand photographs, paintings and other images from the Giunti multimedia catalogue, such as its art catalogues from the museums of Florence, but the system is equally suited to the storage of audio files, moving images and texts such as chapters of technical books.

How it Works

The BONA FIDE broker consists of two sub-systems covering Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) and Storage and Delivery. The IPR Clearance Sub-system handles licensing and monitoring of the system content, beginning with unique identification of each multimedia object, using the International DOI Foundations (IDF) Digital Object Identifier scheme.

BONA FIDE System Diagram

Each time an object is requested, the broker system informs the consumer of options allowable for acquiring it within the available licensing schemes of the rights holder. Following each successful transaction, information about the scheme selected by the end user is passed back to the rights owner. A monitoring service detects whether multimedia content has undergone the BONA FIDE watermarking procedure or whether it is being used illegally. The system also includes mechanisms for electronic payment.

The Storage and Delivery sub-system includes the BONA FIDE database and a number of related services providing for the digital storage of data and their respective metadata information, delivery of content according to contract, secured preview and advanced retrieval services, both interactive and subscription based and enhanced indexing and searching capabilities. Users may search by date, right holder, content type, categories ranging from architecture to sculpture and key words. The material can either be downloaded or sent by email.

Strong security mechanisms are applied to the exchange of sensitive information between the BONA FIDE system and its user base.

What has been Achieved?

"From a technical point of view, we have succeeded in developing an environment that fulfils all the objectives of the project," emphasises Nikos Achilleopoulos. "the broker architecture enables rights holders to make their work widely available, secure content registration, categorise content and monitor usage of each file sold, while end users gain from an easy to use and secure environment in which to receive their requested material."

The system has been presented to a wide range of audiences both privately and at a number of conferences, exhibitions and workshops. Contacts have included photographic libraries, image retrieval systems, financial, manufacturing and service companies and vertical content marketplaces and technical organisations. Discussions have also been held with other MMRCS projects and with the COBWEB digital image management project being undertaken by another of the Fraunhofer institutes, under the ECs Esprit Programme.

The project has received publicity in Italian weekly newspapers, including an article in the weekly newspaper Il giornale delle Telecomunicazioni (in 1999) and another in Information Technology in January 2000. "Europe presents the greatest potential in multimedia," wrote Giunti Marketing Director Marco Bergometti. "BONA FIDE is perfectly aimed to contribute to the transformation of Europes wealth in multimedia production towards an open and healthy market."

Anaya plans to incorporate the technology into the distribution of some of their other products, such as web-based education and electronic magazines. Giunti will use it to enhance the exchange of multimedia content with clients producing multimedia applications for professional markets and for industrial training. Fraunhofer IGD plans to use it for commercial exploitation of its research results, while Archetypon is applying it to the development of advanced web mediation systems for use by web portals aimed at various markets.


BONA FIDE and its interfaces were developed and integrated by Archetypon, a technology provider specialising in e-commerce, multilingual software engineering, multimedia solutions, localisation and software testing. The Fraunhofer IGD Institutes expertise is in computer graphics related areas of information technology and communications systems. They were responsible for the development of the security aspects - confidentiality, integrity and digital watermarking of multimedia material.

Content is provided from the catalogues of Giunti Multimedia, the electronic publishing arm of the Giunti Publishing Group and by Anaya Multimedia, a subsidiary of the Spanish publisher Anaya Group.


Nikos Achilleopoulos
Archetypon S.A. Information Technologies
236 Sygrou Avenue
GR 17672 Athens
Email (email removed)

Other partners
Giunti Multimedia SRL, Milan, Italy
Fraunhofer IGD Institute (FhG), Darmstadt, Germany
Anaya Multimedia SA (ANA), Madrid, Spain
Archetypon Logo IGD Logo Anaya Logo


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 Last updated on 28-03-01

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