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Cited based multimedia IPR management on cost-effective smart device


The CopySmart project aims at the development of an industrial low-cost solution for implementing Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) management based on the CITED model. This objective is identified by task 3.7 of the workprogramme for RTD in Information Technologies in the Fourth Framework Programme.

The fast expansion of information networks like Internet and the introduction of digital broadcasting technology has risen the problem of media copyrights, author rights, access control and payment for digital multimedia material. Once published it is difficult to control the use, manipulation and distribution of digital information and to guarantee related rights. This issue needs to be addressed for the development of the information society, for the creation of business and services on open networks and for the protection of the European cultural heritage.

The PC environment has currently the most urgent needs: millions of PC users are connected to network servers and use removable storage media, such as CDROMs for leisure and business. Access to information on networks is mainly limited to free-ware or share-ware, because payment schemes are difficult to implement, copyright and author right protection even more. However the basic technology exists with:

- CITED, a global IPR management model developed in a previous ESPRIT project,
- security technology from the Smart Card market, and
- standard interfaces for portable hardware, the PCMCIA.

CopySmart targets the PC environment and will provide within short term the hardware and software building blocks for implementing IPR management in multimedia applications. Respect of standards is a key issue for large market acceptance. The principle adopted is thus to not secure the PC, but the application and to provide hardware security by a standard bus, PCMCIA device. This CopySmart device will contain protected CITED functions and security functions. Cryptographic algorithms and payment functions will reside in the CopySmart device in a removable security module, so that it can easily be adapted to national regulations and payment methods.

An even larger and more demanding market is about to come in the TV environment with digital and interactive TV applications, but the issue of standardisation has still to be addressed. The flexibility of the CITED architecture on which CopySmart relies and the respect of standard interfaces such as PCMCIA will allow re-use of CITED basic components for TV-centred applications in the future. This could be the subject of a follow-on development.

The consortium has the right skills with partners providing for the required expertise in IPR management (EURITIS - FR) and security technology (GEMPLUS - FR), the skills for industrial exploitation of the project results and for dissemination in various application areas. User partners (Bureau van Dijk - B, British Library - UK and the Open University - NL) are involved since the project start and will implement pilots in key applications of the PC sector:

- tele-training, a network application with CopySmart protected course ware material,
- a library CD-ROM application, demonstrating CITED payment features,
- a corporate information application, with all CopySmart features, including TTP.

All the hardware and software developments will be optimised for low cost implementation to facilitate dissemination and market acceptance. Wide dissemination will also be encouraged by provision of development tools for integrators of IPR managed applications in the PC/Windows environment based on CopySmart building blocks.

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