Material stored electronically can be easily and cheaply copied and illicitly distributed because means do not currently exist to protect it. Copyright owners are reluctant to move into electronic publishing without suitable means of protection because they know that it would make them vulnerable to significant loss of revenue. The electronic publishing market - brought into being by combining multimedia technology with the world-wide distribution capability of electronic information networks - has a large potential for growth, but it will not develop until there is an effective electronic means of safeguarding copyright internationally.
The COPICAT project addresses the area of electronic copyright protection. It aims to provide a basis for confidence in electronic copyright protection and open up a "blocked" market in multi-media electronic publishing.
COPICAT will develop a generic architectural model for an electronic copyright protection system incorporating the copyright-related event management model from the CITED project (ESPRIT 5469). It will extend this by adding a security model appropriate to the application domain. Selected components from the EAST project (DELTA D2016) will be used to create an educational copyright protection model. Selected multi-media educational material will form the basis for an example of material requiring copyright protection. The educational domain has been chosen because the project consortium consider that this represents a "worst case" area in which most if not all copyright protection issues arise. Most other domains appear to provide less stringent boundary conditions.
A complex ownership and access structure will be simulated. The COPICAT system will be installed and tested on a pilot site.
A validation workpackage will provide independent assurance of the effectiveness and correctness of specified aspects of the 6 key workpackages and deliver validation reports on a number of key deliverables. A novel feature of the validation will be to subject the model to controlled and audited hostile attack by IT-experienced students.
The final security validation and verification report will establish that the technology developed in the project confers an acceptable protection of rights and also that it is seen to do so by copyright problem owners.
A clear exploitation plan is presented involving all partners. The project has strategic links to major players in the information technology and publishing industries who have given undertakings to provide exploitation paths into their respective sectors. The project results will be promoted actively and by all means in order to establish the results as the core of a de facto international copyright protection standard. in conjunction with the promotion activities already initiated by the CITED project.
An important promotional activity will be to bring the results to the attention of copyright problem owners. During a six-month period at the end of the project, there will be a dissemination programme, built around demonstrations on the pilot site, that will show problem owners that an adequate level of copyright protection has been achieved.
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