RightsML - Introduction to ODRL
In this section we introduce ODRL, one of the foundational technologies of RightsML.
ODRL 2.0 comprises three core specifications:
- The ODRL 2.0 Core Model, providing a formal representation of a data model for rights expression, using the Unified Modelling Language (UML).
- The ODRL 2.0 Common Vocabulary, providing a formal definition of the core semantics and of additional semantics expected to be widely applicable.
- The ODRL 2.0 XML Encoding, providing an XML syntax for the Core Model, the Common Vocabulary and any additional vocabulary terms that are formally defined in Profiles of ODRL 2.0, in accordance with the Core Model.
The ODRL 2.0 Core Model is designed to be extensible to meet the requirements of different user communities. Communities wishing to adopt ODRL 2.0 are encouraged to define Profiles that detail their intended use of ODRL 2.0, specifying which optional features in the Core Model they are adopting, and specifying any extensions to the Core Model or Common Vocabulary that are needed to meet their requirements.
The ODRL Initiative was started by Renato Iannella in 2000, with the aim of providing a standard framework for expressing digital rights on the World Wide Web. With a background of more than ten years of involvement in the development of the Web, of Dublin Core and of several other metadata initiatives, Iannella drew together the threads of many earlier activities concerned with copyright management, digital rights management and rights expression to develop the ideas that resulted in ODRL 1.0 being published in November 2001. ODRL 1.0 contained most of the building-blocks that are now to be found in ODRL 2.0 – an abstract model for rights expression, a "data dictionary" (or vocabulary), and an XML syntax. ODRL 1.1 was published in August 2002, and subsequently adopted by the Open Mobile Alliance(OMA) for rights expression within its suite of Digital Rights Management standards to promote interoperability between mobile phone services and applications. As of 2012 the OMA application of ODRL 1.1 remains the largest single application of ODRL.
Work on ODRL 2.0 started in 2004. Among the goals set for ODRL 2.0 were several that crucially enable ODRL 2.0 to meet the requirements of RightsML:
- Define formal semantics for ODRL
- Support related metadata standards or technologies
- Support a formal representation of the ODRL data model in UML.
Feedback and Questions
We welcome feedback on and questions about RightsML. You may post to the public RightsML Forum. If you are an IPTC member, then you are also entitled to join the private RightsML email discussion list.