OGC Announces Call for Input on Geospatial Digital Rights Management

Sam Bacharach Executive Director, Outreach and Community Adoption Open Geospatial Consortium, Inc tel: +1-703-352-3938 sbacharach [at] opengeospatial.org
Thursday, 21 October 2004 UTC
Call to Action Is Key Step in Averting Proprietary Interface Wayland, MA, October 21, 2004 - The Open Geospatial Consortium Inc. (OGC) today launched a digital rights management (DRM)-related project aimed at collecting essential information from governments, businesses, and academia. The data gathered through the five-minute survey, available for the next 30 days at http://www.surveymonkey.com/s.asp?u=53777639685, will help to shape the development of open standards to manage digital rights for geospatial data and services. DRM is a technology for describing, identifying, trading, protecting, monitoring and tracking all forms of rights usages, including management of rights-holder relationships. Geospatial DRM manages all rights, not only the rights applicable to permissions over digital geographic data. The current inability to control the flow of such information activities has been a barrier to broader adoption of Web-based geospatial technologies. Some government data has been withheld from public release over the Web because of an inability to manage owner rights after the data is released. The GeoDRM initiative, a partnership of the GeoData Alliance and OGC, will rely on the survey data in working to validate a standards-based interoperability framework. This framework is comprised of OGC Web services specifications and related standards developed by the broader information technology industry. "Results of the survey will tell us if we're on track with the standards we are creating or should modify our goals and scope," said OGC President Mark Reichardt. "The application of DRM to geographic activities differs somewhat from its function in other arenas, such as music, where digital rights management solutions are applied," Reichardt added. "In many cases, governments and other providers of geographic data and services want to make it readily, or even freely, available, but desire to protect their property from being inappropriately duplicated, modified, and sold. Furthermore, they want a means to keep a connection with the users to provide updates, recall notices, and receive users feedback. The alternative is the further fragmentation of data and service sectors promoted by vertical proprietary rights management solutions. The entire community of geographic data and service users will suffer if this occurs." The OGC is an international voluntary consensus standards organization of more than 250 companies, government agencies and universities participating in a consensus process to develop publicly available geoprocessing interface specifications. OGC's Specifications support interoperable solutions that "geo-enable" the Web, wireless and location-based services, and mainstream IT.