MPEG Starts Development of Rights Language, Approves Joint Video Team with ITU Experts to Set New Video Coding Standard

Pattaya, Thailand, 7 December 2001. At its 58th meeting, from 2-7 December 2001, MPEG reviewed 9 responses to its Call for Proposals on a Rights Data Dictionary and Rights Expression Language (RDD-REL) issued in July. This marks the beginning of the collaborative phase of this very important work, which is scheduled for International Standard in March 2003. The Rights Data Dictionary work will proceed from this meeting forward. In so-called ‘core experiments’, MPEG will refine the baseline architecture and the content of the Rights Expression Language to satisfy the extensive requirements for rights expression in a multimedia framework. A working draft of the RDD specification is available on the MPEG web site, and the REL working draft will be available shortly. The RDD and REL specifications will allow interoperable large-scale exchange of digital media, including subscription services, trusted peer-to-peer services and a wide variety of other distribution models.

The specifications are part of the MPEG-21 effort to specify a comprehensive, interoperable multimedia framework, which started in 1999. Other elements include a technical report also just finalized and soon to be published. Other work includes the ‘Digital Item Declaration’ and the Digital Item Identification & Description, and an interoperable architecture for Intellectual Property Management and Protection.

A historic joint partnership was established between ISO/IEC and the ITU at the Pattaya ISO/IEC MPEG and ITU-T VCEG meetings with the formation of a new Joint Video Team (JVT). This action reunites the powerful team of the same two organizations that designed the previous MPEG-2 video and systems standards (also known as ISO/IEC 13818, and ITU-T H.262 and H.222.0). The formation of the JVT follows the demonstration of significant advances in video compression technology by the VCEG H.26L project in tests conducted by MPEG just prior to its July meeting. The JVT project will take over the prior H.26L project of the ITU-T and will create a single interoperable solution for a next generation of standard video coding. The new standard design is expected to be approved by MPEG as a new part of MPEG-4 and by ITU-T as an ITU-T Recommendation. A key achievement expected from the JVT project is a substantial improvement in video coding efficiency for a broad range of application areas.

Other MPEG News

MPEG issued a Preliminary Call for Proposals for Digital Item Adaptation. This new element of MPEG-21 set will be a specification for tools that will allow adaptation of multimedia content to the environment in which it will be ‘consumed’ (e.g., read, watched, listened to). MPEG expects to standardize tools for describing the terminal, the network and user preferences. Many descriptive tools already exist in well-defined application spaces, and MPEG anticipates adopting those as a part of the specification. A final Call will be issued in March, and responses are invited for the May MPEG meeting in Fairfax, VA (US). The combination of content descriptions (in MPEG-7) and environment descriptions (in MPEG-21) will allow seamless, optimized delivery of content under many different and dynamically changing conditions.

The work on more interoperable IPMP (Intellectual Property Management and Protection) continued with a mapping to MPEG-2. This specification, an extension to the MPEG-2 Systems standard, is meant for usage in digital set top boxes and the increasingly popular ‘personal video recorders’. It will provide interoperable digital rights management in the broadcast space, where MPEG-2 is widely in use.

After completing Version 1 of the multimedia description framework MPEG-7 at its last (July) meeting, work has now begun on a second version. This extension to version will, among other elements, include a scheme for linguistic descriptions. Such a description scheme allows the formal description of the linguistic aspects of multimedia content – in other words, it allows a formal description of, e.g., the speech in a film. Such a description scheme can be included in a more comprehensive audiovisual description.

The MPEG committee has completed its standard for the carriage of MPEG-4 over IP-based networks – the Internet. In principle, MPEG-4 does not define a native transport multiplex like MPEG-2 did. This standard recognizes the pervasive nature of the Internet and the need for transporting MPEG-4 content over IP in a well-defined, interoperable fashion. The work was done in collaboration with the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF).

Further information

Future MPEG meetings are as follows: 59th meeting: 11-15 March 2002 (Jeju, South Korea), 60th meeting: 6-10 May 2002 (Fairfax, VA, US), 61st meeting: 22-26 July 2002 (Klagenfurt, Austria).

For further information about MPEG, please contact:

Dr. Leonardo Chiariglione, (Convenor of MPEG, Italy)
Via G. Reiss Romoli, 274
10148 Torino, ITALY
Tel.: +39 11 228 6120; Fax: +39 11 228 6299


Rob Koenen (Chairman MPEG Requirements Group)
InterTrust Technologies Corporation
Tel +1 (408) 855 6891

This press release and much other MPEG-related information can be found on the MPEG homepage:

For the Outstanding Call for Proposals, see the Hot News section,

The MPEG homepage has links to other MPEG pages, which are maintained by some of the subgroups. It also contains links to public documents that are freely available for download to non-MPEG members.

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