Content is King!

Do you have a published work? Are you a creative artist finding your audience? Have you ever seen your blog posts or posted photos in that light? If so, you probably are published, and more creative than you give yourself credit for!

But, have you been surprised when your work appeared on someone else’s website or Facebook page? Did you feel your rights had somehow been transgressed? Or were you excited to see your work “go viral?”

The Internet has stimulated innovation through disruption in any number of areas, not the least of which is redefining what it means to be a “publisher” — of written, audio, video or other content. At the same time, it’s challenging traditional publishers — once content through traditional publishing channels hits the Internet, it tends to get shared and copied in ways that undermine the expectations (and business models) of those content creators.

The common theme between traditional and Internet publishers is that it would help if there was an Internet-scaled means to be able to articulate (and find) the extent and scope of rights the content creator intends to apply to their creation. This can range from promoting it — “free to re-use as long as you give attribution” to making only some parts of it available, to restricting it. And, restrictions are not just about preserving business models of big industry content creators. For example, WordPress’s recent update to enable the direct inclusion of one blog’s posts embedded in another person’s blog surprised (and displeased) at least one blogger who preferred to stay in her quiet part of the blogosphere and didn’t want her work promoted. (I’d tell you who, but, she’s not looking for attention!).

To explore the technical question of Internet architecture and capturing intended content rights, the Internet Society is hosting a panel at the upcoming IETF meeting (IETF 86, in Orlando).

Content is King: How Do we Avoid Playing the Pauper?

We’ve lined up three panelists who have considerable background in content, Internet applications and identity rights management to discuss this topic: Glenn Dean, Peter St.Andre and Leif Johansson. We’ll be exploring various questions, starting with:

  • Are there ways that Internet application layer infrastructure standards could be extended to capture the content creator’s intentions of use of digital content, to be as open or as restricted as that creator desires?
  • What are the building blocks from which that could start?
  • Is there any way application layer infrastructure standards can also assist users in understanding how the content is meant to be used?

I’m looking forward to a lively and wide-ranging discussion to stimulate more thoughts and questions.

Registration is open, so act fast if you’d like to join us in person. If you can’t join us in person, the session audio will be streamed live, and the recording will be available afterwards.

If you’re not familiar with ISOC briefing panels, you might want to check out the information and audio archives for past Internet Society panels at: Panels