TURIN, ITALY (30 September 2003) Today an international group of experts led by Dr. Leonardo Chiariglione, the Convenor of MPEG and the leader of several media-related industry initiatives, issued a document called "The Digital Media Manifesto". Online at http://manifesto.chiariglione.org, the Digital Media Manifesto outlines major actions to enable a global digital media industry to flourish and proposes the creation of a new organization The Digital Media Project to accomplish those actions.
Participating on a personal basis, team members came together online this past July to break what they call the digital media "stalemate". The team represents 21 countries namely Australia, Belgium, Canada, China, Finland, France, Germany, India, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Korea, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Singapore, Spain, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the United States. Their organizational and corporate affiliations represent a cross-section of the many viewpoints all too polarized by the conflicts over digital copying, Internet security technology and proposed regulatory legislation. Adoption of their proposal to establish the Digital Media Project as an independent non-profit organization would provide an impartial worldwide body, able to end the stalemate and benefit people and businesses with these many diverse points of view.
The Digital Media Project would act on both policy and technical actions in a coordinated fashion. The policy actions include reviewing the Digital Media standardisation process. The technical actions include the development of specifications for interoperable Digital Rights Management (DRM) platforms and interoperable end-user devices, and the development of recommended practices for end-to-end conformance assessment.
Digital Media, as seen by this group, includes many new experiences that can transform public access to entertainment and information but have not yet. MP3, P2P, PVR, and many other technologies have given a glimpse of what is possible, but these new experiences require several major actions to be taken before a global industry for Digital Media can be placed on a solid footing. Dr. Leonardo Chiariglione said, "Digital Media offers great personal, social and business opportunities, but this potential is being stifled by untapped technology, illegitimate businesses, and legitimate business models that are money-losers for everybody involved. Why do we want to inflict on ourselves so many pains when the solution is just around the corner?"
http://manifesto.chiariglione.org is a gateway to many online resources, some that have accompanied the development of this project and some that have been placed there especially for this September 30 announcement. In addition to the full copy of the Digital Media Manifesto itself, many explanatory documents are present including an extensive list of contributions posted during development. Dr. Chiariglione's biography is available as well as his book-length account of his international standards development experiences titled "Riding The Media Bits".
Dr. Leonardo Chiariglione, email@example.com
Philip Merrill, press liaison, firstname.lastname@example.org, +1 626 403-9600 in Los Angeles
Contact information for participants willing to be interviewed is available on request.
A photograph of Dr. Chiariglione is available.
Several Participants' Statements
The following participants responded to an open invitation to supply a quotation of their choosing. Dozens more have participated in the DMM e-mail reflector (also see online Contributions page). Several were unable to contribute quotes because their employers, including government agencies, discourage public statements by employees. Several active participants who strongly advocate public digital "rights" were unwilling to be quoted because they did not want to publicly endorse DRM in principle.
"There is an ancient Spanish adagio: 'you cannot put any door to the forest.' The case with digital media is that the forest seems to be creating borders between rights managers and industry players, forbidding a free walk for avid multimedia users. Initiatives like DMM are trying to respect this now tropical forest, with results that could assure we penetrate this paradise."
-- Diego Antona, ANID's Chairman, CEO Kalysis (Spain)
"The potential of digital media to change the way that people live, think and communicate is (perhaps frighteningly) unlimited. Yet, years after the revolution began, virtually none of this potential has been tapped. The combination of factors responsible for this failure is large - legal, social, economic, technical - and the response must be equally robust. The DMP is organizing a comprehensive assault on this Everest, and is attempting to do so in a way that integrates the varied interests involved. Including, most importantly, that of the individual end user."
-- Jordan Greenhall, Founder & CEO, DivXNetworks (United States)
"It's not going to be easy to define a precise language for a software standard when all the words have been hijacked by lawyers and politicians. But we've got to try. There's too much at stake."
-- James Ingram, Composer, http://home.t-online.de/home/j.ingram (Germany)
"The universality of digital media has substantial benefits in education and the general dissemination of knowledge throughout the world. The rights to store, distribute, modify and use the content contained in digital media for educational purposes whilst maintaining the rights of the authors of such content is the subject of much debate. Technologically we have the opportunity to spread knowledge to the far corners of the world using digitised content however we must get agreement from all players in the value chain to make it happen. I am pleased that the DMP is addressing these issues and providing a forum for all to express their views."
-- David Jephcott, Equiinet Country Manager (Italy)
"Digital Rights Management has long been advocated by rights managers - and therefore failed. It is encouraging to see this initiative, supported by influential people representing all parts of the media industry, planning to reinvent DRM for the benefit of the world."
-- Zvi Lifshitz, Optibase ltd. (Israel)
"The Digital Media Revolution is a long lasting dream that has never come true. The Digital Media Manifesto is showing the way to this dream, bringing benefits to all the value chain players and end users, and the Digital Media Project will remove the hurdles on the road."
-- Young-Kwon Lim, VP of Business Development, net&tv Inc. (Korea)
"The 'digital revolution' we all expected years ago sounds today more like a 'digital civil war' where the lack of a common platform is hampering the roll out of successful commercial services, both B2C and B2B. The DMP is addressing the critical aspects of the digital media industry in order to create a new ground for the development of this huge and innovative market."
-- Alberto Lombardi, Marketing Director, Datamat/Convergere (Italy)
"I want the dream that was promised to me in the 1960's, that new experiences would be offered to me every day. Instead, so much about digital media doesn't currently work well, mostly that the bold legal ventures make so much less money because of piracy. I subscribe to Rhapsody and Pressplay so I enjoy digital music as a new experience, rich with potential discovery and art, but these are the tiny exceptions. I want it to be that I go home eagerly expecting a 20-minute multimedia experience that won't be ordinary, that will teach me something, and that will entertain me in an engaging way."
-- Philip Merrill, Associate Editor GRAMMY.com, Co-founder DigitalExplorers.com (United States)
"I see the DMP as a very timely initiative, addressing one of the most important limitors to the growth of the ITC and Media Industries today."
-- Prof. Richard Nicol FREng, CEO, Fynntek Ltd. (UK).
"Digital media are fundamentally transforming human communication. The Digital Media Manifesto offers a vitally important vision for how the new media can be effectively utilized in a time of critical change. Moreover, the DMM provides a blueprint for institutional and individual-level adaptation to a transformed media landscape."
-- Prof. John Pavlik, School of Communication, Information and Library Studies at Rutgers University, adjunct faculty Columbia University Teachers College (United States)
"I welcome the clarity of the Digital Media Manifesto. This new worldwide initiative builds on common ground to present a much needed practical way to grow the market and maximize the value of Digital Media. Together through the proposed DMP work we have a unique opportunity to catapult digital media use and innovation to unprecedented levels within reasonable timeframes".
-- Henry J F Ryan, Founder & Managing Director, Lios Geal Consultants Ltd (Ireland)
"In the past, DRM has been mainly restricted to providing content participants with business models leaving features and capabilities available to end-users added in almost as an afterthought. What is needed is a totally different way of thinking, what is needed is concentrating more on enabling end-users as opposed to restricting them. Restricting use is easy, enabling is much more difficult but at the same time, is as important if not more important than any specific business model."
-- Craig A. Schultz, Senior Architect, Multimedia Architectures (Japan)
This press release is online at http://leonardo.chiariglione.org/manifesto/pr.htm