Monday, May 24, 2004

Rights Expression Languages

Rights Expression Languages : A Report for the Library of Congress by Karen Coyle.
Rights expression languages (RELs) are emerging in the information community that support different aspects of the digital access environment -- licensing, payments, web material, use control, access, etc. They go to different depths in the data they specify and they take different approaches vis-à-vis machine manipulation. These variations make it difficult to select the appropriate one for a particular situation or a cooperative venture. This report was commissioned to clarify the similarities and differences of various emerging RELs in order to assist users in making choices and to encourage cooperation among the developers of the languages where feasible. Karen Coyle has shown several important ways to analyze a language, such as its purpose or its machine-actionability or its data element content, that will assist the community in making decisions. She based the discussion on four leading REL initiatives (as of February 2004), following them through an analysis process.
This is an excellent introduction, a must-read for anyone concerned with rights management and access.

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