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Collective Wisdom On Copyright Infringement

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Plagiarism, despite its legal consequences, continues to be rampant in the personal and professional domains. With the market being so fragmented, it’s becoming more and more complicated for media owners to get an understanding of where all their content is getting distributed. Digital technology like watermarking secretly helps identify the ownership of a copyright or the authenticity of its proprietors. With so many channels around, the need to track content distribution was in need of immediate attention. OBID or Open Binding of Ideas, is one such standard that helps identify content uniquely and unambiguously and also helps trace how it got to the consumer.

OBID is a combination of Ad-ID, the industry standard that provides a central source of identification for all forms of advertising, and the EIDR ID, a unique identifier for all content that is produced. Watermarking, the technology used earlier, had to be mapped on to something else, but in this case though, as both Ad-ID and EIDR ID were in the watermark, the need to seek information after detection and recovery becomes unnecessary. OBID has been outlined with at least a dozen of base use cases designed so well that the consumers might end up using it for things that have not even been envisioned by the creators.

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When this technology gets deployed across the eco system, it provides an enhanced viewing experience of content through a concept called second screen synchronization, designed to keep the viewers engaged. With the Ad-ID and EIDR ID being open registries, it’s always open to anyone who wants to sign up and register, as against the past, when people had proprietary numbers and considered them intellectual property.

According to Steve Davis, Global Product Director of Kantar Media, “This was architected from the beginning to be multi-platform enabled. Because, if we didn’t solve this for all the different platforms, we’re not looking forward to even where we are today and where this interest is going in the future”. This concept was tested in an independent lab, and the technology used by Kantar Media survived everything by ensuring that the mark stayed on in all different platforms and could be easily detected. On the same note, Paul Mears, President of Copperline Media says, “We ran a whole bunch of tests at Fox Labs through various distribution means, Normal Linear TV playing off a DVR internet distribution and we also picked up the content on a tablet and we showed that the watermark survived from which everything we could throw at it. So we were able to pick up the EIDR and Ad-ID codes unscathed, which was great”.

CIMM, a coalition composed of media companies, advertising agencies and the like has been trying enabling the multi-platform measurement of which OBID is a key part. According to Chris Lennon, President of MediAnswers, “This is something that came out of real world business needs, and so I think that really bolsters the chances of success of this in the field”.

The fundamental act of tracking and identifying content is now a necessity, and OBID provides the opportunity to do that apart from letting creators be a lot more creative with their work across different platforms. The base standard, which is open to upgradation after annual reviews, that defines how to encode and decode in OBID is fully published and is available on the SMPTE Store, and it is expected that the full suite would be published within the next couple of months. To leverage this technology, depending on who you are, one has to register content, get it coded, and start to embed OBID.

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