Formalising a Model for Digital Rights Clearance
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Due to the increasing complexity and world-wide distribution of digital objects, identification and enforcement of digital rights have become too complex to be carried out manually. It is necessary to take into account the case-specific applicable laws, the complete creation history of a work and the existing licenses. However, no formal generic model has been presented so far integrating these aspects. This paper presents an innovative domain ontology of the Intellectual Property Rights. It distinguishes four levels of abstraction or control: (1) the legal framework, (2) the individual rights people hold, (3) the individual usage agreements right holders and others may issue, and (4) the particular actions that are restricted by IPR regulations or bring particular rights into existence. The ontology has the potential to enable wide semantic interoperability of digital repositories for identifying existing rights on digital objects and tracing the impact of particular actions on rights and regulations.