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Leading entertainment companies create registry for movie, TV content

A new international coalition, led by MovieLabs, CableLabs, Comcast and Rovi Corporation launched the Entertainment Identifier Registry (EIDR), a non-profit global independent registry that provides a uniform approach to cataloging movies, television shows, and other commercial audio/video assets with unique identifiers (IDs).

Each year, millions of new entertainment assets from many sources and distribution channels are being added to the massive amount of content available in the marketplace. With the growth of digital and other alternative distribution channels, keeping track of all of these content products, especially videos, is becoming an increasingly complex task for many businesses in the entertainment supply chain.

EIDR has been developed to address a critical need for a universal ID system for all types of audio/video assets in the entertainment industry, making it easier for businesses to search, track rights and report revenue based on an assets' unique ID. The expected results are increased accuracy of information flowing to consumers, and lower cost and more efficient back-office processes, says the commniqué.

Members of EIDR will have open access to the registry and/ or be able to supply their content to the registry for identification. For content distributors, access to unique IDs will help eliminate confusion between assets with same name or different cuts of the same video, helping to ensure that the right products are being distributed to the consumer. For content producers, the ability to register all of their assets will help simplify their post-production process and potentially lead to greater distribution of their products. Other companies in the supply chain can benefit from a streamlined communication process between their suppliers and distributors.

The IDs within EIDR will function similarly to UPC codes that are used to identify physical packaged goods and the ISBN code for books. The registry will catalog and assign a single, unique unit of identification to movies and TV assets - from entire movies down to clips and composites - and can be used for both physical and digital video media that are part of the movie and television supply chain. The registry is expected to be available to members in early 2011.

The registry will support a wide variety of distribution channels and consumer devices by identifying products and assets at all levels - from original productions to edits, translations, clips, composites, bundles and down to granular assets, such as different audio or video encodings intended for specific channels of distribution.

EIDR will also provide a set of APIs for developers of third party applications and services, such as workflow integration, reporting, and enhanced metadata. Organized into a hierarchical reference system that links relevant pieces of content to one another, the registry is centralized in a single database that utilizes a sophisticated de-duplication system to ensure objects are registered under a unique ID.

It is being developed as an open, standards-based effort built on the established Digital Object Identifier (DOI) system, created by the International DOI(R) Foundation and based on the widely used Handle System persistent identifier technology. In addition, it uses the open-source registry software from the Corporation for National Research Initiatives (CNRI).

This flexible, open foundation allows it to interoperate seamlessly with other existing identifier systems, such as AD-ID, the industry standard for advertising asset identification, which is expected to help streamline interactions between content owners, distributors, system operators, advertisers, and metrics providers.

The EIDR consortium is backed by a broad group of industry players, including Deluxe, Universal Pictures, Neustar, Paramount Pictures, Sonic Solutions, Sony Pictures Entertainment, Walt Disney Pictures, Warner Bros. Entertainment, Motion Picture Association of America, Inc., Civolution, Vobile, France’s INA (Institut national de l'audiovisuel), and others, the registry is set up as an industry resource to help streamline digital commerce and simplify consumer transactions. The consortium is actively looking to expand with new partners and participants internationally.

Story filed 08.11.10

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