Media Release

New RightsML standard to express news usage rights enters trial phase

Release of 26 April 2012

London — A new standard to express usage rights for news and online content in machine-readable format is ready for testing to demonstrate how it can improve publishing efficiency, the International Press Telecommunications Council (IPTC) said Thursday. The IPTC is inviting news providers and publishers to participate in the Experimental Phase for its RightsML 1.0 standard. It provides features to express the rights, restrictions and duties associated with selecting, distributing and publishing news content.

At their recent meeting in London, IPTC members agreed that the standard, developed after months of work from news and publishing professionals, was ready for a trial phase to demonstrate the business benefits. “Publishers need to express rights in order to make sure that content is being used correctly,” said Stuart Myles, Director of Schema Standards at the Associated Press and head of the IPTC’s working group on rights expressions. Similarly, “our clients need to know the permissions and restrictions that they have and the duties that they have when they take in content from us.” 

In the experimental phase the IPTC is inviting publishers and their partners to exchange content using RightsML. That process will ensure that the rights, restrictions and duties can be expressed and interpreted correctly. So far, the Associated Press and Getty Images have agreed to help, and the IPTC is encouraging other media groups to participate. 

“We have created RightsML 1.0 based on the examples that have been given so far,” Myles said. Now, he added, to test the standard’s readiness for widespread adoption, “we want to get publishers to try RightsML and give us feedback, so we can then make any necessary adjustments.”

RightsML is based on an existing rights expression framework, the Open Digital Rights Language (ODRL).

Find out more about RightsML and its Experimental Phase at, including documentation and examples. For feedback on and questions about RightsML, interested parties may post to the public RightsML Forum

About the IPTC:
The IPTC, based in London, is a consortium of the world’s major news agencies, news publishers and news industry vendors. It develops and maintains technical standards for improved news exchange that are used by virtually every major news organisation in the world. Its standards include the Photo Metadata standards IPTC Core and Extension, the family of G2-Standards (NewsML-G2, EventsML-G2 and SportsML-G2), NITF, rNews, RightsML and the IPTC NewsCodes. Visit the web site is or follow @IPTC on Twitter.