The IPTC News Architecture Working Group is happy to announce that the NewsML-G2 Guidelines and NewsML-G2 Specification documents have been updated to align with version 2.33 of NewsML-G2, which was approved in October 2023.
The changes include:
- Adding the newest additions authoritystatus and digitalsourcetype added in NewsML-G2 versions 2.32 and 2.33
- Clarification on how @uri, @qcode and @literal attributes should be treated throughout
- Clarification on how roles should be added to infosource element when an entity plays more than one role
- Clarifying and improving cross-references and links throughout the document
- Documentation of the Authority Status attrribute and its related vocabulary, added in version 2.32
- Documentation of the Digital Source Type element and its related vocabulary, added in version 2.33
- Clarification on how @uri, @qcode and @literal attributes should be treated throughout
- Clarifying and improving cross-references and links throughout the document
- Improved the additional resources section including links to related IPTC standards and added links to the SportsML-G2 Guidelines
- See the What’s New in NewsML-G2 2.32 and 2.33 section for full details.
We always welcome feedback on our specification and guideline documents: please use the Contact Us form to ask for clarifications or suggest changes.
As we wrap up 2023, we thought it would be useful to give an update you on the IPTC’s work in 2023, including updates to most of our standards.
Two successful member meetings, one in person!
This year we finally held our first IPTC Member meeting in person since 2019, in Tallinn Estonia. We had around 30 people attend in person and 50 attended online from over 40 organisations. Presentations and discussions ranged from the e-Estonia digital citizen experience to building re-usable news content widgets with Web Components, and of course included generative AI, credibility and fact checking, and more. Here’s our report on the IPTC 2023 Spring Meeting.
For our Autumn Meeting we went back to an online format, with over 50 attendees, and more watching the recordings afterwards (which are available to all members). Along with discussions of generative AI and content licensing at this year’s meetings, it was great to hear the real-world implementation experience of the ASBU Cloud project from the Arab States Broadcasting Union. The system was created by IPTC members Broadcast Solutions, based on NewsML-G2. The DPP Live Production Exchange, led by new members Arqiva, will be another real-world implementation coming soon. We heard about the project’s first steps at the Autumn Meeting.
Also at this years Autumn Meeting we also heard from Will Kreth of the HAND Identity platform and saw a demo of IPTC Sport Schema from IPTC member Progress Software (previously MarkLogic). More on IPTC Sport Schema below! All news from the Autumn Meeting is summed up in our post AI, Video in the cloud, new standards and more: IPTC Autumn Meeting 2023
We’re very happy to say that the IPTC Spring Meeting 2024 will be held in New York from April 15 – 17. All IPTC member delegates are welcome to attend the meeting at no cost. If you are not a member but would like to present your work at the meeting, please get in touch using our Contact Us form.
IPTC Photo Metadata Conference, 7 May 2024: save the date!
Due to several issues, we were not able to run a Photo Metadata Conference in 2023, but we will be back with an online Photo Metadata Conference on 7th May 2024. Please mark the date in your calendar!
As usual, the event will be free and open for anyone to attend.
If you would like to present to the people most interested in photo metadata from around the world, please let us know!
Presentations at other conferences and work with other organisations
IPTC was represented at the CEPIC Congress in France, the EBU DataTech Seminar in Geneva, Sports Video Group Content Management Forum in New York and the DMLA’s International Digital Media Licensing Conference in San Francisco.
We also worked with CIPA, the organisation behind the Exif photo metadata standard, on aligning Exif with IPTC Photo Metadata, and supported them in their work towards Exif 3.0 which was announced in June.
The IPTC will be advising the TEMS project which is an EU-funded initiative to build a “media data space” for Europe, and possibly beyond: IPTC working with alliance to build a European Media Data Space.
IPTC’s work on Generative AI and media
Of course the big topic for media in 2023 has been Generative AI. We have been looking at this topic for several years, since it was known as “synthetic media” and back in 2022 we created a taxonomy of “digital source types” that can be used to describe various forms of machine-generated and machine-assisted content creation. This was a joint effort across our NewsCodes, Video Metadata and Photo Metadata Working Groups.
It turns out that this was very useful, and the IPTC Digital Source Type taxonomy has been adopted by Google, Midjourney, C2PA and others as a way to describe content. Here are some of our news posts from 2023 on this topic:
- IPTC publishes metadata guidance for AI-generated “synthetic media”
- Google announces use of IPTC metadata for generative AI images
- Midjourney and Shutterstock AI sign up to use of IPTC Digital Source Type to signal generated AI content
- Microsoft announces signalling of generative AI content using IPTC and C2PA metadata
- Royal Society/BBC workshop on Generative AI and content provenance
- New “digital source type” term added to support inpainting and outpainting in Generative AI
- IPTC releases technical guidance for creating and editing metadata, including DigitalSourceType
IPTC’s work on Trust and Credibility
After a lot of drafting work over several years, we released the Guidelines for Expressing Trust and Credibility signals in IPTC standards that shows how to embed trust infiormation in the form of “trust indicators” such as those from The Trust Project into content marked up using IPTC standards such as NewsML-G2 and ninjs. The guideline also discusses how media can be signed using C2PA specification.
We continue to work with C2PA on the underlying specification allowing signed metadata to be added to media content so that it becomes “tamper-evident”. However C2PA specification in its current form does not prescribe where the certificates used for signing should come from. To that end, we have been working with Microsoft, BBC, CBC / Radio Canada and The New York Times on the Steering Committee of Project Origin to create a trust ecosystem for the media industry. Stay tuned for more developments from Project Origin during 2024.
IPTC’s newest standard: IPTC Sport Schema
After years of work, the IPTC Sports Content Working Group released version 1.0 of IPTC Sport Schema. IPTC Sport Schema takes the experience of IPTC’s 10+ years of maintaining the XML-based SportsML standard and applies it to the world of the semantic web, knowledge graphs and linked data.
Paul Kelly, Lead of the IPTC Sports Content Working Group, presented IPTC Sport Schema to the world’s top sports media technologists: IPTC Sport Schema launched at Sports Video Group Content Management Forum.
Take a look at out dedicated site https://sportschema.org/ to see how it works, look at some demonstration data and try out a query engine to explore the data.
If you’re interested in using IPTC Sport Schema as the basis for sports data at your organisation, please let us know. We would be very happy to help you to get started.
Standard and Working Group updates
- Our IPTC NewsCodes vocabularies had two big updates, the NewsCodes 2023-Q1 update and the NewsCodes Q3 2023 update. For our main subject taxonomy Media Topics, over the year we added 12 new concepts, retired 73 under-used terms, and modified 158 terms to make their labels and/or descriptions easier to understand. We also added or updated vocabularies such as Digital Source Type and Authority Status.
- The News in JSON Working Group released ninjs 2.1 and ninjs 1.5 in parallel, so that people who cannot move from the 1.x schema can still get the benefits of new additions. The group is currently working on adding events and planning items to ninjs based on requirements the DPP Live Production Exchange project: expect to see something released in 2024.
- NewsML-G2 2.32 and NewsML-G2 v2.33 were released this year, including support for Generative AI via the Digital Source Type vocabulary.
- The IPTC Photo Metadata Standard 2023.1 allows rightsholders to express whether or not they are willing to allow their content to be indexed by search engines and data mining crawlers, and whether the content can be used as training data for Generative AI. This work was done in partnership with the PLUS Coalition. We also updated the IPTC Photo Metadata Mapping Guidelines to accommodate Exif 3.0.
- Through discussions and workshops at our Member Meetings in 2022 and 2023, we have been working on making RightsML easier to use and easier to understand. Stay tuned for more news on RightsML in 2024.
- Video Metadata Hub 1.5 adds the same properties to allow content to be excluded from generative AI training data sets. We have also updated the Video Metadata Hub Generator tool to generate C2PA-compliant metadata “assertions”.
New faces at IPTC
Ian Young of Alamy / PA Media Group stepped up to become the lead of the News in JSON Working Group, taking over from Johan Lindgren of TT who is winding down his duties but still contributes to the group.
We welcomed Bonnier News, Newsbridge, Arqiva, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation and Neuwo.ai as new IPTC members, plus a very well known name who will be joining at the start of 2024. We’re very happy to have you all as members!
We are always happy to work with more organisations in the media and related industries. If you would like to talk to us about joining IPTC, please complete our membership enquiry form.
Here’s to a great 2024!
Thanks to everyone who gave IPTC your support, and we look forward to working with you in the coming year.
If you have any questions or comments (and especially if you would like to speak at one of our events in 2024!), you can contact us via our contact form.
Managing Director, IPTC
and the IPTC Board of Directors: Dave Compton (LSE Group), Heather Edwards (The Associated Press), Paul Harman (Bloomberg LP), Gerald Innerwinkler (APA), Philippe Mougin (Agence France-Presse), Jennifer Parrucci (The New York Times), Robert Schmidt-Nia of DATAGROUP (Chair of the Board), Guowei Wu (Xinhua)
The IPTC is happy to announce the latest version of our guidance for mapping between photo metadata standards.
Following our publication of IPTC’s rules for mapping photo metadata between IPTC, Exif and schema.org standards in 2022, the IPTC Photo Metadata Working Group has been monitoring updates in the photo metadata world.
In particular, the IPTC gave support and advice to CIPA while it was working on Exif 3.0 and we have updated our mapping rules to work with the latest changes to Exif expressed in Exif 3.0.
As well as guidelines for individual properties between IPTC Photo Metadata Standard (in both the older IIM form and the newer XMP embedding format), Exif and schema.org, we have included some notes on particular considerations for mapping contributor, copyright notice, dates and IDs.
The IPTC encourages all developers who previously consulted the out-of-date Metadata Working Group guidelines (which haven’t been updated since 2008 and are no longer published) to use this guide instead.
We at IPTC receive many requests for help and advice regarding editing embedded photo and video metadata, and this has only increased with the recent news about the IPTC Digital Source Type property being used to identify content created by a generative AI engine.
In response, we have created some guidance: Developers’ and power users’ guide to reading and writing IPTC Photo Metadata
This takes the form of a wiki, so that it can be easily maintained and extended with more information and examples.
In its initial form, the documentation focuses on:
- Using the ExifTool command-line tool to read and write IPTC Photo Metadata,. ExifTool is commonly used by developers and power users to explore embedded metadata;
- Reading and writing image metadata in Python using the pyexiftool module;
In each guide, we advise on how to read and create DigitalSourceType metadata for generative AI images, and also how to read and write the Creator, Credit Line, Web Statement of Rights and Licensor information that is currently used by Google image search to expose copyright information alongside search results.
We hope that these guides will help to demystify image metadata and encourage more developers to include more metadata in their image editing and publishing workflows.
We will add more guidance over the coming months in more programming languages, libraries and frameworks. Of particular interest are guides to reading and writing IPTC Photo Metadata in PHP, C and Rust.
Contributions and feedback are welcome. Please contact us if you are interested in contributing.
The IPTC is proud to announce that after intense work by most of its Working Groups, we have published version 1.0 of our guidelines document: Expressing Trust and Credibility Information in IPTC Standards.
The culmination of a large amount of work over the past several years across many of IPTC’s Working Groups, the document represents a guide for news providers as to how to express signals of trust known as “Trust Indicators” into their content.
Trust Indicators are ways that news organisations can signal to their readers and viewers that they should be considered as trustworthy publishers of news content. For example, one Trust Indicator is a news outlet’s corrections policy. If the news outlet provides (and follows) a clear guideline regarding when and how it updates its news content.
The IPTC guideline does not define these trust indicators: they were taken from existing work by other groups, mainly the Journalism Trust Initiative (an initiative from Reporters Sans Frontières / Reporters Without Borders) and The Trust Project (a non-profit founded by Sally Lehrman of UC Santa Cruz).
The first part of the guideline document shows how trust indicators created by these standards can be embedded into IPTC-formatted news content, using IPTC’s NewsML-G2 and ninjs standards which are both widely used for storing and distributing news content.
The second part of the IPTC guidelines document describes how cryptographically verifiable metadata can be added to media content. This metadata may express trust indicators but also more traditional metadata such as copyright, licensing, description and accessibility information. This can be achieved using the C2PA specification, which implements the requirements of the news industry via Project Origin and of the wider creative industry via the Content Authenticity Initiative. The IPTC guidelines show how both IPTC Photo Metadata and IPTC Video Metadata Hub metadata can be included in a cryptographically signed “assertion”
We expect these guidelines to evolve as trust and credibility standards and specifications change, particularly in light of recent developments in signalling content created by generative AI engines. We welcome feedback and will be happy to make changes and clarifications based on recommendations.
The IPTC sends its thanks to all IPTC Working Groups that were involved in creating the guidelines, and to all organisations who created the trust indicators and the frameworks upon which this work is based.
Feedback can be shared using the IPTC Contact Us form.
The IPTC NewsCodes Working Group has approved an addition to the Digital Source Type NewsCodes vocabulary.
The new term, “Composite with Trained Algorithmic Media“, is intended to handle situations where the “synthetic composite” term is not specific enough, for example a composite that is specifically made using an AI engine’s “inpainting” or “outpainting” operations.
The full Digital Source Type vocabulary can be accessed from https://cv.iptc.org/newscodes/digitalsourcetype. It can be downloaded in NewsML-G2 (XML), SKOS (RDF/XML, Turtle or JSON-LD) to be integrated into content management and digital asset management systems.
The new term can be used immediately with any tool or standard that supports IPTC’s Digital Source Type vocabulary, including the C2PA specification, the IPTC Photo Metadata Standard and IPTC Video Metadata Hub.
NEW YORK, NY, 26 JULY 2023: The IPTC today announced the beginning of a public feedback and review period of IPTC Sport Schema, which aims to be “the standard for the next generation of sports data.”
The announcement was made by Paul Kelly, Lead of the IPTC Sports Content Working Group, at the Sports Video Group’s Content Management Forum held at 230 Fifth Penthouse, New York.
“The SVG Content Management Forum is attended by senior tech experts from sports broadcasters and sports leagues from the US and around the world, so it is the perfect place to launch the IPTC Sport Schema,” said Kelly. “Many members of SVG have advised us on our work so far, including organisations such as Warner Bros Discovery, NBC Universal, PGA TOUR, Major League Baseball and Riot Games. Presenting our work at their event is a great way to say thanks for their help.”
While not yet an official IPTC standard, the IPTC Sports Content Working Group feels that the schema describing IPTC Sport Schema is solid enough to be published for public feedback.
Sports data for the era of linked data and knowledge graphs
The purpose of the IPTC Sport Schema project is to create a new RDF-based sports data standard, while making the most of the experience the IPTC has gained from the last 20 years of maintaining SportsML, the open XML-based sports data standard used by news and sports organisations around the world.
While XML served the industry well for many years, more recently developers and IPTC members have asked the Sports Content Working Group whether a standard would become available in a more modern serialisation format such as JSON, and whether knowledge graph protocols would be supported.
Because it is based on the W3C-standard RDF and OWL specifications, IPTC Sport Schema leverages the wide range of tools and expertise in the world of knowledge graphs, semantic web and linked open data, including the SPARQL query language, the JSON-LD serialisation into JSON format, inference using RDF Schema and OWL, and more.
“Using IPTC Sport Schema, sports leagues can choose to own their data,” said IPTC Managing Director Brendan Quinn. “Content publishers or sports leagues can publish open data on their website if they choose, in a way that can be re-mixed and re-used by others around the world.” IPTC Sport Schema can also be used for a more traditional model of aggregation and syndication by sports statistics providers who add value to the raw data being collected by sports leagues.
Like its ancestor SportsML, IPTC Sport Schema is created as a generic sports data model that can represent results, statistics, schedules and rosters across many sports. “Plugins” for specific sports extend the generic schema with specific statistics elements for 10 sports such as soccer, motor racing, tennis, rugby and esports. But the generic model can be used to handle any competitive sports competition, either team-based, head-to-head or individual.
As well as IPTC’s SportsML standard, the project is based on previous work by the BBC on its BBC Sport Ontology (some of its creators worked on this project). We have also consulted with and analysed related projects and formats such as OpenTrack and the IOC’s Olympics Data Feed format.
Those who are interested in the details can see an introduction to the IPTC Sport Schema ontology design, the full ontology diagram or full RDF/OWL ontology documentation,
There may be significant changes to the schema between now and when it is released as a fully endorsed IPTC Standard, so we don’t recommend that it is implemented in production systems yet. But we welcome analysis and experimentation with the model, and look forward to seeing feedback from those who would like to implement it in the real world.
Following the recent announcements of Google’s signalling of generative AI content and Midjourney and Shutterstock the day after, Microsoft has now announced that it will also be signalling the provenance of content created by Microsoft’s generative AI tools such as Bing Image Creator.
Microsoft’s efforts go one step beyond those of Google and Midjourney, because they are adding the image metadata in a way that can be verified using digital certificates. This means that not only is the signal added to the image metadata, but verifiable information is added on who added the metadata and when.
As TechCrunch puts it, “Using cryptographic methods, the capabilities, scheduled to roll out in the coming months, will mark and sign AI-generated content with metadata about the origin of the image or video.”
The 1.3 version of the C2PA Specification specifies how a C2PA Action can be used to signal provenance of Generative AI content. This uses the IPTC DigitalSourceType vocabulary – the same vocabulary used by the Google and Midjourney implementations.
This follows IPTC’s guidance on how to use the DigitalSourceType property, published earlier this month.
As a follow-up to yesterday’s news on Google using IPTC metadata to mark AI-generated content we are happy to announce that generative AI tools from Midjourney and Shutterstock will both be adopting the same guidelines.
According to a post on Google’s blog, Midjourney and Shutterstock will be using the same mechanism as Google – that is, using the IPTC “Digital Source Type” property to embed a marker that the content was created by a generative AI tool. Google will be detecting this metadata and using it to show a signal in search results that the content has been AI-generated.
A step towards implementing responsible practices for AI
We at IPTC are very excited to see this concrete implementation of our guidance on metadata for synthetic media.
We also see it as a real-world implementation of the guidelines on Responsible Practices for Synthetic Media from the Partnership on AI, and of the AI Ethical Guidelines for the Re-Use and Production of Visual Content from CEPIC, the alliance of European picture agencies. Both of these best practice guidelines emphasise the need for transparency in declaring content that was created using AI tools.
The phrase from the CEPIC transparency guidelines is “Inform users that the media or content is synthetic, through
labelling or cryptographic means, when the media created includes synthetic elements.”
The equivalent recommendation from the Partnership on AI guidelines is called indirect disclosure:
“Indirect disclosure is embedded and includes, but is not limited to, applying cryptographic provenance to synthetic outputs (such as the C2PA standard), applying traceable elements to training data and outputs, synthetic media file metadata, synthetic media pixel composition, and single-frame disclosure statements in videos”
Here is a simple, concrete way of implementing these disclosure / transparency guidelines using existing metadata standards.
Moving towards a provenance ecosystem
C2PA provides a way of declaring the same “Digital Source Type” information in a more robust way, that can provide mechanisms to retrieve metadata even after the image was manipulated or after the metadata was stripped from the file.
However implementing C2PA technology is more complicated, and involves obtaining and managing digital certificates, among other things. Also C2PA technology has not been implemented by platforms or search engines on the display side.
In the short term, AI content creation systems can use this simple mechanism to add disclosure information to their content.
The IPTC is happy to help any other parties to implement these metadata signals: please contact IPTC via the Contact Us form.
At today’s Google I/O event keynote, Sundar Pichai, CEO of Google, explained how Google will be using embedded IPTC image metadata to signal visual media created by generative AI models.
“Moving forward, we are building our models to include watermarking and other techniques from the start,” Pichai said. “If you look at a synthetic image, it’s impressive how real it looks, so you can imagine how important this is going to be in the future.
“Metadata allows content creators to associate additional context with original files, giving you more information whenever you encounter an image. We’ll ensure every one of our AI-generated images has that metadata.”
The IPTC Photo Metadata section of Google Images’ guidance on metadata has been updated with new guidance on the DigitalSourceType field:
This follows the guidance on IPTC Photo Metadata for Generative AI that was recently published by IPTC.
“AI-Generated” label on Google Images
The above guidance hints at an “AI-generated label” to be used on Google Images in the future. Google recommends that all creators of AI-generated images use the IPTC Digital Source Type property to signal AI-generated content. While Google says that “you may not see the label in Google Images right away”, it appears that it will soon be available in Google Images search results.