AI-generated image of a cute robot sitting at a garden table sketching on a notepad.
Image created by Brendan Quinn using Bing Image Creator.

Many image rights owners noticed that their assets were being used as training data for generative AI image creators, and asked the IPTC for a way to express that such use is prohibited. The new version 2023.1 of the IPTC Photo Metadata Standard now provides means to do this: a field named “Data Mining” and a standardised list of values, adopted from the PLUS Coalition. These values can show that data mining is prohibited or allowed either in general, for AI or Machine Learning purposes or for generative AI/ML purposes. The standard was approved by IPTC members on 4th October 2023 and the specifications are now publicly available.

Because these data fields, like all IPTC Photo Metadata, are embedded in the file itself, the information will be retained even after an image is moved from one place to another, for example by syndicating an image or moving an image through a Digital Asset Management system or Content Management System used to publish a website. (Of course, this requires that the embedded metadata is not stripped out by such tools.)

Created in a close collaboration with PLUS Coalition, the publication of the new properties comes after the conclusion of a public draft review period earlier this year. The properties are defined as part of the PLUS schema and incorporated into the IPTC Photo Metadata Standard in the same way that other properties such as Copyright Owner have been specified.

The new properties are now finalised and published. Specifically, the new properties are as follows:

The IPTC and PLUS Consortium wish to draw users attention to the following notice included in the specification:

Regional laws applying to an asset may prohibit, constrain, or allow data mining for certain purposes (such as search indexing or research), and may overrule the value selected for this property. Similarly, the absence of a prohibition does not indicate that the asset owner grants permission for data mining or any other use of an asset.

The prohibition “Prohibited except for search engine indexing” only permits data mining by search engines available to the public to identify the URL for an asset and its associated data (for the purpose of assisting the public in navigating to the URL for the asset), and prohibits all other uses, such as AI/ML training.

The IPTC encourages all photo metadata software vendors to incorporate the new properties into their tools as soon as possible, to support the needs of the photo industry.

ExifTool, the command-line tool for accessing and manipulating metadata in image files, already supports the new properties. Support was added in the ExifTool version 12.67 release, which is available for download on exiftool.org.

The new version of the specification can be accessed at https://www.iptc.org/std/photometadata/specification/IPTC-PhotoMetadata or from the navigation menu on iptc.org. The IPTC Get Photo Metadata tool and IPTC Photo Metadata Reference images been updated to use the new properties.

The IPTC and PLUS Coalition wish to thank many IPTC and PLUS member organisations and others who took part in the consultation process around these changes. For further information, please contact IPTC using the Contact Us form.

Daniel Lynch of Arqiva talks about the DPP Live Production Exchange project which will be based on the EventsML schema, now part of NewsML-G2, and the ninjs standard.
Daniel Lynch of Arqiva talks about the DPP Live Production Exchange project which will be based on the EventsML schema, now part of NewsML-G2, and the ninjs standard.

Last week the IPTC held another very successful member meeting. The 2023 IPTC Autumn Meeting, held virtually this time, had well over 50 attendees from over 30 organisations in at least 15 different countries.

Highlights included Standards Committee approval of a brand new standard, IPTC Sport Schema v1.0, plus the approval of three new versions of existing standards: NewsML-G2 v2.33, IPTC Photo Metadata Standard 2023.1, and Video Metadata Hub v1.5. We will be publishing more information about each of these updates over the coming weeks.

We also heard from two real-world projects in the broadcast industry. One has just completed and the other is still in its planning stages, but both are based on IPTC standards. The ASBU Cloud system was presented by IPTC member Broadcast Solutions, and the DPP Live Production Exchange was presented by new IPTC member Arqiva.

We also heard guest presentation from Will Kreth of the HAND talent identity platform, the latest on C2PA and Project Origin, had a demo of IPTC Sport Schema using MarkLogic from Progress Software (also an IPTC member).

All Working Groups presented their recent work, which included interesting discussions about proposed new NewsCodes vocabularies and how to address the needs of Artificial Intelligence across all of our standards, work that has been going on for years but now acquires a new urgency.

At the IPTC Annual General Meeting 2023, we voted in the existing Board of Directors for another term and and heard updates about all the great work that has taken place at IPTC this year.

It was a great event and we are already looking forward to the next member meeting, to be held in person in New York in April 2024!

 

Screenshot of the change to the Media Topic tree browser tool, showing information icons where terms have had notes added.
Screenshot of the change to the Media Topic tree browser tool, showing information icons where terms have had notes added.

The IPTC News Codes Working Group has just released a new batch of changes to the IPTC NewsCodes family of controlled vocabularies.

Note that we skipped the Q2 update this year because there weren’t many changes, and also because there were already so many changes in Q1 of this year.

Media Topic changes

Here’s a summary of changes to Media Topic vocabulary:

Change to Media Topic tree browser

We have made a small change to the Media Topic tree browser tool: we now display a small “i” icon next to the label name for terms that have notes defined.

The terms that have notes are usually retired terms, and the note gives the user information regarding which terms should be used instead of the retired term. But in other cases notes are used to help explain changes or clarify usage.

Changes to other vocabularies

Other vocabularies have also been updated:

  • Content Production Party Role sees two new terms, contentEditor and metadataEditor, that can be used to show changes made by humans or systems (such as AI engines)
  • Format had a small change to indicate that it is not just for NewsML 1 documents.
  • User Action Type had a small bug fix, changed references to Twitter / X and retired Google Plus as a term. More changes will be coming soon covering other social media platforms and ways to track user interactions with media content.
  • The rendition CV has been updated to make it more generic – renditions can apply to any type of media, not just images and video.
  • The digitalsourcetype CV had already been updated in July to handle inpainting and outpainting but we mention it again here as a reminder.

Thanks to the representatives from IPTC members AFP, NTB, Bonnier News, ABC Australia, Bloomberg, New York Times and Associated Press for their contributions to the changes this quarter via the NewsCodes Working Group.

We are still working on our regular review of Media Topics – currently we are in the middle of a review of the Economy branch. The review is not yet complete but we hope for it to be ready for the Q4 or Q1 update.

The IPTC is pleased to announce the final agenda for next week’s IPTC Autumn Meeting.

Held online via Zoom from 13.00 to 18.00 UTC from Monday to Wednesday, the meeting will include:

Monday 2 October

  • Working Group presentations:
    • Video Metadata Working Group who will be proposing a new version of Video Metadata Hub handling metadata specifying whether content can be included in AI training data and other forms of data mining
    • Sports Content Working Group who will be proposing the 1.0 version of the new IPTC Sport Schema standard
  • Member presentations:
    • Demo of how to implement IPTC Sport Schema in MarkLogic and Semaphore from Progress Software
  • Guest presentations:
    • Update from the HAND project: a new approach to identity in media and entertainment

Tuesday 3 October

  • Working Group presentations:
    • NewsML-G2 Working Group who will be proposing a new version of NewsML-G2 that includes Digital Source Type metadata to bring it in line with other IPTC standards
    • Photo Metadata Working Group who will be proposing a new version of the IPTC Photo Metadata Standard handling metadata specifying whether content can be included in AI training data and other forms of data mining
    • NewsCodes Working Group (including a discussion of a proposed new vocabulary on “editorial tone”)
  • Member presentations:
    • Broadcast Solutions presenting the ASBU Cloud project, based on NewsML-G2
    • New member Newsbridge presenting how their systems implement IPTC standards
  • Guest presentations:
    • Update on Project Origin and C2PA, featuring the CEO of Media City Bergen, Helge Svela

Wednesday 4 October

  • IPTC Annual General Meeting 2023
    • Election of IPTC Board of Directors and Chair
    • Approval of budget for 2023
    • Updates from the Managing Director and Chair of the Board of Directors
  • IPTC Autumn 2023 Standards Committee meeting
    • Votes on new versions of NewsML-G2Photo Metadata StandardVideo Metadata Hub and presenting proposed new standard IPTC Sport Schema
  • Working Group presentations:
    • News in JSON Working Group
  • Working Group and member presentations:
    • Discussion on a simple rights format
    • DPP Live Production Exchange (LPX) project from CNN and new member Arqiva
  •  

IPTC member representatives can view the full schedule on the IPTC Autumn Meeting 2023 event page in the Members-Only Zone.

Users working on the ASBU Cloud system in the office. Credit: ASBU
Users working on the ASBU Cloud system in the office. Image credit: ASBU

This weekend at the IBC broadcast industry event in Amsterdam, the Arab States Broadcasting Union (ASBU) will launch its news exchange network, ASBU Cloud, with IPTC’s NewsML-G2 standard at its core.

Developed for ASBU by IPTC member Broadcast Solutions, a systems integrator in the broadcast industry, ASBU Cloud uses NewsML-G2 to distribute content to partners.

After evaluating several metadata formats, ASBU chose to implement NewsML-G2 as a metadata schema and worked with IPTC to implement the standard. This ensures that ASBU content can be used easily by other international organisations like the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) and Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union (ABU).

Broadcast Solutions System Architect Jean-Christophe Liechti explained the use of NewsML-G2 in an interview with Broadcast Pro magazine: “This XML-based standard for news exchange was developed and is maintained by the International Press Telecommunications Council (IPTC). It’s a successor to the original NewsML format and it provides a comprehensive and flexible framework for distributing any type of media, including text, images, audio and video. This metadata standard is language-agnostic. You can use standard dictionaries or manage your own to structure your data. We reached out to IPTC to ensure that our implementation closely met the standard. ASBU exchanges are now available as a NewsML-G2 feed like partner organisations like the EBU or major news organisations like Reuters, AP or AFP.”

The project is also based on Amazon Web Services, the Dalet Flex media asset management system, and uses innovative systems like the AI video metadata extraction engine Newsbridge (IPTC’s newest member).

The project will be launched at the IBC event in Amsterdam this Sunday, 17 September at 12.00. The launch will take place at the Broadcast Solutions outdoor booth 0.A01 located across from Hall 13 of the RAI exhibition centre.

Read more about ASBU Cloud at Broadcast Pro Middle East or contact IPTC if you’re interested in using NewsML-G2 in your own projects.

Paul Kelly speaking at the Sports Video Group's Content Management Forum in July 2023
Paul Kelly speaking at the Sports Video Group’s Content Management Forum in New York, July 2023

The video recording of IPTC’s presentation at the Sports Video Group Content Management Forum has now been released.

Paul Kelly, Lead of the IPTC Sports Content Working Group, gave a live presentation introducing the IPTC Sport Schema to participants at the event, held in New York City in July 2023.

Many of those participants have helped with the development and testing of the new model for sports data, including PGA Tour, NBA, NFL, NHL and more.

The full video is now available on SVG’s on-demand video platform, SVG Play.

In the presentation, Paul describes among other things:

  • the motivation for the new model
  • how it is different from IPTC’s existing sports standard SportsML
  • how it can handle sports from tennis to athletics to football to golf and more
  • how it might be used by broadcasters and sports data providers to attach sports data to video and other forms of media content

The Sports Content Working Group is now putting the final touches to the schema and its supporting documentation before it is put to the IPTC Standards Committee to be turned into an official IPTC standard.

Watch the full video here.

Screenshot of the IPTC wiki page showing how to read and write IPTC Photo Metadata in JavaScript.
Screenshot of the IPTC wiki page showing how to read and write IPTC Photo Metadata in JavaScript.

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:

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.

Showing how IPTC metadata properties are used in Google Images 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.

Overview of the C2PA trust ecosystem, showing how the C2PA project implements requirements set by both the Content Authenticity Initiative and Project Origin.
Overview of the C2PA trust ecosystem, showing how the C2PA project implements requirements set by both the Content Authenticity Initiative and Project Origin.

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.

Illustration: August Kamp × DALL·E, outpainted from Girl with a Pearl Earring by Johannes Vermeer
Image used by DALL-E to illustrate outpainting. OpenAI’s caption: “Illustration: August Kamp × DALL·E, outpainted from Girl with a Pearl Earring by Johannes Vermeer”

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.

Information on the new term will soon be added to IPTC’s Guidance on using Digital Source Type in the IPTC Photo Metadata User Guide.

A screenshot of an example page from sportschema.org showing how IPTC Sport Schema can be used to represent an Olympic Athletics event.

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.

Another screenshot from sportschema.org showing the full ontology diagram, a generic model that can be used to represent athletes and teams, various competition structures, results and statistics across many sports.
Another screenshot from sportschema.org showing the full ontology diagram, a generic model that can be used to represent athletes and teams, various competition structures, results and statistics across many sports.

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.

For more information on IPTC Sport Schema, please see the dedicated site sportschema.org, the project’s GitHub repository

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.

People and organisations who are not IPTC members can give feedback by posting to the IPTC SportsML public discussion group or use the IPTC Contact Us form.