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Next Tuesday, IPTC will be part of a panel of guests speaking at a webinar hosted by CEPIC (the Coordination of European Picture Agencies – Stock, Press and Heritage) and EANA (the European Alliance of News Agencies).

Brendan Quinn, Managing Director of IPTC will be joining the webinar to talk about IPTC’s involvement in C2PA, the Coalition for Content Provenance and Authenticity, in particular the draft technical specification which was released this month. Brendan will be talking about how C2PA aims to solve part of the problem around news provenance, informing users when news comes from a reputable source.

The other speakers are Mathieu Desoubeaux from IMATAG, Stefan Voss, Verification Officer at dpa, and Yacine Le Forestier, Head of Europe fact checking at AFP.

The other speakers are all from IPTC member organisations, and IPTC shares many members with both CEPIC and EANA, so we are very happy to take part in this event.

Registration for the event is still available. The webinar will take place on Tuesday 21 September from 1700 to 1800 CET, but is open before and after for attendee networking and discussion.

As previously announced, the IPTC are participating in the Coalition for Content Provenance and Authenticity (C2PA) project to create a specification to tackle online disinformation and misinformation.

Screenshot of the c2pa.org home page.

After months of work by the C2PA Technical Working Group, the first public draft of the specification has been released. In particular, the spec defines how properties from the IPTC Photo Metadata Standard can be included in a C2PA manifest, creating a provenance trail that allows future viewers to validate the authenticity of a claim associated with a media asset (such as the location the photo was taken, the creator’s name or who is the person in a photo).

The full press release from C2PA follows:

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. — September 1, 2021 — Today, the Coalition for Content Provenance and Authenticity (C2PA), a Joint Development Foundation project established to scale trust in online content, released its content provenance specifications – in draft form – for community review and feedback. Driven by a commitment to tackle online disinformation, the C2PA’s technical specifications are designed to be an open standard that will allow publishers, creators and consumers to trace the origin and evolution of a piece of media, including images, videos, audio and documents. 

“C2PA was established to accelerate progress toward the broad adoption of content provenance standards that will enable a future of verifiable integrity in media,” said Andrew Jenks, C2PA Chair. “The release of this draft is an exciting and important milestone, representing a diverse and collaborative effort across industries to protect people from fabricated and manipulated media and drive transparency in the origin and history of content.”

Combatting online content fraud at scale requires transparency and an accessible and open approach that enables consumers to make informed decisions about what has been modified and what has not. The C2PA was launched in February 2021 with founding members Adobe, Arm, BBC, Intel, Microsoft and Truepic with the goal of developing an end-to-end open technical standard to address the rise of disinformation efforts leveraging tools for media fabrication and manipulations. The effort has expanded, bringing in additional members including Twitter, WITNESS, Akamai and Fastly. 

Over the past six months, the C2PA has worked with industry experts and partner organizations, including the Project Origin Alliance and the Content Authenticity Initiative (CAI), to develop a standard for digital provenance that provides platforms with a method to define descriptive metadata, what information is associated with each type of asset, how that information is presented and stored, and how evidence of tampering can be identified. This group of contributors spans a spectrum of industries including social media, news publishing, software technology, semiconductors and more. All have contributed to building these new technical specifications through a process of gathering requirements, considerations of scenarios and technical design.

Following the review period, the C2PA working groups will finalize the 1.0 version of the technical standards and once published, the group will pursue adoption, prototyping and communication through coalition members and other external stakeholders, providing the foundation for a system of verifiable provenance on the internet.

“The power of C2PA’s open standard will rely on its broad adoption by producers and custodians of content, which makes this review phase so critical to the development and finalization of the specifications,” said Jenks. “This is why we are making the draft specification available to the public. We encourage rigorous review and feedback across industries, civil society, academia, and the general public to ensure the C2PA standards reflect the complex nature of this effort.”

The draft specification can be accessed through the C2PA website, and comments will be accepted through a web submission form and GitHub until November 30, 2021.

C2PA is accepting new members. To join, visit https://c2pa.org/membership/.

About C2PA

The Coalition for Content Provenance and Authenticity (C2PA) is an open, technical standards body addressing the prevalence of misleading information online through the development of technical standards for certifying the source and history (or provenance) of media content. C2PA is a Joint Development Foundation project, formed through an alliance between Adobe, Arm, BBC, Intel, Microsoft and Truepic. For more information, visit c2pa.org.

The IPTC is very happy to announce that Paul Harman of Bloomberg has accepted the Board’s nomination to be Chair of the IPTC Standards Committee.

Paul Harman headshot
Paul Harman, IPTC’s new Standards Committee Chair.

The IPTC Standards Committee is the core of the technical standardisation work of the news industry. It is the parent of all of the IPTC’s Working Groups. The Committee comprises all Voting Members and is the forum where specifications and recommendations created by the Working Groups are formally approved for publication.

Paul has been an active member of the IPTC for more than two decades. He has worked as a senior software engineer in the industry for over twenty years, first at the Press Association (now PA Media) and more recently at Bloomberg, representing both firms as an IPTC delegate. Paul works primarily on editorial content management systems, syndication platforms, web sites and services, and was active in the development of IPTC’s NewsML v1 and NewsML-G2 standards. He was voted onto the IPTC Board of Directors in October 2019.

Robert Schmidt-Nia, Chair of the IPTC’s Board of Directors, said: “I am honoured to welcome Paul who has volunteered to serve as the new chair of our standards committee. His guidance will support IPTC’s mission to develop relevant standards which will help us solve the dramatic changes our industry faces. My gratitude also goes out to Paul’s employer, Bloomberg, in supporting this advancement.”

Paul said: “We live in an interconnected world. As such, it is vital we have a common understanding of the structure of news and media data to facilitate interoperability, while also avoiding misunderstandings and unnecessary duplication of effort. IPTC standards play a key role in supporting this collaborative ecosystem. I am proud to have been asked to chair the IPTC Standards Committee to help continue the important work this organisation performs on behalf of the news technology industry.”

Screenshot of the c2pa.org home page.
The c2pa.org home page.

Recently IPTC has been working with many organisations who are creating solutions for the ongoing problem of misinformation and disinformation in news. We are happy to announce that this work continues through IPTC’s liaison relationship with C2PA, the Coalition for Content Provenance and Authenticity.

C2PA was created to unify the efforts of the Adobe-led Content Authenticity Initiative (CAI) which focuses on systems to provide context and history for digital media, and Project Origin, a Microsoft- and BBC-led initiative that tackles disinformation in the digital news ecosystem. C2PA creates technical standards for certifying the source and history (or provenance) of media content.

The IPTC has been working with both the Content Authenticity Initiative and Project Origin in recent years. Andy Parsons from CAI presented at the IPTC Photo Metadata Conference in 2020. IPTC members who are also members of CAI and/or Project Origin include Adobe, BBC, CBC/Radio Canada and The New York Times.

IPTC and C2PA have agreed to share information and allow each organisation to attend the other’s meetings in the areas of technical specifications of file formats, particularly around image and video files; to share knowledge and expertise around newsroom practices and workflows; and to collaborate in the areas of content syndication and distribution.

The IPTC Photo Metadata Standard is widely used by photographers, photo agencies and other photo suppliers around the world. To help photo people use it properly, IPTC has a specification document with a lot of details in document form.

Now, we have released a machine-readable version of the spec that can be consumed directly by software tools.

We call it the IPTC Photo Metadata TechReference. (See below for direct links to the data files.)

The TechReference is a data object containing all the details of the IPTC Photo Metadata technical specifications in the easy-to-use JSON and YAML formats.

The file covers all IPTC properties and structures.

For each property, we specify:

  • the property’s formal name
  • corresponding identifiers in the ISO XMP and the IPTC IIM formats, if applicable;
  • the property’s datatype, such as string, number or a custom property structure like Location; and
  • the property identifier that can be used with ExifTool to read or write the metadata property (such as “XMP-dc:creator” for XMP or “IPTC:Creator” for IIM);
  • … and a few more details.

We have also published rich documentation about the TechReference data object on the IPTC website. The data objects themselves can be downloaded from the IPTC site by both IPTC members and other interested parties.

Screenshot from IPTC's cv.iptc.org controlled vocabulary viewer showing new entries to the NewsCodes vocabulary.

In time for the 2020 Summer Olympics, soon to be held in Tokyo Japan (in 2021), we have released a new version of the Media Topics vocabulary covering all Olympic sports.

As many MediaTopics users don’t use the sports facets system, we wanted to make sure that the top-level Olympic and Paralympic sports were all represented in the main Media Topics vocabulary.

To make this possible, we have made the following changes:

New and changed labels and definitions for Olympics and Paralympics

We have added the following new sport concepts, all under Competition Discipline:

Modified labels:

We have “unretired” the following term, which was retired in 2017:

We have moved the following term:

Updated translations

In another major update we have added labels in French, Spanish and Arabic for most recently-added terms. Thanks to Anne Raynaud and her team at Agence France-Presse (AFP) for this contribution.

Another small change is that in the HTML tree view, we now mark retired concepts more clearly by visually striking out their labels and definitions.

We always welcome feedback on IPTC MediaTopics and the other NewsCodes vocabularies on the public discussion list iptc-newscodes@groups.io.

Screenshot of IPTC's Video Metadata Hub generator tool.

IPTC’s Video Metadata Working Group is happy to announce that the first version of the IPTC Video Metadata Hub Generator tool has been released. It can be used to create IPTC Video Metadata Hub records without any knowledge of the underlying technical metadata schema.

The Video Metadata Hub tool serves as a demonstrator to show how easy it could be to enter metadata for a video using the Video Metadata Hub common video metadata schema. It illustrates the power of Video Metadata Hub to video architects, digital asset managers and developers of video software and systems.

How do I use the Video Metadata Hub Generator?

To use the tool, simply start typing text into fields in the form on the left hand side of the screen. The right-hand side will automatically update showing a JSON version of the VMHub data according to the IPTC Video Metadata Hub JSON schema.

Because one of the features of IPTC Video Metadata Hub is its rich set of mappings to other well-known video formats, we will be adding other output formats such as XML (NewsML-G2), EBUCore, XMP and EIDR.

What can I do with the output?

The resulting JSON file can be used to supply data to IT systems. Alternatively, the generated JSON file can be saved alongside your video assets as a “sidecar”. This usage is explained in the section of the IPTC Video Metadata Hub User Guide called “Using Video Metadata Hub with your video content”.

In the future, we hope that Video Metadata Hub properties will be built into many video editing tools and digital asset management systems, along with a common way of storing the metadata properties embedded into video files. When this has happened, users will be able to fill out standardised metadata fields in one tool and then view the entered metadata when loading that video file into another tool.

The current version of the Video Metadata Hub Generator shows only a small subset of the 91 Video Metadata Hub fields. In the future, we aim to add a control that lets users specify their use case (for example “video archives” or “news agency”) and all of the relevant fields for that use case would be displayed.

For more information, see the IPTC Video Metadata Hub pages on iptc.org or the Video Metadata Hub User Guide.

We are very interested in feedback from users. Join the conversation about this tool on the public iptc-videometadata email discussion group.

Stéphane Guérillot. CEO of AFP Blue and Director of IPTC, retiring in June 2021.

It is with mixed feelings that we say farewell to Stéphane Guérillot, our friend and colleague and Agence France-Presse’s Delegate to IPTC for 40 years. On one hand, we are happy that it is time for him to start a well-deserved retirement. But we are sad that we will not see his big smile and hear his always thoughtful and relevant comments and ideas. Stéphane contributed greatly to our Working Groups and on the Standards Committee, which he chaired for many years.

Over this time, Stéphane has contributed to almost all of IPTC’s standards, including NewsML and NewsML-G2, IPTC Photo Metadata and its predecessor IIM, NewsCodes and more.

What’s more, Stéphane contributed as a Board Member and Treasurer of IPTC for many years, was Chairman of IPTC from 2005 to 2011, and hosted several IPTC Meetings in France. As the main Member Delegate for Agence France-Presse and CEO of AFP’s technology subsidiary AFP Blue, Stéphane was key in driving AFP’s adoption of IPTC standards, which continues to this day.

We wish Stéphane and his family all the best.

At the recent IPTC Spring Meeting, we surprised Stéphane with a special session remembering his time with IPTC. Many previous members were invited to attend to pass along their congratulations.

Unfortunately, this time we could only say farewell over Zoom. But we are very happy to announce that in recognition for his work, the IPTC Board has granted lifetime Honorary Membership to Stéphane, which means that he is entitled to come to future meetings.

So hopefully we can say au revoir et félicitations in person some time soon!

Last week, Brendan Quinn and Jennifer Parrucci presented about IPTC NewsCodes at the EBU’s Metadata Developer Network workshop.

Brendan Quinn of IPTC and Jennifer Parrucci of The New York Times present IPTC’s NewsCodes vocabularies, describing what they are, how they are maintained, how they can be used and a look into the future. Including a focus on IPTC MediaTopics, our leading vocabulary for topics of news content. Originally presented at the EBU Metadata Developers Network workshop, held online from 25 – 27 May 2021.

The full presentation slides are embedded below. A video recording of the session, including questions and answers, is available to EBU members via the EBU MDN website.

We are happy to announce a new version of the popular NewsML-G2 generator tool.

This version is easier to use, and shows how NewsML-G2 files can be created using either QCodes or URIs for controlled values. It also allows the user to select the body text format – either NITF (IPTC’s News Industry Text Format) or XHTML. Both formats are used by large news agencies to distribute news content, so using the selector can help you to see the difference between the two formats and perhaps help you to make a decision about which format to use.

The new version of the NewsML-G2 Generator can be accessed at the same URL as the older version: https://iptc.org/std/NewsML-G2/generator/.

Using the NewsML-G2 Generator

To use the generator, simply start typing into the form on the left side of the screen. The grey box on the right hand side will immediately update with the relevant XML markup to represent your content in NewsML-G2 format.

The selectors above the output box on the right hand side allow you to change the output format:

  • QCodes vs URIs: Metadata values such as “itemClass” can be expressed either using IPTC’s QCodes format, or by URIs. So for example the “item type” can be expressed as a QCode (<itemClass qcode="ninat:graphic"/>) or a URI (<itemClass uri="http://cv.iptc.org/newscodes/ninat/graphic"/>). This radio button allows you to switch between the two formats for all controlled values in your NewsML-G2 file.
  • XHTML vs NITF: NewsML-G2 describes how the metadata around a news item should be delivered, but the actual content of a text news item must be expressed in another format. Two options expressed here are NITF, IPTC’s News Industry Text Format, and XHTML. This radio button changes the <contentSet/> section to include an embedded XML document in either XHTML or NITF format.

More enhancements to come

Currently, the generator tool handles simple text news stories. Ideas for future enhancements are to include support for images, audio and video, packages of multiple news items possibly in multiple formats, the partMeta framework to include metadata about part of a news item, and more. Suggestions are always welcome – please contact us if you have any further ideas.