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The OGC® Approves Geospatial Digital Rights Reference Model

Sam Bacharach Executive Director, Outreach and Community Adoption Open Geospatial Consortium, Inc tel: +1-703-352-3938 sbacharach [at]
Release Date: 
10 April 2007
Wayland, Mass., April 10, 2007 - The Open Geospatial Consortium, Inc. (OGC®) is pleased to announce that its membership has approved an abstract specification for the management of digital rights in the area of geospatial data and services. The Geospatial Digital Rights Management Reference Model (GeoDRM RM) (available at, is Topic 18 of The OpenGIS® Abstract Specification.

The goal of the GeoDRM effort in the OGC is to make sure that a larger market has access to geospatial resources through a well understood and common mechanism that enables more than today's "all or nothing" protection. A major motivation for this effort is the need to overcome the "ownership obstacle to data sharing" in spatial data infrastructure scenarios.

The GeoDRM RM defines the framework for software mechanisms and rights expression languages to articulate and protect the rights of all participants in the geographic information marketplace, including the owners of intellectual property and the users who wish to use it. A key aspect of the GeoDRM RM is that it is independent of the type of agreement between the participants. Such agreements might range from an open content sharing model to a cost-recovery program of a public or government organization or a full commercial vendor license model.

The OGC membership will use the GeoDRM RM in developing OpenGIS Implementation Specifications for open interfaces and encodings that will enable diverse systems to participate in transactions involving data, services and intellectual property protection. See for more information about the activities of the GeoDRM Working Group.

The OGC® is an international industry consortium of more than 335 companies, government agencies, research organizations, and universities participating in a consensus process to develop publicly available interface specifications. OpenGIS® Specifications support interoperable solutions that "geo-enable" the Web, wireless and location-based services, and mainstream IT. The specifications empower technology developers to make complex spatial information and services accessible and useful with all kinds of applications. Visit the OGC website at