Six major organisations, including Adobe, the BBC, and Microsoft, have formed a combined entity to ‘develop an end-to-end, open standard for tracing the origin and evolution of digital content.’
The companies, who also include Arm, Intel and Truepic, are creating the Coalition for Content Provenance and Authenticity (C2PA). The group will look to develop ‘content provenance specifications’ for common asset types and formats, with the goal of enabling publishers, creators and consumers to trace the origin and evolution of a piece of media.
In practical terms, the closest thing to a tangible idea at this stage relates to work Microsoft has previously done with Project Origin, in a project co-led by the BBC. Project Origin’s technical proof of concept aims to establish a chain of trust between publisher and end user:
“The basic idea is that a publsiher of a media file, in this case a video, will cryptographically sign a digital fingerprint of the file at the time of publication,” wrote Eric Horvitz, Microsoft technical fellow and chief scientific officer. “That signature and fingerprint become part of a ledger and a receipt is sent to the publisher. When a consumer views the file, the browser or video player checks the ledger for the manifest and receipt, then displays a signal to the user indicating whether that content is certified.”
The C2PA combines the founding members of Project Origin along with the Adobe-headed Content Authenticity Initiative (CAI). The goal is to unify technical standards while the two entities ‘continue to pursue adoption, prototyping and education within their respective communities.’
“While streams of work on Project Origin and CAI will continue, we’ve formed the C2PA to apply what we’ve learned to generate the technical requirements and standards that will support interoperability of solutions and the wider application of technologies for detecting and thwarting manipulated content,” added Horvitz.
Another member of the Origin Project is the New York Times, who has its own effort in the shape of the News Provenance Project.
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