ISAN (International Standard Audiovisual Number)
June 19th, 2006

This smh article says “marketers and the anti-piracy brigade are salivating over the potential of a new worldwide standard for tagging audio-visual content.Launched in Australia last week,ISAN (International Standard Audiovisual Number),the equivalent to the book world’s ISBN,applies to TV,feature films,advertisements and computer games.The 92-bit ISAN identifies content and links to a central database in Geneva containing metadata such as title,author,language,full credits,duration and classification.It will be used on packaging and inserted into advertisements using tags or digital watermarks.ISAN international chief executive Patrick Attallah says the new standard,a not-for-profit system designed by industry consensus,will help build applications that track the spread and use of audio-visual content across the world.Along with metering and customer profiling applications,it could also form a platform for new types of interactivity.Computer game producers plan to use the number to track the use of their games over the internet.ISAN will also allow them to see which versions of their software are running.Advertisers may also use the system to track how often their in-game spots are viewed.ISAN tracking will be built into the media player in Windows Vista,the new operating system that Microsoft plans to release next year. Mr Attallah says the player will cross-reference the metadata of audiovisual files,for instance allowing computer owners to prevent their children watching mature-rated videos.The ISAN is already being incorporated in a video watermark used by British broadcasters,who want to monitor the use of their satellite uploads around the world”.Further,”all major studios in Hollywood and most in Europe have agreed to create an ISAN for every new feature film or TV episode they create”.

Digital watermark rolls out

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