The project MIRACLE (Machine-readable and Interoperable Age Classification Labels in Europe
), a project co-financed by the EU Commission, has completed the development of a common data model for interoperable electronic age indicators at the end of July. Under the direction of the Hans-Bredow-Institut, consortium partners from five EU-countries have developed the specifications for MIRACLE since the beginning of 2014, including technical age-classifications so that all labels speak the same language regardless of their origin, the labelled media and the technical distribution. In order to demonstrate its feasibility, the MIRACLE data model has already been implemented in five different systems and is offered by the BBFC (UK), NICAM (NL), PEGI (Games, EU-wide), NCBI (CZ) und der FSM (DE).
Such inoperable classification data has indeed a real added value, which was proven at a two-day Hackathon where eight MIRACLE-based demos and apps were developed. Moreover, the project offers an assistant for the self-labelling of website along with plug-ins for the most common content management systems.
All partners plan to continue the website of the project as well as the data model in order to ensure an easy implementation for third parties. You can find more/all information on the project at http://www.miracle-label.eu
The fragmentation of the legal systems regarding the protection of minors among the individual countries has caused the age-classification of media content to proceed primarily on a national level. Labels used in these contexts are, as a rule, visual only. Harmonising the approaches concerning the protection of minors, for example, on a Europe-wide basis, is not possible in the foreseeable future for juridical reasons and might also not desirable in light of distinctly different cultural values in different regions. The high number of national classification systems, however, results in a great amount of classification data and rating information, which remains tied to the respective countries only – despite the increasing digitalisation and trans-border media content use.
MIRACLE (Machine-readable and Interoperable Age Classification Labels in Europe)
is a project co-financed by the EU Commission and intended to sound out the technical possibilities and synergistic effects of interoperable electronic age indicators. The main aim is to develop a technologically neutral and open data model, on the basis of which different systems and applications can exchange age ratings and process existing and future information on age classifications. It is not a question of introducing a new system of assessment or of harmonising the content of existing classification systems, but rather of creating a technical framework to enable the transfer of existing categories into machine-readable forms, aimed at making them exchangeable and processible, using the same technical vocabularies across the borders between countries and systems.
The result would be a wider base of accessible metadata focussing on age ratings and, with that, a higher efficiency of applications processing these data from producers, service providers, classification agencies, as well as better information for parents and children.
As a pilot project, MIRACLE has developed a technical specification that has been implemented in five different systems: BBFC (UK), NICAM (NL), PEGI (supranational), FSM (DE) und NCBI (CZ). On basis of this interoperable data, the project has supported the development of applications and innovative services, in order to demonstrate the added value of technically interoperable age-classifications.
The consortium for the pilot project extends over five different member countries and consists of classification agencies, self-regulating bodies, safer-internet centres and filter software providers.