This is the demo of a desktop application that creates an ISCC for a PDF and EPUB version of an e-book. Watch how the second component, the Content-ID, is identical in spite of the fact that the file data is completely different.


Why the ISCC?

With the emergence of blockchain technology the Internet is moving towards a network of peer-to-peer transactions. An increasing amount of dynamic, short-lived and granular content need to be managed and require new and innovative tools.

Distributing, licensing and re/selling digital content on a global scale is often an all too complicated and inefficient process. Identifiers are randomly and ambiguously applied to content files, metadata or license terms are often incoherent and loosely attached to the content, distributed in separate (ONIX) files, or subject to individual legal negotiations – all of this is time-consuming an prone to errors and manual interventions.

Freely accessible standard identifiers, which are specifically designed to manage digital content, are a fundamental prerequisite for efficient transactions in a decentralized and increasingly heterogeneous media environment.

What is the ISCC?

The ISCC (International Standard Content Code) is a new identifier for digital content. It helps creative individuals and media organisations to better manage digital content by using state of the art machine learning, fingerprinting and cryptographic technologies. ISCC codes can be used to identify digital assets of all media-types like text, image, audio and video in all granularities across all industry sectors alongside existing standard identifiers.

The ISCC supports versioning, deduplication, content clustering, timestamping, similarity detection, granular identifier assignment. Cryptographic proofs enable content transactions to operate faster and more efficiently in networked and increasingly decentralized media environments.

ISCC identifiers can be generated by anyone with access to the digital content, free of charge and independent of centralised third party services by using open-source software. They are optimized to be be registered on blockchains but also used in off-chain environments.

ISCC Key Features and Differentiators

  • Universal identifier for digital text, image, audio, video
  • Decentralized identifier issuance by an algorithm
  • Bi-directional inherent linking of media-asset and identifier
  • Lightweight, multi-faceted fingerprint designed for digital content
  • Computational verification of content integrity
  • Algorithmic similarity detection and deduplication

See more information on the features, here:

ISCC Architecture

The ISCC is a content code which is created from the content file itself. Processing the content with the algorithms defined by ISCC specification creates a unique composite code, which is consisting of four major elements: the Meta-ID, Content-ID, Data-ID, and Instance-ID codes. Thus, the ISCC identifies and describes content across multiple, hierarchical layers: From the embedded or external metadata, the normalized content, the encoded file data down to the bitstream of an individual file. It can be used to automatically distinguish different versions of the same content, to ensure data integrity, to de-duplicate, or to disambiguate content in a given content repository.


The ISCC will be even more useful the more users agree on the suggested standard procedure of hashing the content in order to create the content’s unique ID.

In 2019, ISO decided to accept the International Standard Content Code (ISCC) as a Preliminary Work Item (PWI) and to establish a working group ISO TC 46/SC 9/WG 18 to investigate the proposal.

Links and Further Information

Read the specification:

Download the CLI software on Github:

Test the ISCC with our online demo: