Skip to content

About the ISCC#


The need for a universal identifier for digital content has emerged as an increasing amount of dynamic, short-lived and granular digital content is produced, consumed and processed. Commercial interests of many stakeholders depend on proper identification of digital content.

Professionally produced digital content but also semi-professional and user-generated content are the currency of the information age.

A variety of specific content identifier standards already exist, but a universal content-dependent identifier for digital assets has not yet been developed.

In particular, the structure and management of identifiers for digital content have a substantial impact on the level of possible adoption, automation, and the potential for machine-to-machine communication and innovation within and across different industry sectors.

Digital content is dynamic, always in motion, and acted upon globally by a variety of entities with different interests and requirements. Digital content continuously re-encodes, resizes, and re-compresses, changing its underlying data as it travels through a complex network of actors and systems.

The International Standard Content Code (ISCC) is a proposal for universal identifier for digital assets that encode text, images, audio, video or other content.

The ISCC is generated from the digital content itself. It is the result of processing the digital content using a variety of hash algorithms. The generated code supports data integrity verification and also preserves an estimate of the data, digital content and metadata similarity. However, ISCC is not a replacement for a content recognition system.

ISCC Components Structure

The ISCC bridges the gap between higher-level content identifiers like work and product identifiers and their relations to digitally encoded manifestations of content. Because the ISCC is a content-dependent identifier, it does not necessarily require a registration authority. The ISCC does not specify a system for managing authoritative metadata. Other content identifier standards can use ISCC to support discoverability of their identifiers and metadata based on digital content.

The ISCC enables interoperability at the level of the digital asset and supports scenarios that require content deduplication, integrity verification, timestamping, versioning, data provenance, fact-checking and general digital asset management use-cases at regional, national or international scale.


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. The ISCC currently is a Preliminary Work Item (PWI) at ISO/TC 46/SC 9 being discussed in WG 18 / NP 24138 International Standard Content Code.


See ISCC Specification at: