Is the author of an original work the owner of its intellectual property rights? Can the exploitation rights be traded and handed over different people, eventually transforming the original work? If so, a media value chain can be defined where the different parties exchange rights and content in a fair environment acknowledging a common model. With this model, IT systems may interoperate more easily and may grant that intellectual property is respected. The Media Value Chain Ontology represents such a model, and it has become part of the MPEG-21 standard, a Multimedia Framework where any digital content can be protected, licensed and consumed. This PhD Thesis was an important contribution for the development of the standard, and those interested in their inception will find this book very useful. On despite of being a formal work, the text is enriched with multiple examples and figures and it can be easily followed by readers interested either in the MPEG-21 world, the architecture of rights-aware content distribution systems, electronic contracts representation or ontologies in general.