The topic of rights management comes up frequently in the world of digital asset management (DAM). Many organizations supplement their own assets with assets they license from other sources. Making sure your organization is in compliance with usage rights is critical. In our recent “Rights Management and DAM” webinar, Sam Schnepf of Widen’s client development team and I discussed the importance of rights management and covered the different features from the Widen Media Collective that can help manage and maintain asset usage rights.
As it relates to DAM, licensing usually falls under three main categories: rights managed, royalty free and public domain.
Rights-managed assets are usually the most expensive and are generally negotiated on an individual basis. Pricing is determined by size of audience or readership, how long images are to be used, country or region where images will be used and whether royalties are due to the image creator or owner.
Royalty-free assets are usually purchased from stock photography sites, like Getty or iStock. They give you the ability to use an image in an unlimited number of ways for a single license fee. There is usually no time limit, but they often times have a limit as to how many times it can be reproduced by the buyer.
Public domain means images are free to use without purchasing a license and can be used for commercial or personal purposes… just like “The Blue Marble.” It’s the first image to show a fully illuminated Earth and was taken by the crew of Apollo 17. While you’re free to use public domain assets, most often it is common courtesy to quote the source.
So how does DAM help with all of this? There are a number of different tools within the Widen Media Collective to help with different types of rights management, including:
- The Attached Documents feature, which allows users to easily attach a pertinent document, such as release forms, licenses and permits, to any type of asset.
- Digimarc, the leader in digital watermarking technology, can be used to place an embedded, invisible watermark on assets. The main difference between watermarking and Digimarc’s watermark solution is that the Digimarc watermark is invisible and allows for the asset to be traced. If it is misused, you can trace the asset back to the user that ordered it from the Widen DAM solution.
- Release and expiration dates for licensed assets that have a specific time limit on their usage, which give you the opportunity to avoid an asset from being used by non-administrative users who do not have permission to view unreleased or expired assets.
- The ability to create custom standard and dependent metadata fields that convey all of the negotiated or purchased usage parameters of an asset through metadata fields on the Asset Details page.
Widen recommends using a combination of these tools to manage asset rights and compliance.
There is no shortage of litigation on misuse of licensed assets. A quick search on Google will provide a very long reading list. Whether or not these misuses were done knowingly is up for debate, quite literally in a court of law. We do know that, prior to there being a management system like the Media Collective for all of this information, it would be easy for the licensing information of an image to be lost, and thus misused without knowledge. With the toolset that is included in the Media Collective, managing these assets just got a whole lot easier.
Access the Rights Management and DAM webinar recording and slide deck to learn more or request a demo to see these features in action.
For related reading, check out the Widen white paper: Digital Asset Management and Managing Licensed Assets or view its accompanying blog post.