28 Mar 2019

Digital Rights Management – Is a DAM Enough?

Digital Asset Management (DAM) solutions remain the common way to store and distribute assets throughout the digital life cycle of an asset – from idealization to archiving. DAMs regulate archiving and copyright management  by the metadata and taxonomy to automate the process or alert users when an asset has expired. But is it the best method to manage the growing complexity of digital rights? Devi Gutpa at FADEL writes the following in her article “Digital Rights Management 101”:

DAM is suitable when there’s only 1-2 variables impacting expiration. But when there are multiple variables, especially talent, music, contracts, etc., it typically needs to be supplemented by a rights management solution, which will be essential to determine what you can do with your assets – from rights to restrictions. This kind of solution captures information relevant to the industry and asset and compounds those rights together to make hierarchies of rules.

Storing this information in metadata might work if there are only simple, linear rules associated with assets such as you can only use the asset in the U.S. However, trying to support a matrixed rights model such as using an asset in one country between a certain period of time, another country for another period of time but only in a specific format, and a third asset in another set of formats with upcoming expiration dates, can be hard to capture in metadata. And what if you then amend a contract? You will need to make that change across all related assets and metadata which is a substantial and error-prone maintenance task.

The growing complexity and layers of rights management on assets may render the traditional way DAMs handle right issues obsolete. Furthermore, mismanagement of digital rights may hinder time to market, brand consistency and may result in legal issue. To learn more about how to improve your digital rights situation, please check out Devi Gupta’s article “Digital Rights Management 101.”