Rights Management Technology: Solving Business Challenges (Part 3)
Rights Management Technology in Today’s Educational Publishing World: Solving Business Challenges
This is the third blog of a 3-part series. Please follow the links for Part 1: Introduction & Part 2: What’s happening now
Communication and Transparency
All rights and permissions project stakeholders should be able to see the most up-to-date status of any asset at any time throughout a project life cycle. With digiRights, stakeholders can track details of any image or permission from initial and follow-up rights attempts to communications from rights holders, and any issues or concerns. Transparent tracking in digiRights can help prevent schedule delays, budget issues, or last-minute deletions or replacements of key items. Communication directly in the system creates an asset record, including its status, price, and permissions. digiRights keeps everyone accountable and organized. This is especially helpful when professionals move on from their positions, many times taking their knowledge of projects and workflows with them. New teams can easily pick up where others left off to keep projects on track.
It’s not uncommon to have only 8 weeks to clear text permissions, but due to staffing cuts and the volume of requests, many rights holders require at least 12 weeks to even respond to an initial request. In return, that response might trigger many negotiation emails and phone calls until an acceptable license is received. MPS digiRights reliably tracks correspondence and negotiations, and it can alert customers when attempts are made to clear their permissions as quickly as possible. It also alerts them that they may need to consider dropping or replacing an item that might not be properly licensed in time.
Being able to locate and maintain permissions documents is incredibly important in the educational publishing space. License agreements make clear what rights the publisher has to the content, how it can be used, where, and for how long. When publishing a first edition, these documents are a crucial part of the final file of legal documents that ensures all assets have been properly licensed. These documents can then be attached to the next edition to help determine which third-party assets might need to be extended, and which might be used without further negotiations. This not only saves time and money, but also protects a publisher against unwanted legal claims. digiRights can store these documents for easy access, providing a crucial solution to a real challenge plaguing the industry today; there are many examples of copyright infringement suits in the educational publishing industry, and protecting publishers from potential legal issues is a serious concern for all Rights Professionals.
Being able to store documents, specifically licenses and invoices, in a Rights Management System is crucial, but so is the ability to accurately track the rights granted by those licenses. Permissions contracts can be complex, and proper interpretation of the terms, fees, and payment instructions is a key job function of a Rights Professional, ensuring that a publisher clearly understands its legal rights to each asset. Many project team members might not have the expertise to accurately interpret a permissions contract, so while having the document in the system is important for Permissions and Legal teams, the system also needs to log all key rights granted by the license so it is clear to all project stakeholders exactly how and where they can use an asset. The Rights Granted and Invoice features in each asset record of digiRights allow comprehensive tracking of the legal terms of a license, broken down in a way that is easy to view on screen as well as in customized reports.
With many stakeholders requiring status updates at any given time, a Rights Management System needs to allow access to easy-to-use reports that can be created and downloaded by any user. In the past, reports would be sent weekly, or as requested, and were often located in a log being kept by only one person. With advanced reporting features, digiRights allows any user to create reports and view the status of all assets at any given time. digiRights’ reports can show acknowledgements, credits, and placement instructions by asset in a variety of formats. Because all customers have unique and specialized workflows, reports in digiRights can be created and customized to meet these needs and provide important updates to assets throughout the lifecycle of a program.
Summing It Up
With so many workflows, processes, and legal issues to consider, access to a user-friendly, comprehensive, and customizable Rights Management and Lightbox Platform like the MPS digiRights system should be a top focus for all publishers to ease some of the stress of daily project management duties, and to mitigate the risks of improperly licensed third-party assets. With Research and Permissions being such a vital piece of the publishing process, and with so many more stakeholders onboard and educated in these important legal issues, having access to a system such as digiRights is a resolution all publishers should consider.
Discover how the MPS Research, Rights, and Permissions team and digiRights can enhance your workflows by visiting our website or contact firstname.lastname@example.org to request a demo.