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Keeping track of photo permissions with DAM

by Catherine Chiang  |  October 14, 2019

2 min. read

It’s Throwback Thursday and your social media manager wants to post a photo from a couple of years ago. There’s just one problem: your team can’t remember who took the photo or if your brand has the rights to use it.

Sound familiar? For organizations with thousands of photos that may come from third party photographers, agencies or other sources, not knowing whether or not they can use a piece of content is a common pain point. Not only does it slow down marketing teams, it also renders a chunk of your digital asset library useless or puts your brand at risk for lawsuits.

Digital rights management is key to making the most out of your content library; it tracks the right to use a piece of content, helping your organization avoid copyright infringement. Here’s how two teams are using Canto to manage digital rights and transform their content from liabilities into valuable assets!

Seattle Aquarium

As an organization that engages in both public education and advocating for conservation policy, Seattle Aquarium uses a ton of visual assets in their campaigns. Their photos and videos come from a wide variety of sources, including volunteer content contributors, so it’s important that the organization keeps track of the various usage rights for each piece of content. 

With a simple file server, it was difficult for the team to sort out which assets they could or could not use. One of the biggest reasons Seattle Aquarium chose Canto was to manage digital rights easily and avoid potential copyright infringement issues. 

“Canto has really helped us in terms of search functionality and metadata. A big thing for me was understanding permission rights for those assets,” said Pam Lamon, digital marketing manager at Seattle Aquarium.

Seattle Housing Authority

Seattle Housing Authority (SHA) provides affordable housing and services for almost 36,000 people with low incomes. Photography helps them communicate their impact and fight stigma against affordable housing tenants.

The communications team has thousands of photos of the tenants they help, including families and children. These photos all need photo release forms that tell the team whether or not they can use the photos in materials and campaigns. Before using a DAM, the team had to track these release forms manually on a spreadsheet; with Canto, it’s easy for anyone to update and access this critical information.

“One of the things we really needed was a way to connect photo release forms with the photos themselves,” says Susanna Linse, SHA’s communications manager. “With Canto we are able to relate files and easily access the associated documents through the asset’s information page.”