Digital Rights Management (DRM)

Tools to manage your brand's digital content — all the usage rights that go with it.

Digital Rights Management (DRM)

In today’s world, it is extremely easy to find any information, images, or ideas that you may be looking for online in just a few clicks. But if you’re a creative professional who intends to use that image or other content for advertising your business, you need to be certain that you have the right to use the content you publish. If you do not, you could end up facing legal consequences. These consequences can be extremely costly and usually come in the form of fines and lawsuits.

Now, on the other hand, if you are a creative professional who has created your own content that you do not want other creators to use, it is equally important to follow the proper copyrighting procedures. If your content is not properly tracked and managed, it is going to be extremely difficult to prevent any unauthorized usage of them. This being said, it can be hard to ensure that you are complying with both sides of this copyrighting issue, and this is where a digital rights management (DRM) system can come in handy.

DRM solutions not only protect your digital assets from others, but also help you to ensure that you are not using any licensed content incorrectly. This can help you to avoid the costly lawsuits and fines that come with the unauthorized use of copyrighted content.

There are many different types of DRM solutions, but the most effective of these are built into or incorporated into your existing copy management systems. This is where having a digital asset management platform, like Canto, can be extremely beneficial. Integrating a DRM system into your DAM platform can be extremely easy and make the process of protecting your assets and protecting yourself from lawsuits and fines involving external copyrighted property.

How does DRM work?

So, what exactly is digital rights management? Basically, digital rights management is a combination of tools that help you to track, manage, and restrict access to content to authorized users. In other words, DRM is how businesses can ensure that they are easily able to comply with copyright laws and protect their own content. There are a number of DRM tools available for businesses to use today, and this wide variety of options can make it difficult to choose the right tools for your business. However, many of these tools use similar processes to protect your content — such as embedding special code into the metadata of a piece of digital content. This allows you to easily and quickly identify that piece of content’s licensing information and control its permissions.

Digital rights management solutions also make it easy to track files that may have been used without authorization. DRM-protected digital assets can be traced back to their original source, which can be exceptionally useful in the case of a copyright dispute. When your digital assets are properly labeled as copyrighted content, your DRM solution will be able to use protective features, such as watermarks, device restrictions, and download limitations, as well as require authentication before allowing access to the asset.

Digital rights management examples

There are a number of instances where many types of DRM solutions can be of use to companies of all sizes and industries. The truth is, in today’s society, businesses are constantly looking for new and engaging ways to interact with their audiences. But, when it comes to asset and document digital rights management, many companies are unsure where to begin — even though implementing a DRM solution can save them from a lot of potential legal trouble. Digital rights management can help businesses to protect their assets, prevent unauthorized use, and reduce the ambiguity around the licensure of your content. DRM also preserves the revenue streams that come from the content or asset sale and help to streamline your creative workflows.

One of the many DRM examples that shows the value of digital rights management is in content creation. For example, if you have created a video or image that is advertising your product or service, you probably won’t want your competitors to use that same image. After all, you don’t want to be simply giving your competition the innovative content that you have spent your time and energy creating.

With DRM software for video, image, or other files, you can avoid this dilemma, because a DRM solution can help you protect your brand’s assets from unauthorized use elsewhere. These solutions will also help you to easily identify where your licensed content may be being used elsewhere so it can be removed and you can avoid any confusion about who owns your content.

Choosing the right digital rights management software

When thinking about implementing a new software solution for your organization, you’re probably looking for the best solution available. If you’re going to take the time to learn and deploy a new system into your current system, you want to know that it is actually going to be helpful for your organization. Searching for a DRM solution provider is likely to be no different than any other solution, and you may be tempted to simply Google the “best DRM software solution,” read a few reviews, and pick the best one you find.

While this can be an effective way to figure out which solutions other brands use and what systems work for them, it is important to keep in mind that all companies are different, and what may be the best for one company may not be the best for yours. Pair this subjectivity with the wide variety of DRM company options available on the market today, and it can seem incredibly intimidating to even search for a digital rights management software solution.

However, this search does not have to be intimidating. When you are looking for the best solution, you simply need to know what makes the best DRM tools. As far as digital rights management goes, the best solutions are actually those that can be easily integrated or come built into digital asset management solutions (DAM), like Canto. Why is this? Well, when DRM and DAM solutions are working together, you are able to much more effectively protect your assets and prevent the misuse of those assets.

This is because DAM solutions can be used as a single source of accurate and up-to-date information for all of a company’s assets and when DRM tools are implemented into this system, all of the important metadata can be added to this comprehensive source of company assets. This makes it much easier for everyone to know exactly what each piece of content is and exactly how it can be used and makes DRM a part of the overall workflow and strategy — rather than it being another step that could be overlooked.

Digital rights management best practices

As with many other types of software solutions, simply implementing a digital rights management software solution is likely not going to automatically ensure that you are getting the absolute best protection for your assets right out of the gate. This is because not all systems will utilize DRM best practices. Finding a solution that does use these practices can be incredibly beneficial, because they help ensure that you are doing all of the right things to ensure the safety and integrity of your digital assets.

There are a number of digital rights management use cases that can demonstrate what DRM best practices are and how you can implement them into your system. One way that you can be sure that you are getting the most benefit from your DRM solution is to opt for a digital asset management (DAM) solution with DRM features built in. A DAM solution like Canto uses DRM to provide an intelligent licensing management system that uses metadata information throughout the entire process. This makes it much easier for you to know that important copyrighting information is not being left out, and your content is receiving the correct licensing.

Consider a digital asset management platform with built-in DRM solutions

While there are many different digital rights management solutions available on the market today, you don’t need to be intimidated as you look for the right solution for your business. Simply knowing what types of solutions to look for can make it much easier to find the right one. When it comes to the best digital rights management solutions, you will likely want to search for a digital asset management solution that incorporates DRM tools into its system.

This will ensure that you are not only able to create and protect your content but that you will be able to easily access it, manage it, and ensure that everything is just how you want it to be. After all, what good is a piece of incredible content if you can’t find or access it down the road?

The benefits of digital asset management software

Simplified Organization

Manages digital assets in a central location

Streamline Workflows

Enables automation and enhances team creativity

Quick Search

Locates media files with ease using sophisticated search capabilities

Brand Consistency

One platform to manage your brand across every touchpoint

Flexible Sharing

Securely share content with any audience – with expiring links, public Portals, and more

Advanced Security

Manages permissions with extensive copyright functionality and governs access from a central platform

Choosing a digital asset management platform

Choosing a digital asset management system can be overwhelming. What features matter most? What do you need to know to compare options? To make the process easier, we’ve put together an overview of key considerations, so you can shop confidently and pick the best digital asset management software for your team.

How does the pricing work?

At its core, DAM pricing is based on number of seats and storage requirements. But teams shopping for a DAM software also need to be on the lookout for hidden costs. Some digital asset management companies charge extra for basic functions, like sharing portals, smart-tagging, reporting, and integrations with other software.

Can you share collections with specific audiences?

Most teams’ DAM requirements go beyond simple digital asset management. They also need to deliver content collections to different audiences – internally and externally. That requires a DAM software with flexible sharing tools, like Canto Portals. Consider who needs access to your content – including sales teams, distributors, customers, and agencies – and ensure your new DAM solution will allow you to easily deliver curated collections to anyone.

How steep is the learning curve?

DAM software makes your organization’s content accessible. Look for a system that packages all of the powerful DAM features you need in an intuitive interface – so your team can hit the ground running. Also consider ease of use for external users. Do they need an account to add and retrieve content? Or can you share individual assets, upload links, and public or password-protected portals without much fuss?

Does it integrate with the other tools your team relies on?

Integrations speed up your workflows by connecting your content library with the software you use every day. Look for out-of-the-box integrations with tools like Adobe Creative Cloud, Workfront, and Microsoft Office. Need something more niche? Your DAM solution should offer a robust API, so your developers can connect it with any application you like.

Is it video compatible?

If video is part of your content strategy, the best media asset management software for your team will make it easy to work with video. Can you preview video files without exporting them? Can you trim videos to download just the clips you need? Is there a Premiere Pro integration? Not all DAM systems are video compatible, so make sure to try before you buy.

Can you configure it to make it your own?

Every organization is a unique ecosystem of people, processes and procedures. Your DAM system should adapt to your team and industry. Are there customizable fields to categorize assets and filter search results in a way that makes sense? Can you brand the interface and external portals with your logo, colors and imagery? Consider how easy these configurations are to implement. Is it a simple setting adjustment, or does it require custom code?

Is it secure?

Keep your digital assets safe by ensuring your DAM provider uses proper encryption and security protocols. Where will your assets be stored? Is the data center secure? A reputable DAM provider shouldn’t hesitate to discuss security and data protection.

Do they offer high-quality, ongoing customer service?

Choose a trusted vendor with an established track record of providing DAM services to major brands. DAM is a complex field, and it takes time to build up the expertise to serve clients well. Digital asset management is an ongoing process, not just a one-time installation. Look for a DAM vendor that will provide ongoing customer care from an experienced support team.

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