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Glossary Index

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Glossary term

Digital rights management

Quick definition

Digital rights management (DRM) includes the processes, policies, and technologies that organizations use to control how content creators use and share digital assets.

Key takeaways

 

●     Digital rights management (DRM) is a broad term that describes how organizations control the publication and use of digital assets.

●     An important part of DRM is digital asset management (DAM) — how an organization organizes, stores, retrieves, and shares content in its asset library.

●     Digital rights management ensures that your organization only publishes content it has the rights to use. If you publish a digital asset without the correct permissions in place, your organization could face legal penalties.

●     Making DRM part of your processes and taking advantage of DRM technologies as soon as you begin to work with digital content will protect your business and make workflows easier.


Elliott Sedegah is a director of strategy and product marketing for Adobe Experience Cloud. For more than 10 years, Elliot has worked with major brands and government organizations in software engineering, product management, and IT consulting roles. He is passionate about helping organizations take full advantage of digital content to increase customer engagement and create memorable experiences.

Q: What is digital rights management?

A: Digital rights management (DRM) is a broad term that includes all the processes, policies, and technologies organizations use to control how content creators use and share digital assets. DRM considers intellectual property and copyright laws to protect both content owners and corporations as they distribute and create content.

An essential part of DRM is digital asset management (DAM) — how a business organizes, stores, retrieves, and shares content in its asset library. Digital assets are typically associated with a license that defines terms and duration of use. Organizations need to know if they currently have the rights to use an asset and understand how and where they are allowed to publish it.

Q: Why is digital rights management important for your business strategy?

A: If you publish or use a digital asset without the correct permissions in place, your organization could face lawsuits and potential legal penalties. Using assets incorrectly can damage your brand reputation and value.

Unfortunately, many brands wait until they’re already in legal trouble to start thinking about how to incorporate DRM into their business strategy. Instead, making DRM a part of your processes and taking advantage of DRM technologies as soon as you begin to work with digital content will protect your business and make workflows easier.

Q: What are some effective digital asset management strategies?

A: Don’t wait to think about digital rights management. Make DRM technology an essential part of your workflows and processes now. Anytime new digital files or digital media come into your organization, immediately input each asset into a DAM platform along with its rights, to prevent unauthorized use. It’s so much more difficult to go back and retroactively attempt to upload that information.

Keeping up with asset expiration is another effective strategy to make sure your team complies with content protection and intellectual property rights. When the licensing agreement for an asset expires, the DAM ensures that the published asset is unpublished and that users can’t edit, publish, or download an expired asset.

Q: What are some common challenges for digital rights management?

A: Managing assets in the digital age involves many moving parts, and every part needs to be compliant with current regulations. Let’s say that you’re publishing a video advertisement for a marketing campaign. Your business may have produced the video, but that video has music, photography, and live talent that all operate under their own licensing agreements and contracts. Individually, each is a copyrighted work. When you publish your ad, there can’t be circumvention of copyright protections for any of these elements. The right DAM operating system makes it much easier to overcome this challenge.

Q: What tools can you use for digital rights management?

A: Adobe Experience Manager Assets is a great DRM system. This system is built as a single source of truth — a place to store and track all of your organization’s content. When your team needs a piece of digital content, everyone knows where to find it. Alongside the asset are the rights associated with it — no more guessing if an asset is fair use or if you have permission from the copyright holder to publish. This DRM software also uses artificial intelligence (AI) to streamline tuning, tagging, cropping, and distribution.

Q: How will digital rights management evolve in the future?

A: With DRM technologies readily available, more businesses will adopt digital media best practices and incorporate DAM into their strategy. With that technology in place, organizations will be able to implement continuing advancements in automation and AI to manage content organization and publication. In the future, DRM software will be able to manage assets without any human intervention.

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