1 Oct

Top 10 Pitfalls When Managing Digital Assets


Don’t fall into the Pit of Despair. Put your Digital Asset Rights strategy in place today. But first review our Top 10 list of some of the most common pitfalls when managing asset rights.

1.    Risk Takers

Many organizations fall into the category of having risk takers who will use an asset without knowing if they have the rights to do so. But can your organization take that risk? Right infringement can result in increased cost to an organization. It is important to establish clear policies against infringement in order to change behavior.

2.    Cleared for Takeoff?

Policies against infringement will go a long way toward ensuring users clear the rights before using an asset. However does your process support that requirement? Look at your current process for leveraging licensed IP and ensure that rights checking is part of the workflow. Adding in a rights verification step can offer a checks and balances approach for compliance and can empower the business user.

3.    A Puzzle

Without a well-structured rights taxonomy, determining your rights can be difficult. Often licensing IP comes bounded with exclusions, restrictions, timeframes, geographic limitations, and more. Additionally IP is becoming more complex – an asset is no longer just a singular item but instead is now becoming “compound IP” comprised of multiple items forming one new asset. It is important to employ a flexible and extensible model which allows you to track different types of assets (text, images, video, music, brands, etc.) in different ways (formats, territories, usage types, components, exclusivity, date windows, etc.).

4.    Departmental vs. Enterprise

Many organizations have different departments, divisions or subsidiaries that manage their own assets and therefore are defining their own unique taxonomies. In order to eliminate duplicate costs and efforts, and improve overall efficiency, it is ideal to use a common standard rights taxonomy across your organization, and centralize its maintenance.

5.    Don’t Wait or You May be Too Late

A common pitfall is the failure to catalog your rights for an asset at acquisition which then increases risk and future maintenance. Account for the asset ingestion process and capture as much data as you can at the beginning of the process – it’s much harder to come back later and get the rights data you’ll need to clear the asset in future.

6.    Location, Location, Location

Assets are proliferating at rapid speeds while at the same time becoming more complex with several attributes, multiple restrictions and multipart structures. A common consideration is to store complex rights data in your DAM, however while they can handle asset metadata well, in most cases they cannot store dynamic, granular and hierarchical rights data.

7.    Cloud Sensitive

Some are still leery about the cloud but cloud adoption is one of the number top priorities for organizations today. Leverage the cloud to normalize asset and rights data across multiple sources across your organization and provide a single point of access for user to clear assets or integrate into systems such as DAM, MAM and CMS to service clearance flows.

8.    Lack of Integration

Quite often there is a lack of integration between systems of record for contracts, rights and sales which makes managing and tracking contract results and payments challenging and error prone. Consider automating the flow of rights data from your sales or contracting systems to maintain data integrity and avoid duplication, errors or manual input.

9.    Overpaid and Underpaid Royalties

Industry studies show that companies are lacking clear visibility, tracking and the ability to accurately calculate royalties – leading to an overpayment of outbound royalties by 20% and underpayment of inbound royalties by 15%. Determine your revenue management requirements and integrate your asset clearance flows with your financial systems to automate payments and royalties.

10.     Build for Now vs. for the Future

It is of course much easier to “build for now” rather than “build for the future.” However vision and potential will then quickly outpace your organization’s ability to execute. Don’t let process and systems hinder creativity and innovation. Empower your organization to “imagine the unimaginable” with an end-to-end process that provides visibility, automation and management throughout the entire asset lifecycle, from acquisition to licensing.

At FADEL we share our company slogan as our overall advice to you – Harness the Power of “your” IP –by building strategy, process, governance and systems designed for the future rather than for the now.



Watch a 2-minute video on digital asset rights management & clearance with FADEL ARC, or contact us to request a demo.






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Gregg Guest

Gregg Guest is responsible for driving FADEL’s IP Management product strategies and growing the firm’s intellectual property practices. Gregg is an experienced thought leader on the complex topic of intellectual property and licensing, having previously worked at Debevoise & Plimpton, a corporate law firm renowned for its Media and IP practice, and Marvel Entertainment, one of the leaders in character licensing and merchandising. Gregg also brings over fifteen years of experience in IT, including the management of a custom development team at Braveline Technology. Gregg received a BFA from New York University in Film/TV & Communications, and has won numerous awards for film making and screenwriting.

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