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Summary Recommendations
IP Audit
1. Conduct an annual inventory (IP Audit) of the copyright status of all objects and thei...
10. Many institutions freely display images to the public while also conducting commercial
licensing operations....
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Summary Recommendations


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Summary Recommendations from the Museum Guide to Digital Rights Management, published by Canadian Heritage Information Network (CHIN)

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Summary Recommendations

  1. 1. Summary Recommendations IP Audit 1. Conduct an annual inventory (IP Audit) of the copyright status of all objects and their images in your collection. An audit is a disciplined reality-check on a museumʼs knowledge of the rights status of its objects and thus of the value of its IP assets. 2. Develop a strategy to expand any partial audits to generate the biggest return on investment: piggyback on a major event (e.g., a new website or an anniversary celebration) to push for an audit; use interns; target recently accessioned works, artists with works on view, works requested by curators and educators, and artists whose contact information is easily available; expand annual acquisitions review to include IP status/clearance of any previously acquired works by a given artist. 3. Locate rightsholders using a spectrum of internal and external resources for locating rightsholders. These might include curators, artist websites, online contact search tools, colleagues on the Yahoo Museum IP Group mailing list, copyright collectives, and other websites. 4. Map the results of the audit against the object inventory of the collection, integrating with the records of the institutionʼs CMS. This serves to centralize the results of any IP audit, irrespective of who conducts it. Documentation & Management 5. As good workflow design depends on good analysis, conduct a rights workflow analysis that includes an institutionʼs values and capabilities as well as logistics. Once values are clarified, goals and priorities can be established and required capabilities defined. Such analysis may surface previously unspoken assumptions and could entail several reassessments and reformulations yielding a more automated system. 6. In reviewing rights workflow design, consider how to include greater rights management capabilities with the CMS you already have. A reasonable goal should be to centralize good, consistent object rights information that can be made available across the institution. 7. Consider how many rights-management functions could be automated with your existing CMS. 8. With good in-house technical support, clear centralization and disciplined protocols, you may be able to use your CMS “as is” to manage object rights. If not, consider customizing your system, perhaps by re-tooling non-IP modules to better serve copyright and licensing functions. Share your solutions with peer institutions. 9. A likely result of a comprehensive analysis of your image creation and delivery workflow will be a decision to introduce a digital asset management system, which by effectively centralizing and foregrounding rights and other image metadata, can speed image location and delivery. Be warned though that designing and implementing a DAMS will take time. CHIN Museum Guide to Rights Management, 2010 Summary Recommendations
  2. 2. Licensing 10. Many institutions freely display images to the public while also conducting commercial licensing operations. While few profit financially from licensing, most use licensing revenue to help cover imaging costs. 11. Licensing is another route for “discovery through the Internet” and of participation in a global image ecosystem. 12. Requirements for effective licensing include a well-catalogued, high-quality inventory, with clear rights and permissions information, a database that can match clientsʼ requirements with the appropriate image, and a documentation system that can invoice, fulfill and track the image. While some museums have managed to do this on a customized CMS, more are using a CMS in fine-tuned conjunction with a DAMS. 13. For a core set of popular, rights-cleared images, outsourcing to commercial image agencies relieves much of the administrative burden of licensing, as well as providing effective outreach into very different markets than the arts are accustomed to. However, working with an agency still requires personnel—and the preparation of an efficient catalogue of images with standards-compliant metadata. 14. While the stream of requests for popular images can be automated using shopping- basket-equipped, Web-based commerce operations, and/or outsourced, many other requests will still need much one-on-one attention, often involving consultation with the client, as well as with curators, conservators and others. 15. The PLUS Coalitionʼs metadata standards for embedding rights and licensing data into image file headers offers a compelling solution for automating licensing operations. For an institution, this would require fairly standard licensing conditions for each item offered, but the benefits include having copyright information and licensing details travel with an image. Institutions should pay close attention to the progress of the PLUS Cultural Heritage Working Group, formed in 2009. Risk Management & Rights Protection 16. Develop an Institutional Risk Management Plan that will gauge an institutionʼs comfort-level with risk, balancing assessment of potential prosecution against institutional mission in displaying digital copies of works. Review Leslie Ann Harrisʼ “Developing A Copyright Risk Management Plan” that lists questions and issues to consider before displaying work without permission. 17. Have rights protection in mind from the beginning of imaging workflow. Good practice in digitizing, documenting and cataloging collections should include researching, documenting and disseminating each objectʼs rights story and its derivative images. 18. Watermarking may be an appropriate technology to consider for assistance in " tracking and safeguarding re-use of copyrighted material by third parties. October 2010. CHIN Museum Guide to Rights Management Summary Recommendations