The September 26th BISG Rights Taxonomy event was a roaring success with an audience of approximately 35 in attendance including publishers (rights and technology personnel), agents, consultants, and technology players including knk, Klopotek, Ingenta, Naviga and Virtusales.

The discussion covered a broad range of rights related topics – including the release of the first draft of a rights management taxonomy which was enthusiastically embraced by the audience. Panelists included David Hetherington, CMO for knk Software North America.

Key points of the discussion, all centered on establishing an ROI for investment in rights management technology, included:

  • Rights management has become an increasingly important contributor to the success of the publishing enterprise. While hard, empirical data about the contribution of rights income to publishing is very difficult to come by, there was a general agreement that the value is steadily on the rise, driven largely by the globalization of publishing and the variety of options offered by digital delivery of content.
  • With this increase in the options available for rights sales – technology has become essential to manage the new and steadily growing complexity
  • Return on Investment is something of misnomer as it places the emphasis on the sales of rights . While rights sales are undoubtedly important – there are other underlying considerations which include:
    • Deploying rights management technology to catalog the full range of the rights owned by the organization and their disposition (i.e. – what is owned, what is sold, what is available, what is coming up for renewal).
    • Recognizing that visibility to your organization’s rights portfolio is a potential value multiplier in the event that the publisher or select properties owned by the publisher are to be sold. Put simply, visibility creates value.
    • Rights technology must be viewed from two perspectives – selling rights and acquiring rights.
    • Managing litigation risk associated with acquired rights. The terms and conditions around acquired rights (e.g. permissions) has become more complex and rights owners have become much more aggressive in enforcing those terms and conditions and launching litigation in the event they are breached.

Photo by Thomas Drouault on Unsplash