data protection office consultancy

Senior Consultant at Naomi Korn Associates, Alex Bromley, gives his views

Having a clear understanding of copyright law is vital for information professionals if they are to efficiently and legally manage their collections or assets.

What is also important is how this information is presented in a collections management system or DAM system. There may be complex rights issues associated with some assets, especially born digital assets like film and published works.

Here are my top ten tips for a well-managed copyright clearance procedure and data management policy:

  1. Stop the problem getting worse. Ensure your current procedures, whether formal or informal, include a step by which you gain the maximum information about rights inherent in the asset at the beginning.
  2. Assess the scale of the ‘backlog’ problem. You may have been collecting assets for years, resulting in a considerable body of works about which you have no rights information.
  3. Consider and document where your potential sources of rights information might be. This could be your collections or asset management system, your corporate archive or even emails.
  4. Run a pilot. For each category, take a selection of records and work out how long it will take to review all your information sources. Document the results, including any changes that may be needed to your collections or asset management system.
  5. Speak to colleagues about how they currently use your collections or assets so you can develop an organisational approach to rights clearance and/or the use of the exceptions to copyright.
  6. Speak to your software vendor about the results of the pilot and your ambitions for rights management in the future.
  7. Write a report and present to senior management outlining how long the work might take and what the cost will be (including any software changes).
  8. Assuming you get approval, prioritise the work. You should concentrate on works that you know to be in copyright and for which a licence may already exist.
  9. If the project is going to take a long time, it may be necessary to run data updates on your collections management or asset system, indicating to users which records have been reviewed and are available for use and which are still under review.
  10. Create a Retrospective Rights Clearance procedure. This will ensure that all staff have a clear understanding of how they should go about rights clearance and use in the future.

Alex Bromley and Naomi Korn are running a practical course to help you understand these essential rights management issues in London on 19th July. For more details and to book please click here

© Naomi Korn Associates, 2019. Some Rights Reserved. The information here is licensed for use under a Creative Commons Attribution Share Alike Licence (CC BY SA)