TRG Screen has added new functionality for Contractual Rights Management, otherwise known as Digital Rights Management. It is included in FITS 4.05, the latest version of the TRG Screen’s enterprise spend management platform. The goal is to help customers, and their employees, make sure that they are using content in line with commercial agreements for data use.
Richard Mundell, TRG’s Chief Product Officer, commented: “Rights Management has been a huge focus of the market data community recently. There are some very exciting ideas coming from the industry, which are in start-up mode, that will provide answers to part of the challenge, but it was important for us to provide practical solutions for our clients where challenges were solvable now”.
Rights Management – a contentious issue
The use of software-enabled Digital Rights Management (DRM) has been a contentious issue for over two decades. Content companies tied the ability to read ebooks, play music and watch videos to their players. It restricted the ability of users to decide where and when they would consume the content.
DRM also attracted interest from businesses. They saw it as a way to enforce access controls on access to data. Microsoft, for example, introduced DRM into its products to help prevent company documents being read by those outside the business. It also promoted DRM as a security improvement.
TRG Screen is looking at this from a different perspective. The use of subscriptions has become increasingly common in both the software and content worlds. It gives organisations access to entire libraries of business information, software and other content.
The licence defines the terms about how content is used. What TRG Screen seeks to do here is help users understand the limitations of those licences. For example, marketing teams often purchase access to stock image libraries. They use these in presentations, marketing materials and even press releases. However, what they cannot do is give consent for a third-party to use those images unless they have purchased additional rights.
TRG Screen adds FITS Rights Management repository
To simplify all of this for users, TRG Screen has created a new FITS Rights Management repository. It provides a single store that correlates the contractual rights to use content along with the actual contract itself. If usage of a particular piece of content requires an additional payment, this can be quickly identified, and a purchase order made.
To get users started, the FITS Rights Management repository ships with over 60 rights-related terms. TRG Screen describes this as a “Rights Dictionary”. Clients can customise it adding new terms and contract requirements.
Mundell continued: “Adding these capabilities to the base system ensures that our clients are able to take advantage of these key additions immediately. We are continuing to iterate from this foundation, and we have some exciting new value-add features planned for the future”.
Enterprise Times: What does this mean
Adding support for right management is a smart move by TRG Screen. Use of subscriptions for libraries containing film, music, stock images, photographs, technical documents and online publications, has increased substantially over the last few years. All of these are subject to specific terms and conditions.
Preventing accidental breaches of those contractual obligations is harder than it seems. Very few people inside organisations are aware of the usage restrictions and how they apply to subscriptions. Bringing the contracts into a new repository and integrating that with purchasing systems, reduces the risk of content being used outside of the contract.
It also provides a mechanism for organisations to understand how much use they make of the various subscriptions. Many of these are not cheap, especially if site-wide licences are purchased.
Will TRG Screen follow this announcement with a survey of its customer base to find out what savings this new capability has generated. Similarly, a survey of the major content subscription providers to see if it has reduced breaches would be interesting.