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If your brand has yet to invest in effective protections for digital media and digital content, you could fall prey to unauthorized use that impacts your online reputation. When you’re working with a fair amount of intellectual property, a watermark isn’t always enough to prevent copyright infringement. Whether you’re a content provider or copyright holder, there are plenty of reasons to invest in digital right management (DRM).

Digital right management and a robust DRM system can benefit an entire organization, from the executive decision-makers to the analysts. Here’s what you need to know about implementing DRM systems and their applications for vendors and enterprises.

1. List your DRM requirements ahead of time.

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If you have a working list of use cases for your DRM system, this will make DRM implementation smoother. When you define your DRM requirements, you need to review the type of content you’re covering and the necessary encryption level. Whether you work with video content, ebooks, DVDs, or other digital files, you need to assess your business rules. You also need to ensure that your DRM technology prevents unauthorized use, especially if you distribute third-party content. Some content creators impose their own DRM rules, watermarks, and fair use doctrines for their content to avoid vulnerability and ongoing online piracy. Your DRM implementation needs to respect the views of the rights holder.

2. Develop a list of target platforms.

It’s possible you won’t focus on interoperability when you invest in DRM technology. After all, it may be a specific platform’s piracy issues that inspired your digital right management implementation in the first place. In today’s digital world, the variety of global platforms means you need to choose the applicable operating system and channel for your DRM integration. Whether you’re dependent upon a certain operating system, you need to work with several devices and OTT platforms. You’re primarily app-based, which can impact interoperability and DRM usage. Different platforms across the United States have different levels of vulnerability when it comes to digital assets.

3. Choose between in-house and SaaS development.

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While the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) is meant to ward off attacks and infringement while boosting copyright enforcement, it’s often up to your organization’s use of technology and DRM. When you’re planning an integration, you need to decide whether your copy protection comes from within or rely on SaaS development for a DRM implementation. Sometimes, you’ll have to discuss this with the rights holder if it’s a third-party provider. In other cases, you’ll want to weigh your choice between your averages viewers, downloads, and vulnerability cases. While in-house development allows for the circumvention of higher prices, it isn’t always as robust, especially for brands in the entertainment industry subject to frequent leaks.

4. Choose your provider.

Providers such as Google WideVine and PlayReady can meet many general digital right management needs. However, it’s up to you to determine which provider most closely aligns with your organization’s manifest. When you’re deciding on a provider, it’s important to understand how your metadata is used, what rootkit the tool leverages, and how the platform maintains copyright law compliance.

It would help if you also considered factors such as pricing and ease of implementation. These days, there are plenty of prospective candidates that offer similar services. It usually isn’t until you read the fine print that you notice some major differences in services.

DRM is critical for many brands. It protects the rights holder, follows DMCA principles, and allows for safer viewer downloads. Your enterprise needs to find the right DRM platform that meets your unique needs and internal standards. It’ll help you holistically protect your content.