Digital Rights Management – Trailblazing the new landscape

As Earned Media – what real customers are saying about your product, services, and company – is gaining more and more traction, it is bringing to light new questions.  Questions like:

  • If someone talks about my  brand on Twitter, can I use it on my site?
  • If a customer posts a great photo of my product on Instagram, can I use that in my promotional materials?
  • When I find a video on YouTube related to my company, what right do I have to repurpose this content?

Although you should always use your company’s legal counsel to set your policies related to Digital Rights Management (DRM), here’s a few quick tips to consider, as well as how VideoGenie’s platform is making this all simpler for you.

  1. Company Affiliated Hashtags:  If you’re starting a new marketing campaign, create a company or campaign affiliated hashtag.  If a customer participates and uses this hashtag, there is implied consent for you to be able to leverage this content on your site or social channels.  It’s hard to imagine a random person using #VideoGenieFanBoy unless they are interested in participating in a #VideoGenieFanBoy campaign.
  2. For Generic Content, Seek Approval: If the customer hasn’t implied their opt in by using your designated hashtag, it’s best to contact them and get permission.  Let them know how much you love their post, how you’d love to use it, and give them some sense for how and where they’ll use it.  If you use VideoGenie, we make this process easy for you (more info below), but it’s possible to do this manually as well.
  3. Empower New Content Creation:  A convenient way to get around all of this is to make it simple for your customers to create new content – new video reviews, new photo testimonials, new written content.  As you’ll see below, VideoGenie does this by obtaining explicit legal permission and ownership of all content submitted through our technology.  This has enabled brands including Levi’s, UNICEF, and Honey Bunches of Oats to all use our content as part of professional videos and commercials – all because they owned this new content
  4. Use Native Content Displays: One way to simplify this process is to use native displays from each social channel.  As an example, when VideoGenie displays content from YouTube, we use the YouTube video player.  This way we are simply using YouTube’s native display unit, which they make publicly available on their site.  If the user takes down their content for any reason, we will no longer display this content.  It is a simple way to make sure your content is fresh and appropriate

How VideoGenie Simplifies This Process

There are several ways in which VideoGenie makes this entire process turnkey and simple for our clients.

content_ownership(1) The final step in our content submission process – for text, photo, and video – requires the customer to provide some basic information (Name and email, with optional additional fields at our client’s discretion).  They also must agree to our Terms  of Service and Privacy Policy which specifies that the content is owned by the client, and can be used by them for promotional purposes.  This is also aided since customers are creating content where they are also viewing the content – if they see a photo on Facebook promoted by a brand, they can add their own photo there as well.  This clarifies where and how the content is being used, so it’s more intuitive to customers.



Screen Shot 2014-04-17 at 2.25.01 PM(2) If our clients see a Tweet or Instagram photo that they would like to use as part of our technology, they can contact the user with one click.  Our system will send that user a message, asking for permission to utilize their post.  They’ll be brought to a page where they can see the post we’re referring to, explain more about how and where we want to use it, and provide them with a similar Terms and Conditions they can review and agree to.  Our system tracks how many of these requests are outstanding, and which ones have been completed.

As with any changing landscape, there are always new rules and guidelines.  But as of yet, these rules are simple enough to follow, and have some powerful implications for brands.  By putting your customers first and making them a part of who you are, they’ll feel not only more involved in your company, but also serve as powerful and authentic ambassadors for your company.