What is Rights Management?
Rights management is a peculiar term that seems to have been invented for control systems that allow a rights owner to exert control over information immediately.
There are two types of rights management to consider:
- the rights of the creator/owner of a work
- the rights of the user of a work.
When we use the word ‘work’ we mean, very loosely, anything that has been stored in a digital form. So this could be (almost) anything, an ebook, a video, a picture, a trademark, a document, music, data, an elearning course, or a film. It is worth mentioning that all these works have different rights for those involved in their creation, but this note was not prepared as an analysis of author’s rights. If anyone wants a detailed statement we recommend Copyright Law in the United Kingdom by Sterling and Carpenter, published by Legal Books Pty in 1986 with addendum. For database rights in Europe we recommend the following EU Directive http://europa.eu.int/ISPO/legal/en/ipr/database/text.html
Generally, when we talk about rights management we mean that the author/owner of a work has the ability to define, by a license, rights that may (or may not) be granted to the user or recipient of a work in a digital form or format.
In simple terms, rights are usually:
- personal use
- ability to pass to others
- ability to edit, extract or copy
- right to use for a defined or an undefined period.
Rights management is therefore the ability to be able to apply rights being granted such that the recipient is bound by them in compliance with the license agreement made between them and the owner.
There may be statutory rights granted by law that override rights granted by license, such as the right to produce criticism or parody. These may not be refused by the owner, and they may vary from country to country.
In some cases rights management may also be understood to be an employer exerting their authority to control rights in information owned or licensed by an Enterprise. In this case the meaning of rights management is much broader, covering trade secrets, secrets in the course of litigation, and is primarily covered by a contract of employment which may contain terms and penalties that would not be appropriate in a license agreement.
In all cases, Court orders may require the disclosure of any information, whether the subject of rights management or not. If you receive a direction from a Court to disclose information you should take legal advice.
Further reading on Rights Management
To learn more about rights management, please take a look at History of Rights Management.
Download Rights Management Software
Download rights management software for PDF documents, web pages, images, flash and elearning courses. Locklizard DRM software controls access to and use of your information.