What Banksy has Taught Us about the Importance of Rights Management

Recently, Banksy, the elusive UK-based street artist, activist and film director, lost a two-year attempt to trademark one of his most famous graffiti images, “Flower Thrower.”  While most artists protect their art through copyright, Banksy cannot do so without revealing his long-concealed identity. To avoid this, his company often opts to file a “trademark without text.” However, in this case, this tactic was not successful. 

The concept of Rights Management is simple and an essential feature within any Digital Asset Management (DAM) solution. It helps those using copyrighted products and assets keep track of who is the rightful owner and the details associated with their use. These details include copyright and ownership, term, usage, model likeness releases, and more. While Rights Management would not have altered the outcome in Banksy’s case, it does highlight its importance in protecting your brand and assets and avoiding costly, lengthy court battles. 


Know Your Rights

By associating contracts, rights and copyright (for owned assets) within your own DAM, alongside the asset they protect, you ensure that this information is always readily available for users. The benefit of this is twofold. First, your users always know exactly where, when and how an asset they are considering can be used. Second, you can highlight and quarantine those assets that do not have the necessary details and contracts associated with them.


Digital World, Digital Problems

With the advent of the internet, it became very easy to download and save any image. Historically, most images were so small they often weren’t usable, due to pixelization and distortion. But hi-definition monitors have upped the ante. With full-screen minimums of 1920 pixels widths, downloaded images now contain enough resolution to be manipulated and used—even if the user doesn’t have the rights to do so. Quarantining assets (as mentioned above) can prevent the accidental upload of images you do not have rights to use within your DAM.


Compliance Saves Money and Time

Lawsuits are costly. A two-year battle like the one Banksy just concluded is expensive, both in time and money. Any business would prefer not to waste human capital or legal fees to protect their use of or rights to an asset. Using a Digital Asset Management tool, with automation and built-in compliance, can go a long way to help you avoid the headaches and cost of a lengthy legal process.


Want to learn more about Northplains' embedded Rights Management Solution? Reach out today.