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Blog about Digital Asset Management

How do I audit my assets for a DAM?

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In my last blog post, we talked about rights management, DAM and good record keeping. This blog has nothing to do with tax audits.

I wanted to continue discussing rights management and good record keeping.

Before you add an asset to your DAM, do you know what rights you have to that asset?

You know whether you are permitted to use, reuse and re-purpose it, right?

That should be included in your metadata.

Not sure what assets are licensed? In the interest of being transparent and legally abiding in today’s business environment, you could do a self audit of all your assets.

Yes, that may mean everything you have on hand. You are organized, right? No? Well, here you chance.


  • Start with a clean slate.
  • Pick what is worth keeping.
  • Add proper metadata.
  • Know what you have.
  • Know how and where to find it all (in your DAM).
  • Instant archive/historical record of organization’s IP.


  • It will be time consuming.
  • The longer the organization has been in existence, the more assets you may have on hand to sort through.
  • Where are all the assets hiding in your organization?
  • Who knows about these assets? Is your institutional knowledge leaving the organization?
  • How many assets are not digitized?
  • Who will add metadata to these assets?
  • Easier said than done.

Questions to answer before you start

  • How many assets do you have?
  • Where are they?
  • Can you find them quickly?
  • Do you have the proper licenses to use what you have?
  • When do the licenses for Rights Managed assets expire?

If you can’t answer those five questions, particularly the last one, you may need to perform an internal self audit of your assets. Someone is tracking all licenses for your organization, right? If you don’t know, you may have a liability on your hands.

Here is how you could do a self audit  of your assets:

  1. Check with your legal counsel before starting the self audit.
  2. Find and list all the assets you have on hand.
  3. Compare this with any documentation you have to see if they match.
  4. Contact all of the vendors you have licensed assets from.
  5. Let vendors know you would like a confirmation of all licenses with the understanding you are doing this in good faith to redeem any issues. Unless you are blatantly stealing assets regularly, you have little to fear aside from an invoice. You should get a clear idea of what needs to be done and what may need a license.
  6. Vendors will usually reciprocate with the information you need to know and note anything you need to address. You could even ask the vendor to supply the metadata in bulk at the same time.

This will help you get your licensing straightened out, give you a clean slate to continue proper rights management and give your legal counsel less headaches in the future.

Author: Henrik de Gyor

Consultant. Mentor. Podcaster. Writer.

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