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Missouri History Museum--Image Licensing Storefront

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Missouri History Museum

The Missouri History Museum has recently implemented an automated online solution to manage  the licensing of its digital assets (to date, primarily photographic images), driving incremental revenues that help support, maintain and expand upon existing museum digitization projects

This solution includes ImageSpan’s LicenseStream Business Edition, software-as-a-service that automates the costly, time-consuming process of content licensing and royalty settlement, including ongoing management of licensing renewals for its wide-ranging archives. LicenseStream allows the Museum to publish its images to the Web and to major search engines, optimizing them for search; it also lets customers license and pay for images 24/7 with flexible pricing based on commercial and non-commercial use. This raises the visibility of the Museum’s images, turns each of these images into a storefront online, and shortens the transaction time between search, discovery and payment. 

 Within just a few months, this innovative technology has uncovered new markets for the Museum’s content (for example, an interior designer for a major retail store licensed more than 100 images with a few mouse clicks), resulting in thousands of dollars of revenues the institution might never have seen without an online, automated solution.  Already, it has generated enough revenue to pay for itself and easily to reach or exceed the number of orders typically placed. It also shaves up to six weeks off  the time it took customers to find and license an image using previous manual processes. In addition, it dramatically cuts time spent by Museum staff on internal searches for images, processing forms and tracking financials. 

As we continue to move forward, we’ve engaged ImageSpan’s partner Digimarc to address the problem of managing and tracking images once they are posted to the Web (a service that will be implemented in late Spring '10). Rather than utilizing an obtrusive, visible watermark, Digimarc for Images lets the Museum add an imperceptible digital tag to each image that communicates copyright ownership and information on how to contact the owner wherever the image is found online. The LicenseStream Content Tracker then continuously monitors billions of images on the Web looking for uniquely watermarked images and provides regular reporting on where a content owner’s images are found. When content is used in an offensive manner or without permission, the Museum can select from several automated options – email offers to license the image on the spot, requests to provide attribution to the Missouri History Museum, a link back to the Museum’s site, initiate collections or take down an image.

With these easly content tracking and remedy capabilities, the joint solution turns the Museum’s portfolio of images existing anywhere on the Web into multiple agents that drive traffic back to the Museum’s website. These dual services allow the Museum to confidently share images very broadly across the Web, meeting important mission goals, while still protecting these assets and the revenues that help support continued digitization and technology projects.

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