Imagine hiring a carpenter to build you a new kitchen cabinet. You pay him for the job, he builds something pretty spiffy, and you’re pleased. But then you read the fine print in the contract, and you see that even though you paid him for the work, he (not you) actually owns the cabinet.
Many museums have experienced something similar (although hopefully it didn’t come as a surprise) when creating an Audio Tour or an App. You hire an outside company to produce audio or video content, and it stipulates in the contract that they have partial or complete ownership of the content.
This means that you don’t own what you paid for. It means you have to get permission – and perhaps pay a fee – to make any changes, or to use that content in places other than your audio tour. And it doesn’t expire after a year or two – that applies to the life of the content.
This is the way it was done, at times, in the past. Please do not let this happen again.
Times have changed. The market is competitive. Production costs have come spiraling down. You can either produce high-quality content in-house or often hire it out for a reasonable price. And you will own the content 100%.
Owning your content means you have FREEDOM! It puts you and your organization in control and it means you can get more value out of your audio tour content. If you have 10 videos that showcase your museum and its collection why not extend the use of those videos to beyond the tour? You can place them on your website, put them on your organization’s FaceBook page, in email newsletter’s etc. In this era of mass-consumption of information, content truly is king. Make sure you own yours.
Have you run into this issue? Where you used a third-party to produce content – and they retained ownership? Any advice you’d give to other folks out there based on your experience?
For more on producing your own content in-house check out our do-it-yourself series.