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Industry representatives suggest that the cost to develop competitive licensing systems and processes, as well as to develop and maintain collection catalogues could be prohibitive to entering the market. They recommend an alliance or partnership with an existing agency or broker as an alternative to building an in-house system.[1]

[1] Canadian Heritage Information Network. (1999). Like Light Through a Prism: Analyzing Commercial Markets for Cultural Heritage Content. Available: http://www.pro.rcip-chin.gc.ca/propriete_intellectuelle-intellectual_property/marches_commerciaux-commercial_markets/index-eng.jsp.


Cultural heritage institutions should use a multi-tiered partnership and licensing model that involves creators and owners of digital surrogates of cultural heritage resources as well as distributors and licensees that address special user groups.[2]

[2] Recommendation 29 from the European Commission: Directorate-General for the Information Society. (January 2002). The DigiCULT Report: Technological landscapes for tomorrow’s cultural economy: Unlocking the value of cultural heritage. Full report. Available: http://digicult.salzburgresearch.at/downloads/dc_fullreport_230602_screen.pdf. Page 116.


Africa Media Online has over a decade of experience in partnering with heritage organisations and representing their collections to editorial buyers. Heritage collections are almost never appropriate for commercial markets (advertising and the promotion of products). However, for editorial markets, which have to do with the dissemination of information and education, they are highly appropriate. Having your collections published in text books or in documentaries furthers your educational mandate. It is here that we have found we can be of assistance to heritage organisations who seldom have the capacity interact with markets, particularly at the speed markets require. We have found that our partnership with institutions assists those institutions in significant time savings in a significant growth in revenue from licensing and in ensuring that heritage institutions can stay focused on their core mandate to research, collect and preserve collections and to educate.

Licensing use rights forms a part of the Digital Trade Route provided by Africa Media Online.

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