5 ways AEM Assets Simplifies the Tedious Digital Rights Management

Bobby MavrovAEM, AEM AssetsLeave a Comment

AEM Assets can help every company to better manage their digital assets and part of that is managing their digital rights. AEM implements several clever tools that helps content creators and developers track their stock assets, brand materials and others and avoid exposing them to the public if the necessary rights are not preset or have expired. As in most of AEM developers can further customize and extend these OOB functionalities and make them perfect fit for their organization.

Asset Expiration

AEM allows setting of asset expiration dates. A very useful tool which protects expired assets from being used and distributed. Users with enough permission to modify asset’s metadata can set the expiration date using the Assets Properties page

Set asset expiration date

When the asset reaches its expiration time several things happen

  • It’s flagged as expired in the UI in both Card and List views so it can be easily noticeable
Card View expired asset flagged

List View expired asset flagged
  • It’s editing, coping, moving, downloading and publishing are now disabled unless requested by Admin user. Link sharing is disabled for all users.
  • The asset is deactivated (unpublished) and thus removed from the Publish instances to prevent its exposure
  • The user who’s uploaded the asset gets an asset expired notification
  • Assets with expired subassets are also consider expired

The deactivating of unpublished assets as well as the notifications for the event can be configured by the Adobe CQ DAM Expiry Notification configuration.

Adobe CQ DAM Expiry Notification configuration

It is probably better to disable the Time Based Scheduler in order for the Periodic Scheduler to become active. By the default it will run every 10s. That way your deactivated assets will be picked up almost right away.

Another useful feature AEM offers is the ability to search for expired assets in the OOB Assets Filter bar. You can do this via the Expiry Status field.

Expiry Status field in search bar

Developers can also customize the filter bar and add new item with Date Range Predicate pointing to the prism:expirationDate metadata property which is the one holding the expiration date. This way users will be able to perform searches for assets expiring on specific date or interval.

License Management

AEM handles the download of licensed assets by presenting the user with licensed agreement they need to agree to before allowing them to proceed. If multiple assets are selected the user will have to agree for all of them before the download button becomes available. Two metadata properties can hold the necessary user agreement and if one of them is present the agreement window will be displayed upon download.

If the requirement is to store organization’s own agreements in AEM than Adobe recommends them to be placed under /apps/settings/dam/drm/licenses.

Relating Assets

Another useful feature to help organizations with tracking and managing licensed media is the option to relate assets. By utilizing it users could relate assets to stock images, videos or others they’ve been derived from. They can then keep track of all the relations between their digital media and the stock media it has been used in its making. Relating assets is done manually through the Relate Asset button.

Using the Relate Assets button

The newly created relation now appears in the Assets Properties page depending in a subcategory depending on its type

The process can also be automated and thus save some work for content creators. In order to be done some way of relating stock assets with the derived once needs to be implemented. Very good one is by using the metadata property holding the stock image ids. The id should also be preserved after modifying a stock image for example and uploading it as new asset. A workflow process can be added here to query existing stock images and find the one with the same id and then relate the new asset as derived from it and vice versa. 

Assets Reporting

AEM users can also utilize the Assets Reporting functionality to create and later request reports showing the expiration status and/or date for each asset. To access the Assets Reports page users need to open the Tools Panel and then Assets -> Assets Report. The Assets Expired item in the right-side bar is available by default. After selecting it user just needs to use Generate Report button at the bottom. A visual report will be generated which can also be exported to CSV. 

Integrating Adobe Stock with AEM

If the company uses AEM with version greater than 6.4.2 and owns enterprise Adobe Stock plan then both can be integrated together and further simplify and improve the management of digital rights and stock images. Authors would be able to access the Adobe stock image collections from within the AEM interface and once new stock images are licensed they can be used and managed as any other asset.

By utilizing all these functionalities AEM authors, developers and users can significantly simplify the management of the digital rights on the organization’s assets as well as track licensed stock images.


KBWEB Consult specializes in customizing and integrating the Adobe Experience Manager (AEM) Platform. You can also check our post on Lean Onboarding of Adobe AEM Assets. Contact us for a free consultation.

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