Content Licensing: Keep it Legit!

There is a common belief that any data feed found on the Internet can also be used freely in a digital signage application. This is often not the case.

Content Licensing: Keep it Legit!

Apr 8, 2011 12:00 PM, Vern Freedlander, Vice President, Production, X2O Media

There is a common belief that any data feed found on the Internet for your personal use on a private computer can also be used freely in a digital signage application. This is often not the case and before this type of content is redistributed, it is vitally important that the integrator or signage operator becomes aware of the particular licensing issues involved. Integrators should also understand that many free feeds are made up of incomplete headlines that require a click-through to get to the full story—not a good option for digital signage. Likewise video clips require proper licensing before they can be redistributed via digital signage. In the case of a signage network running advertising it is highly unlikely that the content can be used without clearance. Often in the rush to fill the screen with content, operators don’t obtain the necessary permissions, at their own peril and that of their clients.

Using content without the required permissions can lead to various problems. Firstly, you could be in violation of copyright laws and could expose the end-user to litigation. Secondly, the structure of the data feed or the supply of video content could change without notice, leaving the network without content or content that appears jumbled and illegible. Thirdly, you are left without any recourse if the editorial quality of the content changes.

By taking the legitimate route you can save yourself a lot of headaches. You can be sure the content is originating from a known and respected source and you can make sure the length of the text or the quality of the video meets your expectations. The best way to legitimately display licensed content is to get it through a digital signage provider that has developed relationships with content sources over the years. Doing it right will give you one less thing to worry about.

Vern Freedlander is vice president of production services for Montréal-based X2O Media, a full-service provider of technology, network management and content services for professional digital signage applications. With more than 20 years of broadcast television experience as a producer, director and executive, Freedlander oversees all of X2O Media’s content initiatives. He can be reached at




Case Study: Dante TV

With two hospital locations, 12 primary care clinics, six rehabilitation centers and nine specialty care sites, Children’s Minnesota is one of the largest pediatric health systems in the United States. Star Studio is the hospital’s in-house television studio with production more


Case Study: Dante Management

Sitting in the heart of downtown Minneapolis, Target Field is home to Major League Baseball’s Minnesota Twins, and accommodates more than 39,000 spectators. Though designed as a baseball venue, it also hosts football, soccer, and a wide range of outdoor concerts and various more


Tuning Tracks

If you visited the Amek booth in 1987 you might well have had the opportunity to mix a song or two from a multitrack tape copy of U2’s Joshua Tree album. The band had used an Amek desk to record at Danesmoate House in Dublin— indeed, I flew to Ireland to crate it up for its more


Still Life to Real Life

On November 15th nature and wildlife photographers from all over the world attended the Nature’s Best Photography Windland Smith Rice International Awards gala in the rotunda of the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History in Washington D.C. The event was a celebration of more