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Crystal Costa in Akram Khan's Giselle for English National Ballet - photo - Laurent Liotardo

The Space's Digital Rights Toolkit

With an explosion of web platforms and types of digital content, it is a thrilling time to share art of all kinds online.

Do you want to share your arts and cultural content online?

There may be a piece or production your organisation has created that is crying out for a wider audience or a longer life online. But everyone wanting to share or make digital arts content faces the same hurdle: clearing the rights in their work so it can be seen on TV, in cinemas or online.

Digital rights: what’s the issue?

The Space has been working on an initiative to develop more guidance to organisations in the sector since 2017. We know from our consultations with arts and cultural organisations, unions and rights experts that the sector is seeking a greater understanding of intellectual property rights and what is required for publishing work digitally as well as clarity around the terminology surrounding digital rights.

The current situation is further complicated by the fact that traditional rights practices and agreements have not yet adapted for the digital world.

It’s vital that artists and their work are protected but also important that the sector is able to move with the times and use these exciting new platforms to reach new audiences.

We want to make it easier for everyone approaching digital rights

The Space has been talking to rights holders, arts organisations and arts representatives including Equity, the Musicians’ Union and the Writers’ Guild and working with digital rights expert Ben Green to create a new digital rights framework that everyone can work within as part of the DCMS’ Culture is Digital Programme.

Our Digital Rights Toolkit is part of this work to open up the knotty area of digital rights.

The Space’s Digital Rights Toolkit

The Toolkit includes:

  • An introduction to what we mean by ‘digital rights’
  • A lexicon of the terminology around digital rights that has been developed by rights expert Ben Green in consultation with union representatives
  • Tips on what to think about when approaching digital rights contracts
  • Practical advice and shared experiences from leading producers as well as representatives from arts organisations who have recently navigated rights issues to get their content on TV and online.

We hope the Toolkit will serve as a useful resource for anyone approaching the area of digital rights.