A digital asset, in essence, is anything that exists in a binary format and comes with the right to use. Data that do not possess that right are not considered assets. Digital assets include but are not exclusive to: digital documents, audible content, motion picture, and other relevant digital data that are currently in circulation or are, or will be stored on digital appliances such as: personal computers, laptops, portable media players, tablets, storage devices, telecommunication devices, and any and all apparatuses which are, or will be in existence once technology progresses to accommodate for the conception of new modalities which would be able to carry digital assets; notwithstanding the proprietorship of the physical device onto which the digital asset is located.
Types of digital assets include, but are not exclusive to: photography, logos, illustrations, animations, audiovisual media, presentations, spreadsheets, word documents, electronic mails, websites, and a multitude of other digital formats and their respective metadata. The number of different types of digital assets is exponentially increasing due to the rising number of devices that are a conduit for digital media, e.g., smartphones. Due to this steadfast growth of software applications and immense diversity of user touchpoints covering a wide span of devices, our view of the total digital assets universe is growing. In Intel's presentation at the company’s "Intel Developer Forum 2013” they named several new types of digital assets including: medical, education, voting, friendships, conversations and reputation amongst others. In 2015, Forbes and other sources characterized bitcoin as a digital asset.
Digital asset management system
A digital asset management (DAM) system represents an intertwined structure incorporating both software and hardware and/or other services in order to manage, store, ingest, organise and retrieve digital assets. Digital asset management systems allow users to find and use content when they need it.
Digital asset metadata
Metadata is data about other data. Any structured information which's purpose is to define a specification of any form of data is referred to as metadata. "An item of metadata is a relationship that someone claims to exist between two entities". "Think of metadata as data which removes from a user (human or machine) the need to have full advance knowledge of the existence or characteristics of things of potential interest in the environment". At first the term metadata was used for digital data exclusively, but nowadays metadata can apply to physical data as well as digital one. Catalogues, inventories, registers and other similar standardised forms of organising, managing and retrieving resources contain metadata. Metadata can be stored and contained directly within the file it refers to or independently from it with the help of other forms of data management such as a DAM system.
The more metadata is assigned to an asset the easier it gets to categorise it, especially as the amount of information grows. The asset’s value rises the more metadata it has for it becomes more accessible, easier to manage, and more complex.
The majority of digital assets possess monetary and/or sentimental value. Since digital assets represent the goods sold by a business or they are themselves among the goods being sold, their value usually increases according to their usage. Digital assets can be reused as is or with minor modification.
Due to a lack of either legislation or legal precedent, there is a limited control over digital assets. Many of the control issues relating to access and transferability are maintained by individual companies. Some consequences resulting from this include what is to become of the assets once their owner is deceased as well as can, and if so, how may they be inherited. Recent news on this subject was a bogus story about Bruce Willis allegedly looking to sue Apple as the end user agreement prevented him from bequeathing his iTunes collection to his children. Another case of this was when a soldier died in duty and the family requested access to the Yahoo! account. When Yahoo! refused to grant access, the probate judge ordered them to give the emails to the family but Yahoo! still wasn't required to give access. The Music Modernization bill was passed in September 2018 by US Congress to create a new music-licensing system, with the aim to help songwriters get paid more.
- The Elder Law Report, Vol. XXV, Number 1
- "What is a digital asset?". Computerweekly.com. 2014. Retrieved 26 October 2014.
- Shin, Laura (21 October 2015). "Q&A: Chain.com CEO Adam Ludwin On How Money Will Become Digital". Forbes. Retrieved 4 January 2016.
- Elizabeth Keathley, (2014) Digital Asset Management: Content Architectures, Project Management, and Creating Order out of Media Chaos.
- Zhang, A. and Gourley, D. (2009). Creating digital collections. Oxford: Chandos Pub.
- Rust, G. and Bide, M. (2003) The <indecs> metadata framework - principles, model and data dictionary.
- Dempsey, L. (2006) Registries: the intelligence in the network. Post to Dempsey, L.’s blog, available at http://orweblog.oclc.org/archives/001105.html.
- "Metadata for Digital Asset Management - docs.day.com". Adobe. 2014. Retrieved 26 October 2014.
- "Learn what a digital asset is". Digital Asset Management Software and Premedia Services, Widen. 2014. Retrieved 26 October 2014.
- James, W. (2014). "Digital Assets; a legal minefield - Notes for STEP Verein & Basel Conference, in Zürich – 2nd October 2014". stoanalytics.com. Retrieved 31 October 2014.
- Arthur, C. (2012). "No, Bruce Willis isn't suing Apple over iTunes". The Guardian. Retrieved 31 October 2014.
- Steele, Anne (25 September 2018). "Congress Passes Bill Updating Music Copyright Protections for the Spotify Era". Wall Street Journal. ISSN 0099-9660. Retrieved 26 September 2018.