RightsLine software in Hollywood suite

Dec 3, 2001  •  Post A Comment

RightsLine, a Beverly Hills, Calif., company that makes licensing-management software for entertainment companies, is announcing a deal this week with IBM to integrate its software into the computer giant’s suite of Internet-based database and middleware applications targeted at Hollywood.
Under the deal, IBM Global Services systems integrators will sell RightsLine’s Content Licensing Solution program separately to entertainment companies that need to track and sell territorial and other rights for their companies’ entertainment properties.
In a separate deal, RightsLine and New Mexico Software announced Nov. 19 that they will integrate their software into a package of intellectual-property-management programs and jointly resell it.
The RightsLine software is a Web-based system that allows licensing salespeople to access from any Net-connected device their company’s database of available rights, create the necessary paperwork to sign a deal and then order the dispatching of a tape of the property to the client. Vivendi Universal, among other companies, already is using the software to help manage deals for its library of properties.
Russell Reeder, RightsLine’s president and CEO, said the software provides inventory, sales automation and electronic-procurement abilities for companies with complex rights offerings that may be as finely sliced as English-language TV rights in a French-speaking country.
“RightsLine is an automated procurement system for entertainment,” Mr. Reeder said. The software lets companies know “what do we own and where can we make money from it? There’s really no such thing as a [return on investment] if you don’t know what you own.”
The IBM deal involves no money on the front end but enlists IBM’s considerable world marketing and sales muscle in selling RightsLine’s software, Mr. Reeder said. RightsLine, in turn, must port its software to the IBM platform. The company is projecting the deal could generate as much as $10 million in revenues during the next 12 to 18 months.
“Right now the deal we have is for them to carry our water and leverage joint marketing opportunities,” Mr. Reeder said.
The RightsLine software will be packaged with IBM’s DB2 Universal Database and several other applications that provide Net infrastructure, messaging and other related services.
“RightsLine’s products, integrated with our WebSphere, DB2, MQSeries, Content Manager and EMMS software, will provide a complete solution platform for digital media services,” said Jan Jackman, IBM Software Group’s VP of strategic business development. IBM has approximately 90,000 such partnerships with smaller software makers of many kinds.
In the other deal, New Mexico Software makes AssetWare, a collection of Net-based programs for managing and distributing collections of digital video, audio and graphic images. The combined package will allow New Mexico Software’s customers-which include Sony, MGM, CBS and Warner Bros.-to have an integrated media-asset-management package.
RightsLine is a privately held company started in 1999 by former Oracle executives. The company has 25 employees in its Beverly Hills headquarters. It is backed by a number of Silicon Valley and Hollywood executives, Single Spur Investments of Dallas and Vogel Capital Management.