Five Years In: Jukin's Rights Management VP Civonne Ahal Reflects on Half a Decade with Jukin
By Jukin Media Staff on November 07, 2018
After five years at Jukin Media, Civonne Ahal, Vice President of Rights Management, reflects on her role, her growth, and what she’s learned as Jukin’s Right’s Management lead and a valued member of the leadership team.
Jukin Media: Can you summarize your responsibilities at Jukin?
Civonne Ahal: I oversee our Rights Management department. We have employees all around the world and we protect the copyrights of over 55,000 videos as well as trademarks for Jukin’s owned and operated brands.
Rights Management helps increase the value of our content by encouraging the creation and proper distribution of new, high quality user-generated content. We do this by driving the sharing of Jukin’s exclusive content to platforms and licensees that obtain a valid license. Additionally, we provide the video owners who we represent with the peace of mind that their content is being protected and earning them money. Furthermore, we verify the rights of our content with competitors so our licensing partners can be confident every time they use UGC from Jukin’s library. Lastly, we protect Jukin’s owned and operated brands' trademarks to ensure they retain their reputation in the marketplace as high-quality destinations.
JM: What's one important lesson you've learned during your time at Jukin?
CA: We are building the path for our industry. As the industry changes, it is important to stay ahead and not rely on one source of revenue. I change processes as needed and am not afraid to take risks. I learn from mistakes and move on quickly. I also try to think about every moving part of the company when making decisions, and working collaboratively with other departments as one big team.
JM: What's one misconception people in the industry have about rights management?
CA: It is an important value-add for our content and our clients. Not only do we support Jukin’s brands and other major departments, we represent our video owners and also support our licensing partners when needed. We have provided major platforms with feedback to help build features that allow us and other content owners to better protect intellectual property.
JM: What do you enjoy most about coming to work every day?
CA: I enjoy the people who I work with and I take pride in being a great manager and mentor. I am blessed to work with some of the most talented people in the industry and feel so lucky to be a part of a space that is constantly evolving and learning new things.
JM: What advice do you have for young people entering the workforce?
CA: Learn from your peers, understand the business as a whole, and create annual goals for yourself. Stay positive and find solutions for problems. Don't be afraid to share your ideas, as I am always learning new things from others. If you don't know something, do not be afraid to ask questions. No matter what you are tasked with, you should always keep an open mind to different perspectives and ways of solving the problem.
JM: How do you feel RM has evolved over the last five years?
CA: When I first started we were one of the first companies to attend YouTube's Content Manager System training. Five years ago, a lot of companies thought it was ok to use UGC without a valid license because of the home video nature of the material and the fact that the content was created by a private user rather than a company.
Jukin Media's Rights Management team really had an impact on how the game has changed over the past few years. We have an obligation to protect the rights of the video owners we represent. This is a duty we take seriously, especially when we identify infringers of Jukin’s exclusive content who do not want to work with us but persist in unauthorized use of our content.
Today, UGC is on all of the biggest platforms, television channels, apps, and publishers -- we work with some of the largest networks and advertising partners around the world. UGC has had such a major impact in the last five years, from changing people's lives, to helping companies grow, to raising money or awareness for causes. The best part is making the world laugh and helping people relate to each other.
In the past five years we have worked closely with YouTube, Facebook, DailyMotion and a ton of software companies to help improve their systems, so we feel like we've had major impact on how the broader digital media community approaches rights issues. Our goal is to identify companies using our content and turning them into partners, while helping them to grow.