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ACCORDING TO EVAN M. GREENSPAN, EMG Music Clearance was spending 100 hours a week faxing, filing, and processing paper contracts and losing as much as an additional 3 hours per week searching for lost or misplaced documents. These files took up 6 floor-to-ceiling rolling file cabinets, one conference room, and 2 outside storage units over a mile away from the offices and were growing at a rate of 20% per year without the ability to discard old files. In an effort to reduce time spent faxing and following up with bogged down music publishers, a decision was made to find an innovator who could automate the tasks by implementing a paperless contract management system. To meet EMG’s needs, the choice was to either customize an off the shelf system costing $200,000 to $1 million dollars plus customization or to develop something new using an imaging solutions vendor. The decision was made to hire PrinterNet Imaging Solutions, Inc. to develop something new using Microsoft .NET and a 3rd party imaging toolkit.
When an outside party is interested in using a song or piece of music in a TV show, film, commercial, pod cast, ring tone or other media format, music clearance is required to get an appropriate license. Today, music clearance is a complex process that demands accurate copyright research, expert negotiation and meticulous contract administration.
Evan M. Greenspan, Inc. (EMG) is exclusively a music clearance service provider. EMG clears songs for TV, film and commercial production company clients and has cleared over one hundred thousand songs for projects in all media types. Prior to the summer of 2006, their manual music license clearance process was labor intensive, as staff had to manually merge, print, fax and follow-up on each license request.
PrinterNet applied all their skill and expertise in scoping the project and found some very interesting ways to solve EMG’s problems. Their proposed solution included methods to:
• Resize fax documents with rectangular pixels
• Recognize Barcodes
• Split Pages Based on Barcodes into separate documents
• Clean Borders of Documents
• Deskew Images
• Despeckle Images
• Rotate Documents based on Barcode Orientation
• Annotate Outbound Documents with image and text stamp
• Append (Stitch) Additional Pages to Existing Documents
“Unfortunately, it seemed we were going to need to use at least five third-party toolkits to produce a solution to accomplish this list of needs. The management and learning curves involved in including five imaging toolkits, as well as the potential for system resource conflicts seemed too great,” said Marshall Berg, President & CEO of PrinterNet Imaging Solutions, Inc. Upon meeting with Atalasoft for a demonstration of their technology, PrinterNet found that they could eliminate four of the toolkits by using Atalasoft's suite of products including their DotImage with Advanced Document Cleanup, DotTwain, Barcode Recognition, and Annotations Technologies.
Once PrinterNet began using the tools, they found the bulk of the development time was going to be in designing the workflow solutions, not creating them. According to Marshall Berg, “We chose to evaluate this solution due to the sheer number of problems being solved by one singular vendor, but our primary reason for purchasing after the evaluation was the help they got from Atalasoft’s expert technical support team in getting on board. They were always friendly and willing to help a friend in need.”