Content management is all about the on-demand assembly and reconfiguration of information modules into new products – either autonomously or under human supervision. In a world that accepts the notion of "fair use" of copyrighted material, it should be relatively easy to repurpose information modules, the only limitations being those of limited imagination (machine-driven or otherwise) or of limited technical capability. It is ironic, then, that the rise of regulations and commerce tied to authorship should have a complicating impact on CMS development.
"DAM handles one granular aspect of content – authorship."
This is where Digital Asset Management (DAM) influences the world of content management tools. DAM handles one granular aspect of content – authorship – and concerns itself primarily with enforcing copyright protection. A DAM system functions by tracking the use of copyrighted material and flagging improper, unauthorized or unattributed use. A digital media asset is entered into the DAMS in the form of a high-resolution "essence" along with detailed metadata about the asset.
From there the DAMS can be used to pull logged materials as needed and identify uses of the asset, flagging a violation of copyright – or, as a secondary function, ensuring that the copyright owner is compensated for the authorized use of the asset. This can be a crucial revenue stream for authors and copyright owners, though it may also become complicated once an asset has been combined as a module into other pieces of information.
When DAM and Content Management are combined, the CM system has a broader scope than a DAMS and largely does the heavy lifting of content assembly. A content creator working in a CMS can pull digital material from a DAMS. A content curator may choose to push finished content from a CMS to a DAMS.