Chris Howard, Principal Software Engineer, Copyright Clearance Center (CCC)

Article ImageName With The Face: Chris Howard
Job Title:
Principal Software Engineer
Copyright Clearance Center (CCC)

Job Function: "My job is great because so much is happening with content and the way content is used," says CCC’s principal software engineer, Chris Howard. A significant part of his job is to ensure that CCC products facilitate licensing by making it fit into workflows and the way people use content. "I spend about a quarter of my time talking with customers, partners, our business development group, and other internal departments to explore new ways to work with other forms of licensing." Then Howard does what it takes to make it all work, from devising system architectures to coding proof of concept designs, managing development efforts, and bringing ideas to life.

Along with his recent work on the Rightsphere rights management and advisory service, Howard is also involved in project teams looking at ways for the company to address issues around orphan works and on licensing issues related to user-generated content. "I worked on Copyright Labs, where people outside of CCC can sample some of the interesting things we’re working on, like browser extensions, search utilities and new products under development."

In A Day’s Work: On any given day, Howard generally focuses on one major project, with others in progress as well. "There are a lot of design meetings, brainstorming, [and] project status meetings, with scheduled time at my desk to get work done." He also spends about an hour a day reading blogs related to his current projects and following up on ideas, "trying to keep up with the cool things going on in the content world."

Most Memorable Customer Encounter: "Not long after the rollout of Rightsphere, I was working with our deployment team at a big pharma company in Europe, and their content management team brought out a tall stack of publisher agreements in hard copy, each in its own plastic slipcase—hundreds of them. We showed them how to add an agreement through the Rightsphere management console, helped them create templates for the majority of agreement types and cases. They were stunned at how quickly and easily it was done."

View From The Desk: "We’re in the process of re-doing our offices, into a very collaborative kind of set-up that I like very much. We have great views from our building—you can see the Boston skyline and, on a clear day, the ocean."

Outside Interest: "I write science fiction, fantasy novels, and short stories. My novel Seaborn came out this summer from Juno Books. I just completed my fourth novel, and it’s under editorial consideration."

If Not Econtent, Then What?: "Writing more books and stories than I already do."