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Ownership and licenses: Determining who owns the content you create

On Behalf of | Apr 17, 2024 | Entertainment Law

If you are a content creator, having a contract every time you produce content for a client is essential. It protects you from a myriad of potential problems, including delinquent payments and disputes over ownership of the content.

Your contract needs a clear definition to protect you and your rights. The Ownership and Licenses section outlines who owns the content and how it is used after you hand it over to the employer or business you are collaborating with.

Here are the parts of the clause that need to be specified:

Content ownership

This section defines who owns the content – you or the business you are working with.

License to use your content

Once you establish ownership of the content, you can give the employer or client permission—or a license—to use it. This section dictates where they can use it, how they can use it, for how long, and the limits of usage.

Revisions to your content

Apart from giving the client permission to use your content, you also need to determine if you will allow them to put their own twist to what you have created. Are they allowed to edit so that it fits their branding more? To what extent are they allowed to rework your material? Setting these boundaries clearly lets you control how your content appears and prevents it from turning into something completely different.

Promotion and personal use

Both you and your client need to agree on whether you can use the content for personal use. This can include using the content as part of your portfolio when you pitch to other potential clients or posting it across your social platforms.

Duration of use

You need to define how long the client can use your content – whether it is for a few days, weeks, months or even years.

Reselling and transferring of rights

Did you know that the client may have the option to transfer or sell the rights to your content to another party? This section protects your rights to your content and ensures that you are aware of where and with whom your content ends up with.

It is important to clearly define ownership and understand how content licensing works, as this can help you protect your intellectual property rights.