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Why Every Influencer Needs a Content License Agreement

So many people in the United States and beyond have formed communities and “families” through the internet and mobile devices πŸ‘¨β€πŸ‘©β€πŸ‘§β€πŸ‘¦. However, only people with the most amazing content have gained popularity on these mobile applications. Some use their notoriety for commercial purposes or promotional purposes by being influencers. For those people, a content license agreement 🀝 is an absolute must.Β 

A content license agreement is crucial if you want to avoid infringement of your intellectual 🧠 property rights for your amazing content. Unless you want to offer royalty-free content out of the kindness of your heart, you should get paid for your digital products! So, if you’ve got licensed material or promotional material (or if you want to use them!), here’s what you need to know about a content license agreement. 

What Is a Content License Agreement?

There are different types of licenses, but a content license agreement or content licensing agreement is unique. A content license agreement provides legal protection from copyright infringement. It can stop a brand from using your brand’s intellectual property and/or revealing πŸ‘€ your trade secrets.

In a nutshell πŸ₯”, content license agreements are collective bargaining agreements that allow you to grant your licensed content to a third party for monetary compensation. As with any business deal, you can’t rely on the glowing πŸ•― fundamental character of your client as a reasonable individual, so you have to have the agreement in writing. 

A content license agreement is a legal agreement between the content creator and their client. In it, the content creator gives the exclusive rights of content usage to their client. Usually, you’d sell the content in exchange for payment πŸ’°. Payment is at your and your client’s sole discretion and can be in the form of a one-time sum, applicable subscription fees or residual payments, or whatever combination suits both the buyer and seller. 

Content License Agreement Protection

In a content license agreement, the licensee and the licensor would agree that the licensed content is to be used for stipulated purposes only. For example, if someone buys your content to promote their gum 🍬, they couldn’t suddenly turn around and use it to promote guns. 

What happens if someone breaks the terms of the arrangement? That’s when you might have to make reasonable efforts to pursue arbitration and settle the dispute. Depending on the situation, the abuser may have to pay legal βš–οΈ charges after the arbitration proceedings. This brings the entire risk down for both parties. 

What Kind of Content Can a Content License Agreement Cover?

A content license agreement is one of the easiest ways for social media influencers and content owners to earn cold, hard cash πŸ’°. Licensed content can consist of practically anything you make; it’s at your sole discretion. This can include but aren’t limited to:

  • Literary works (stories, poetry, texts, copies of projects, and other paper products) 
  • Templates (brochure design templates, business card templates, electronic greeting card templates, digital templates, electronic templates, etc.)
  • Digital products πŸ“± in compact discs or any electronic file
  • Product packaging design, a design mark, design templates, etc. These could be used on apparel items, stationery items, and more
  • Photography images πŸ“Έ (stock photo, Getty images, visual content, images created for illustrative purposes, etc.)
  • Musical content or an audio product 🎼 (licensed music, theme song, instrumentals, and any other audio-only production)
  • Videos (music videos, expository videos, documentaries, adult videos, etc.)

Elements of a Content License Agreement

Convinced that you need a content license agreement now? Great 🀩! The following clauses are binding terms a licensee and licensor should note when signing a content license agreement.

License Clause

This is when the two parties involved (licensee and licensor) agree that the licensee can use use the intellectual property for a specific period on social media platforms or in other advertising. You may also specify if they have a non-exclusive right to content (as in, you might license it to others as well) or if you want to provide a larger blanket license for a bigger fee πŸ€‘. 

Content Clause

This is where you’d specify the item of content in connection to the license, whether it’s a video production, image, audio file, or more. You may also include the location πŸ“ of the content file or a secondary file for backup purposes if appropriate. 

Scope

The scope is an exclusive license clause that does not permit the sale of such content to any third party. In other words, this stops πŸ›‘ the client from turning around and giving property releases for your work to other content suppliers. There is usually a legal fee attached to any party that breaches the contract 🌚.

Territory

Territory describes the location limits to where the content can be used. For instance, a California content creator may sign a content license agreement to Los Angeles, Riverside, San Diego, and other neighboring cities. The territory is at the absolute discretion of the creator. The creator may also limit the use to the United States alone. In that case, if the client uses your photo credit or video credit to promote the sale of products elsewhere in North America, they’ve broken their side of the deal. 

Use of Content

This part of the agreement explicitly explains how a licensee should use a piece of content. It may name the platforms the item of content can be shared on. You may also mention if there are additional rights added to the license.

For example, let’s say a YouTuber or influencer creates a piece of visual content starring themselves. They may dictate that this content should not be used in a derogatory manner that could hurt their reputation. Then, someone alters the visual content to make it look like the influencer is doing an illegal drug. Now, the influencer can pursue legal action.Β 

Arbitration

From time to time, business dealings take a turn for the worse, and conflicts of law arise. So, what if something goes wrong ❌ and you need an arbitration proceeding? You can cover many aspects of this process, including:

  • The type of arbitration in the event of a dispute (will it be public or confidential arbitration?)
  • The method of the equitable action or arbitration award
  • Procedures for arbitrator selection
  • Arbitrator count (will it be a single arbitrator or multiple arbitrators?)

License Fee and Payment

This is where the money’s at! Outline how much you’ll be paid for your digital content when you receive payment πŸ’Έ, and the method of payment. As the content owner, you can request milestones, a lump sum, an applicable rate of commission, and more for your digital content. You could also add payments for an additional license fee if the client wants to expand the contract. 

Consult a Social Media Lawyer

Whatever license procedure you implement, if you’re not providing royalty-free content, you need a professional social media attorney! Contact πŸ“ž Ian Corzine law today to help you manage the legal side of your digital content business.

We can provide a detailed, customizable digital content license agreement. Content suppliers like you can use to protect themselves without amassing hefty attorney fees. Don’t hesitate; your business will thank you!