Clauses to include in your Copyright License Agreement

It is better to have something in excess… than to lack an important clause in your copyright licence agreement

We would like to point out that there is no standard copyright license agreement. Since the term has been introduced a few centuries ago, it has evolved significantly. What is more important, with the advent of Internet and communication technologies, it has been changing very rapidly.

Now, do you wonder what to include in your copyright license agreement? Do you think a longer agreement is better than short one?  It is always better to follow our advice. If you are not sure whether to include a clause or not and you think that it might become important at some point of time, please include it! Trust your instincts, if you think that it is or might become important, it probably is important and you will eventually regret not including it. Moreover, you do not lose anything if you have a longer copyright license agreement.  In general, a good agreement is the one that serves the purposes which you would like it to have and protects you from illegal use of your original idea. There is no recipe – some copyright license agreements can be as long as 30 pages, others contain only a few sentences. Some will be in very plain language, while others can be in very specific technological language. However, there are several clauses which are logical to be included such as:

Preamble – a brief introduction outlining the agreement.
Definitions – any details with special meaning are mentioned and described here.
Parties in the agreement – who participates with their legal names, registration, address and contact information.
Covered content by the agreement – What original work is covered by the agreement?
Rights granted – What rights do the parties have over the original work? Do they have to pay for it, lend it to third parties and do they have to provide additional support?
Use restrictions – What part of the idea can be accessed and under what circumstances? Are there any types of premium membership?
License Fees – How much should be paid if the idea is used under different conditions? For example, there might be a discount for larger amounts.
Delivery of the content – Under what conditions should the product get delivered?
Support and documentation – What documents and support do you need for your original piece of work to function?
Monitoring – Who is responsible and to what extent to monitor the agreement?
Moral Rights – If the copyright license agreement brings moral risks who is responsible for them?
Territory – Where is the copyright license agreement valid?
User authorization – Who is permitted to use it and under what conditions?
Copyright ownership – Who owns the copyright?
Duration of rights – How long does the copyright last?
Renewal – And how can it be renewed? For how long and what criteria do have to be met?
Termination – How can the agreement be terminated?
Indemnity and limitations of liability – Are there any limitations of the license agreement and when are they valid.

We can continue discussing the clauses forever, however we would recommend to get a high-quality copyright licence agreement template from a company offering legal document templates and ask them to tailor it in order to suit your needs. If you are starting a new business, you may need to know what legal documents are required for every business.


Posted on April 23, 2012, in Copyright and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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