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How Does A Copyright License Agreement Protect Me?

Want to exploit your copyrighted work in the marketplace while retaining ownership over it? You first need a copyright license agreement that legally grants others the right to use your work, in part or as a whole, in exchange for royalty payments.

To make a copyright agreement in Miami that protects your interests, it is important that you consult an IP attorney near you rather than using an online template. As your license agreement is the legal document establishing your rights and obligations and those of the people or businesses permitted to use your work, it must be prepared by an attorney well-versed in intellectual property (IP) laws.

What is the purpose of a copyright license agreement?

The written contract protects you (the licensor) and the person/business authorized to use your copyrighted work (the licensee). It serves as proof that the licensee is legally permitted to use your work, and cannot be sued for or otherwise accused of infringing on your work. Both parties must sign the licensing agreement for it to be valid and legally implementable.

What works can you create a copyright license agreement for?

Typically, copyright is spoken of in terms of creative works such as books, articles, photographs, films, music and artwork. But apart from literary and artistic works, computer programs, databases, technical drawings and advertisement, which are important business or entrepreneurial assets, can also be copyrighted.

Can you grant someone a license without requiring payment in return?

More often than not, copyright owners seek to gain marketplace benefits from licensing their work. But there is no legal requirement that the transfer of rights must occur in exchange for a payment or fee by the licensee.

A copyright license allows the licensee to use the copyrighted work under certain conditions specified in the agreement. You also have the option to sell your rights to a third party, in which case you lose control over the work. This type of agreement is known as an assignment, indicating that you (the assignor) have assigned all rights to your work to the third party (assignee).

A license agreement can protect other types of intellectual property such as trade secrets, patents and trademarks. A patent license permits the licensee to use, sell and exploit benefits from a patented invention for a predetermined royalty amount. A trade secret license sets out how and when the licensee can use the owner’s secrets, and whether they can use some or all of the confidential information. Here too, legal advice matters a great deal in securing your rights to use your secret information as you wish. Only an IP attorney can offer reliable guidance and strategies on trade secret protection in Hialeah.

What does a copyright license agreement include?

The license establishes all the terms of the transfer of rights. It outlines the rights being licensed, how they can be used, the extent to which the copyrighted work can be used, and the length of time until the license expires.

When you hire an attorney to draft a copyright agreement in Miami, you can expect to see the following key elements in the contract. They are decided after a thorough understanding of your intention and requirements for licensing your work.

Introduction of Parties

Each party is identified by name as a licensee or licensor. If the agreement is between two organizations, then this section of the agreement will specify the type of businesses they are.

Works

This section identifies the nature of the copyrighted works.

Fees

There are usually two types of copyright license fees. One is an issuing fee, the initial payment for purchasing the license. The other is the royalty, a percentage of the sale from the commercial use of the work or a fixed fee for every sale generated.

Exclusive license

An exclusive license permits only the named licensee to use the copyrighted work. The licensee can assign the license to a third party and sue for copyright infringement of the licensed rights.

A non-exclusive license grants the licensee freedom to exploit the work under the stated conditions, but also allows the licensor to give others the right to use the work for the length of the licensing agreement.

A co-exclusive license agreement grants multiple licenses but to a limited number of entities.

Scope of copyright/Restrictions

This section describes the limitations pertaining to the use of the copyrighted work.

Limited Use allows the licensee to use the work only in the ways explicitly stated in the agreement.

No Modification disallows the licensee from revising or modifying the work in any way.

Right of Review authorizes the licensor to review a derivative work if it constitutes more than a set percentage of the copyrighted work. You can determine this number based on the objective of your copyright license agreement.

The duration of the copyright, and any restrictions regarding the use of the work in certain geographical locations, are also covered under this section.

Warranty

One of the ways in which a copyright agreement in Miami protects the licensee is by providing them a warranty that the copyrighted work does not currently, and will not in the future, violate the copyright rights of another entity. In the event of an infringement claim, the licensee cannot be held liable. The opposite is true: in the absence of such a warranty, the licensor will not bear liability and not be considered in breach of contract.

Indemnification

‘To indemnify’ means to compensate a party for the loss they incur. The licensor may take responsibility for infringement and pay all costs and expenses related to a future infringement claim. Or the licensor may assume these responsibilities subject to certain conditions, aimed at limiting their obligations in the event of a copyright lawsuit.

Termination

If the licensee fails to uphold their obligations under the contract or commits wrongful actions, then the licensor can terminate the agreement before its term has concluded.

Negotiate an effective copyright agreement in Miami 

The IP attorney you engage for copyright and trade secret protection in Hialeah can help you better understand the real or potential value of your work. Ultimately, you want to negotiate a contract that protects your rights and allows you to make the most of your work through licensing, while also considering the concerns and rights of licensees fairly.