‘For someone to use your content, they need a license.’

Jasmine Boadi, Commercial Solicitor & Entertainment Lawyer at Endeavor/IMG, on who owns intellectual property

‘For someone to use your content, they need a license.’

‘For someone to use your content, they need a license.’

‘The legal definition of a content creator can be married up to what we would call a creative and original artistic work. The most obvious one nowadays is content creators, ie. influencers, people who are in and of themselves a brand and who have the ability to ultimately sell a product, whether it's on Twitter or Instagram, just using their brand identity. 

‘You could also be talking about a production company, so an entity whose sole purpose is to produce video content or edit content or photographers taking photography on behalf of a brand. In this day and age, things like TikTok, where you have 17 year olds who are now choreographers, they would still be considered to be creators from a legal perspective. So it's ultimately anyone who is creating original content or producing goods or services with intellectual property behind it.’ 

So these content creators have some intellectual property that they've created and so therefore own. How can a brand legally use that content? 

‘For example, a photographer would have copyright of a photograph that he or she or they have created. In order to lawfully grant the opportunity for somebody else to use that they need to grant a license. If you were trying to define the license, we would say it's the lawful grant of permission to do something that would otherwise not be legal or allowed. More often than not, we see that in the context of a contract. So you might have some wording, which is as simple as “I, the content creator, grant brand a license for use of my content.”’

And what kinds of things need to be included in that contract or content license? 

‘The two key things are establishing what exactly that license covers and establishing the scope of the license. So you need to think: is it worldwide as a license or is it something that I'm gonna be using just in specific territory? You also need to think about revokable and irrevocable licenses. So basically what that means is if something's revocable, you have the ability to take it back. 

‘Then you want to think about in terms of scope, how long is this license going to last? Is it going to last forever or is it limited for a specific amount of time? And then again, in terms of scope, you want to think about exclusivity. So as a brand. Am I the only entity that has the right to use this particular piece of work or piece of content?’

Read the full article on how to secure content usage rights now.

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