Copyright Licensing Form – Different Types of Licenses

Copyright Licensing Form – Different Types of Licenses

With a copyright licensing agreement, you retain control over your intellectual property — your name remains the copyright holder. You’re simply licensing the use of the material to someone else, for whatever length of time and with whatever restrictions and requirements that you decide on. Here, we look at different ways licenses can work to protect you and your intellectual property.

There are some situations where licensing is commonly used. If you’re a songwriter, for example, you could license your song to a specific artist in exchange for, say, a flat fee plus a percentage of the artist’s royalties for that song. You remain in control — the artist does not have the rights to allow another artist to perform that song.

An example of a restricted license would be licensing a song to a movie company with the stipulation that they use the song only during the movie, and not in any promo material or movie trailer. You have the right to specify exactly how your song is to be used — or not used.

Not all licenses involve the transfer of money. For example, a software developer might make his or her software available with a free license, but he or she may specify how the software is to be used. These licenses with requirements that are not financial in nature are just as legally binding as those that require money; there have been many successful lawsuits brought by software developers who have provided their software for free with certain stipulations, such as the requirement to attribute the software to the creator or the requirement that the code is used in full, against users who have ignored those requirements.

Perhaps one of the most forgiving types of licenses is the Creative Commons license and its many varieties; with a Creative Commons license, you do not have to grant individual licenses to your users. A Creative Commons license allows anyone to use your work, provided they attribute the work to you or your organization in the manner that you specify. There are other aspects of use that you can also control — allowing or disallowing your song or image to be transformed, for example.

The main thing to keep in mind is that a Creative Commons license is permanent. Even if you withdraw the license later, anyone who has obtained your work under the Creative Commons license may continue to use it according to the terms of the license for perpetuity.