Any company that sells products online or markets online typically uses multiple channels — such as its own website, Facebook, LinkedIn, Etsy, and Amazon. However, most companies don’t understand the rights they are giving up when they market through channels beyond their own websites. Oftentimes, companies give up rights to certain data that is placed on these other sites.
If you are going to sell products, or post content, or otherwise market on these outside channels, you have to play by their rules.
Importance of Intellectual Property Ownership
Intellectual Property Terms
Here are the most commonly used terms, as well as a general explanation of what these terms mean for you and what rights that you are giving up if you agree to grant a license.
- sub-licensable. This means that the owner of the website that you are using can license the rights to your work posted on the website without asking your permission (provided that the owner can only license the rights that you have granted to the owner, nothing more) without asking your permission and the owner continues to own the rights that you gave them.
- perpetual. This means that you cannot revoke the license at any time and that the website owner gets the rights granted in the license forever.
- irrevocable. This means that you cannot revoke the license for any reason unless allowed in the contract even if the website owner makes money off of your work, uses it in a way that you don’t like, or just wants to terminate the agreement.
- non-exclusive versus exclusive. If the license is exclusive, the website owner has the sole rights to the work that you posted on it (including any rights that you had to the work — for instance, you can only post it to that website and not to another website such as Facebook). If the license if non-exclusive, then you maintain rights to the work and you can assign such rights to other people and entities also (i.e., you can post the same thing on Facebook and LinkedIn).
- assignable. If the license is assignable, it is very close to being transferable. The only thing that may (depending on the court) be different between the two terms is whether the liabilities under the contract are also being transferred.
- fully paid up. If a license is fully paid up, then the website owner does not owe you anything for future uses of the work that are allowed under the license. This means that, as long as the work is being used as agreed to in the license, you get no additional payment for all uses that fall under the agreed upon use.
- worldwide. If a license is worldwide, this means the license that you grant is good throughout the world; the website owner can use the content both in the United States and in other countries as well.