What is Rights Clearance?
Rights clearance refers to a legal agreement between a content creator and a third party who wants to legally use, publish, or modify said piece of content. For example, creative agency wants to use a video clip they found on Youtube in a commercial for their client, they need an agreement between themselves and the person that shot the clip, regardless of whether the clip was shot by a professional filmmaker or an amateur on an Iphone. Rights clearance typically takes place via a legal contract, or licensing agreement, and often includes a monetary transaction where the content creator is compensated for their work.
The Legal Backstory
Copyright Act of 1979 was created to provided creatives with legal protection and to help ensure financial compensation for creative work. The copyright act covers any work considered creative and original in nature, and defines the following categories as subject to copyright law:
– Film / video
– Artwork, illustration, graphic design
– Music and audio recordings
– Dance and choreography
– Written and literary work
– Architectural work
The copyright act states that anyone who creates original work, defined by the categories above, owns the copyright, or legal rights, to their own work. If a third party wants to use, modify or publish that work, they need a legal agreement that gives them permission.
Rights Clearance Services
Contracts or licensing agreement for intellectual property can be long, complicated and full of legal jargon. Depending on your budget and legal risk threshold, it’s often wise to seek legal counsel before you enter into any rights clearance agreement. An experienced intellectual property attorney can save you money, remove legal risk, and make sure that you have the right agreement
Kurator’s legal team has over 20 years of experience in intellectual property law and licensing experience. We’ve worked with a variety of clients, from Fortune 500 companies to documentary filmmakers. Whether you need a custom licensing agreement to secure a single piece of footage or need an entire team working with you to research and secure photos, film and music for a major production, we’re ready.
How do I clear rights to a piece of film, music, photographs or artwork?
If you or your company is trying to secure rights to use someone else’s creative content, you’ll need to create an agreement, or contract, that allows you to purchase the rights to use, or license, said work. What is included in the agreement often varies based on the type of work, how you plan to use it, how long you plan to use it, how many people will see, hear or read it, etc… Agreements also stipulate whether the creator is able to license the same work to others, or will give you the sole rights to use that piece of content.
How much you pay to license said work is often typically done within this type of an agreement. Often, the two parties negotiate the terms of a contract and the compensation before an agreement is agreed upon.