Acquiring and Managing the Identity Interests for Software and Media Products
33 Pages Posted: 6 Sep 2009
Date Written: September 1, 2006
Modern media licenses involving Internet sites, video games, multimedia projects, and independent motion pictures follow the publishing industry’s shifts of power and control. Those acquiring rights have significant leverage at the outset but lose that power as completion deadlines near. Marketing leverage depends significantly on the importance of the participants to the marketing strategy, so that if live appearances are critical to marketing, then those individuals have much more influence than for those projects where the persons involved are excluded from marketing. In addition, these so-called “new media” industries do not have the meaningful custom or trade practice helpful to interpret common licensing provisions. As a result, the licenses should be more specific, detailing the obligations and authority of each party. New media projects are far less standardized than book publishing, resulting in the need for considerable detail and for incorporation of an easy-to-use dispute resolution mechanism. In the context of identity-interest licenses for new media, a well-crafted license requires that (i) the identity interests are correctly identified; (ii) the obligations of each party are carefully specified; and (iii) the range of remedial measures is tightly controlled. This paper first identifies what types of interests are typically licensed in such transactions. It then identifies common uses of these interests so that full use can be made of each interest acquired. Finally, the paper outlines the essential elements needed for an effective license of the identity interests relevant to each transaction.
Keywords: copyright, Internet, licensing, software, new media
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