Copyright Licensing

Copyright licensing lawyer
Copyright licensing lawyer

Under Chinese law, a copyright license agreement is an agreement by which the owner of the copyright grants another individual the right to exercise the owner’s rights. This agreement gives the licensee the rights to use copyrighted work as specified in the agreement, which must contain all of the essentials of a valid agreement for it to be enforceable. As experienced China copyright lawyer, we frequently represent international clients in their copyright and software licensing matters in China.

When we create something — let’s say a photograph — we own the copyright, which is our exclusive right as the author to own that work. We control who else can use our work and in what manner. For example, I could allow someone to print my photograph or adapt it in a piece of art. Rather than establishing verbal agreements, I can distribute my work with a license that sets the guidelines for use. The things that are copyrighted are sometimes referred to as “intellectual property.”

What is Copyright Licensing

Licenses are granted by an authority to allow a usage; in many cases, the use and distribution of resources by the copyright owner . You may decide to offer your photograph for free or charge a price; either way, you can include a license to limit usage, and you maintain the copyright. Just because someone pays money doesn’t mean they have full control or rights to what they’re buying. Licenses can dictate the number or uses, the bounds of use and even the length of time until the license expires.

China IP Law Firm’s attorneys have negotiated and drafted license agreements in the publishing, web content, video game, movie, and music industries, and our attorneys understand the key negotiation points and provisions involved in copyright licensing.

Moreover, under work for hire, the employer holds the copyright, not the author or creative; in many cases, this is a company, such as a creative agency, or its client by contractual agreement. In such cases, the creator retains moral rights to their work, including the right of attribution. This is partly why published articles refer to the author, although moral rights can include anonymity.

Copyright laws are incredibly complex, but this should be a good start. Copyrights take on a variety of forms, including literary works, musical works, and graphic works. Copyrights also grant the copyright holder a variety of rights, including the right to produce the work, distribute the work, or sell the work. When a copyright holder licenses those rights to someone else, they may have granted a copyright license to the user.

Copyright License Agreement

However, the copyright holder may not want to give the buyer with the holder’s copyright. A copyright license agreement can grant the end-user certain rights to use the copyright, and it can further define the outer limits of that use. For instance, a copyright license agreement may allow end-users to back-up the copyrighted work on their computer, if the work involves software.

The digital revolution is a double-edged sword: On the one hand, the internet provides nearly unlimited exposure for their work. On the other hand, copyrighted material can be downloaded for the cost of an internet connection. China IP Law Firm has been actively and intensively involved in a wide variety of licensing and transactional matters relating to all types of intellectual property. Our attorneys have licensing experience from a variety of legal, business and technical backgrounds and who are proficient in negotiating, drafting and conducting procedures for recordal of assignment/license agreements of all forms of intellectual property including patents, utility models, trademarks, industrial designs, copyrights as well as technology transfer agreements.

Copyright Licensing Practice

China IP Law Firm regularly draft and negotiate intellectual-property agreements involving the licensing, assignment and protection of their clients' patents, trademarks and copyrights. China IP Law Firm has negotiated copyright licenses and related documentation on the behalf of multiple corporate entities within the United States. If requested, our firm will play a role in such negotiations.

Such copyright agreements often include:

  •  Copyright license agreements which grant a third-party the exclusive or non-exclusive right to use, distribute, sell, manufacture, copy, or create the copyrights of another party;
  •  Copyright assignment agreements which assign a third-party any or all of the multiple rights owned by a copyright holder;
  •  Copyright-related cross-licensing agreements;
  •  Confidentiality agreements and protective orders;
  •  Any of the multiple other intellectual property-related licensing and transfer-related agreements that may be required as a result of the type of business transactions that frequently arise in today's economy;
  •  Content Licensing and Publishing Contracts;
  •  Service Provider Agreements;
  •  E-book Terms of Service;
  •  Training, Consulting, and Speaking Contracts;
  •  Internet and Blog Law Advice;
  •  Copyright Law;
  •  Copyright transactions and licensing.

The firm's copyright lawyers have experience handling a wide variety of transactional and licensing matters involving all types of copyright issues in a wide range of businesses. Their copyright experience includes:

  •  licensing
  •  ownership agreements
  •  assignments
  •  due diligence
  •  mergers and acquisitions
  •  IPOs
  •  joint ventures
  •  employment and consulting contracts
  •  confidentiality agreements
  •  Software licensing, e-commerce and open source

Software licensing and maintenance is fundamental to doing business in today's economy both for the developer of software and for end users. Acquiring and using the proper software tools entails a host of legal issues, which China IP Law Firm intellectual property lawyers are well-equipped to handle.

China IP Law Firm team reviews, advises and negotiates a wide variety of agreements, including software development agreements, software licenses (both as licensor and licensee), maintenance and support contracts, joint ventures, and domestic and international distribution agreements.

Since nearly all of today's business is conducted over the Internet, we also advise on e-commerce matters such as preparing terms and conditions, drafting privacy policies, and advising on applicable China and foreign legislation. The firm's copyright lawyers also help clients develop open-source policies, counsel and negotiate on licensing matters and assess the implications of open-source in proprietary environments.