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Negotiating content license agreements

A content license is an agreement between two parties to share information, the latter being created by one party and sold to the second party.

A little more illumination will make the concept more palpable. A content license agreement can be termed as an agreement or understanding between the content owner known as the “Licensor” and the second party or business unit or the ”Licensee” in which the Licensor gives permission to use certain content to the Licensee. This content may be audio, video, writings or any online content. In other words the creator of the content is ready to sell his intellectual property to a buyer for a certain financial amount. The buyer of this content uses the content on a website or any other form of internet distribution. The rewards given by the buyer are not always restricted to financial payments. They can also be web traffic referrals or advertising page views of the buyer which the seller can convert or pull into its own website.

Most of the usage is through the internet medium, however it can be put to use by other online sources also like TV Set top boxes, smartphones etc. Some understandable examples are Images, Software, Audio Files, and data, mobile and desktop apps. There are certain defined parameters to the level of usage of the content thus sold. Content license sold with acumen and in the right business sense can immensely benefit both the licensor and the licensee. It may be that content developers or publishers are looking for the right avenues and channels to spread their content online. The content licensor may have limitations in approaching the right customer base. It may also not be aware of the multitude dimension in finding the various channels to online distribution. In such scenarios, the buyer or the licensee in more often than not is well aware of the end user phenomenon and also the market demands in terms of domain, industry and verticals. While it is imperative for the licensor to develop their own parameters and rules for agreements, market dynamics is a reality which is altogether different. Each customer has uniqueness to their requirement and needs. Customization needs to be the rule of the game.

The end objective of the sale agreement of any form of online content is to have a wider marketplace and more online channels of distribution. Identification of a target market is crucial to the success of the very concept of content licensing.

Content licensing is best personified in the case of apps. Many apps are available for downloads on the websites of the apps themselves. However there are other websites which have offered downloadable facilities for the same apps, so that a much wider audience has access to it thereby enhancing the popularity of the app.

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