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Mastering Media Territory and Use Rights: Essential Knowledge for Creators


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Making new content and letting your mind go is always exciting. Moreover, turning your creativity into something new and valuable is quite fulfilling. But if you make a living out of your creations, you have to think strategically and be careful.  

How can you do that? Knowing your rights and responsibilities. It enables you to shield yourself and your work before signing a contract. As a content creator wanting to sell their media, Territory and Use Rights are significant considerations to keep in mind.   

These rights dictate where and how the media can be used. Also, they are typically negotiated and assigned by the content creator to whoever will be using the media. Keep reading and learn why you must know about these rights.   


1. What are Territory and Use Rights? 

Territory Rights specify the geographic areas where your media have use permission. For example, you may grant territory rights for North America, Europe, or worldwide. This allows the buyer to use your creations within the specified territory.  

Use Rights, on the other hand, specify how the media can be used. Several different types of use rights may grant to a content creator, including: 

Exhibition rights:  

These rights allow the media to be exhibited or shown in public, such as in a theater, on television, or at a festival. 

Distribution rights:  

These rights allow the media to be distributed or sold to consumers, such as on DVD or through digital download platforms. 

Advertising rights:  

These rights allow the media to be used in advertising or promotional materials, such as commercials or billboards. 

Derivative rights:  

These rights allow the media to be used as the basis for a new work, such as a sequel or spin-off. 

Reproduction rights:  

These rights allow the media to be reproduced or copied for backup purposes, and to create merchandise, among others. 

In addition to Territory and Use Rights, content creators may also grant additional rights, such as the right to sub-license the creations or the right to use your name and likeness in connection with the media. 


2. Terms, Rights, and Protections  

When you are about to negotiate and assign Territory and Use Rights, you need to carefully consider the terms of the contract. This includes not only the specific rights granted and the territory covered, but also the duration of the rights, the fees or royalties to be paid, and any other terms and conditions.  

It is also crucial for you, as a content creator, to be aware of your rights and protections under the law. In the US, copyright law automatically grants content creators exclusive rights to their media, including the right to reproduce, distribute, perform, and display the media.   

These rights can be assigned or licensed to others, but you retain the underlying rights and also end the assignment or license after a certain period.  

Additionally, you must be familiar with industry standards and best practices when negotiating and assigning Territory and Use Rights. As an example, the Writers Guild of America has established minimum contract terms for writers of television and film, which serve as a guide for fair and reasonable terms in these industries. 


3. Use Rights for Social Media Platforms 

Another major consideration you must make is the Use Rights for social media platforms. Such rights dictate how content creators’ media may be used on any platform. Plus, they are typically governed by the platform’s terms of service or community guidelines.  

For example, on Facebook, Use Rights are conferred to you when you upload your media to the platform. These rights allow other users to view, share, and interact with the media, but you retain ownership of the underlying rights.   

Facebook’s terms of service also state that content creators grant the platform a license to use, distribute, and share the media on the platform and in other ways. You can find equivalent rights on other platforms like YouTube, Instagram, and Twitter.   

Overall, the Use Rights granted to content creators on social media platforms are similar. However, they have some differences in the specific terms and conditions. Remember to carefully review the terms of service or community guidelines for each platform, as well as any additional agreements or contracts. That is how you understand your rights and responsibilities when using the platform. 


The Wrap 

Territory and Use rights are vital for content creators when making agreements for their media. These rights set where and how the buyer can employ your media. Moreover, you are the one who assigns and negotiates them with the person or company that will use your creations.  

The first step is to understand your rights and protections under the law, as well as consider industry standards and best practices. Then, you can negotiate and assign Territory and Use rights that are fair and beneficial for both parties. Finally, make sure you protect yourself and your content with a well-crafted contract that addresses your specific legal needs. 

Creators Legal is the first and only legal platform for content creators. Find here a fast and easy way to craft simple, yet trustworthy contracts for creatives like you.  

Get a powerful form builder, a safe e-signature system, and your own personalized dashboard to store and manage all your contracts. Protect yourself in minutes without pricey entertainment attorneys! 

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