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Can I Make Money Through Copyright Licensing?

The short answer to that question is “yes”.

Firstly, let’s define what “licensed revenue” is: money earned through the licensed use of intellectual property that has a copyright attached to it. More specifically, it is intellectual property that is permitted to be used by another company for profit by the copyright holder.

So, for instance, say one of your photographs is chosen for use by a travel agency for one of their campaigns. In exchange for the use of your image, you will receive a mutually agreed upon amount of money. This amount of money is called a “licensing fee.” Consequently, money collected from this is called “licensing revenue.”

The key takeaway from this type of copyright usage is the term “approved usage.” It should come as no surprise to you when you see your work being used by another commercial entity, as this type of usage has been cleared with you for usage in advance.

In order to get to the point where you are making money from your creations, it is important to create a “licensing agreement.” Such an agreement sets out the terms and conditions for usage of the materials, as well as the fee structure for its use.

You have almost certainly used intellectual property licensed for commercial purposes at some point in your life – most likely thousands of times. For instance, do you own any professional sports apparel with your team’s logo on it? Or maybe a shirt with your favorite artist’s image? If used legally, that image was licensed for use by the copyright holders by the clothing manufacturers.

Licensing agreements can get pretty specific. For instance, some of the terms covered may include:

  1. The approved geographic region for licensed usage. So, if you are licensed to use an item of intellectual property in the US but not the EU, using it in the EU would still be considered an infringement of copyright.

  2. The time period allotted for usage: once your time slot has expired, so does your license to use the content.

  3. The exclusivity (or lack thereof) of the agreement

To put things into perspective, every aspect of technology that you use on a daily basis has a copyright and someone, somewhere, holds a license to use it for which they pay. Similarly, every picture, video, song, and book has a copyright protecting its creator from unlicensed infringement.

However, holding a copyright does not protect you from infringement if you are unaware of it, which is why features like CopyrightsWorld’s Infringement Monitoring tool exist – to protect visionaries like yourself from missing out on revenue.

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