Licensing Agreements Now Covering 'The Universe' And Future Media Not Yet Developed
from the about-time dept
In the past, we’ve had a bunch of stories about TV shows being released on DVDs having to change their music to deal with the fact that it wasn’t licensed for DVD release originally (often because when the TV shows were on the air, there was no such thing as a DVR — or even a VCR — so it couldn’t even have been predicted). Then, of course, there have been a series of famous lawsuits over whether or not publications can “republish” their old magazines in electronic format, because freelancers who wrote the original articles only signed licenses for the single publication.
However, it looks like lawyers drafting such legal arrangements are beginning to recognize this as an issue and are trying to prepare for such eventual new media opportunities. Eric Goldman alerts us to a WSJ article, highlighting how phrases like “in all media, throughout the universe” are becoming increasingly common in licensing contract language. While some decry this as being imprecise and overly broad, I tend to fall on the other side of the fence. Not having those types of clauses in agreements in decades past have resulted in a lot of long and drawn out lawsuits (and old content that simply cannot be repurposed for modern media). Better to have the language seem ridiculously inclusive than lose culture to history because no one predicted the next popular format.