- Posted by Michael Leventhal
- On February 5, 2018
A few months ago, I wrote a blog detailing the rights language I drafted when licensing a well-known film property on behalf of a client of mine who wanted to create a narrative VR experience using that property. At the time, I was trying to draft the broadest possible definition of rights, without terrifying the film studio which was worried about accidentally giving up, for example, OTT rights and waking up to find my client distributing their properties to Netflix and Hulu. Obviously, not what we were after. We came up with a workable definition of the rights and signed off. Fast forward to this last fall, after the successful launch of the property. My client was contacted by a location-based experience (“LBE”) company with an interesting new 360 degree platform. They wanted to know if they could license the finished experience to be adapted for their platform. A quick review of our license with the film studio confirmed that we had explicitly inserted location based “Mediated Reality” (my term for AR/MR/VR/XR) into the “Channels of Distribution” definition, ensuring that my client had the right to make the deal. We also have a version of the “Future Technologies Clause” (as it is sometimes known in the licensing world) as the catchall, in case we missed something, which says: “Any other distribution channel or platform similarly capable of supporting or distributing VR, AR or MR content now known or hereafter devised.” While that language can have different meanings to different courts in different jurisdictions (that issue is worth of its own extended blog post), it is important to have, as new inventions keep overtaking the markets, and new distribution channels and experience platforms continue to be invented. We closed that deal several weeks ago, and the LBE version of the product is underway! This example is not the only place where LBE is important. There are any number of opportunities for the creation and use of Mediated Reality experiences in physical locations. If you don’t have the rights to put your creation onto these platforms, you could be missing out on something big!