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Managing Listing Content Terminology

Assignment: When a copyright owner transfers some or all of his or her rights unconditionally and without restrictions, it is generally considered to be an “assignment” of the copyright. A copyright gives the owner numerous rights in the work, such as: the right to reproduce and the right to prepare derivative to name a few. Accordingly, the copyright owner has the option of assigning each of these rights to different individuals or the owner may assign all of the rights to only one individual.

Compilation: The MLS holds a copyright to the compilation of the listings. A “compilation” is a work formed by the collection and assembling of preexisting materials or of data that are selected, coordinated, or arranged in such a way that the resulting work as a whole constitutes an original work of authorship. Therefore, the copyright is truly in the “selection” and “arrangement” of the material, not in the individual listing, and not in the individual components of the listing, such as photographs and remarks.

Indemnification: Is a clause used in contracts to guarantee against any loss which another might suffer.

Intellectual Property (“IP”): Any intangible asset that consists of human knowledge and ideas. Examples of intellectual property include patents, copyrights, trademarks and software

License: When a copyright owner only transfers some of his or her rights for a limited period of time or a limited purpose, it is generally known as a “license” of the copyright. With a license, you temporarily transfer your rights in the copyright to another person, but you retain actual ownership of the copyright. Generally there are two types of license agreements, exclusive and non-exclusive.

Exclusive License: An exclusive license exists when the transferred rights can only be used by the owner of the license (the licensee). Accordingly, no one but the licensee can exercise the rights contained in the license, not even the person who granted the license (the licensor).

Non-exclusive License: A non-exclusive license permits others, including the licensor to exercise the same right being transferred in the license.

Work Made for Hire: 17 U.S.C. Section 101 of the Copyright Act defines “works made for hire” as either:

  • a work prepared by an employee within the scope of his or her employment; OR
  • a work specially ordered or commissioned for use as:
  • a contribution to a collective work,
  • a part of a motion picture of other audiovisual work,
  • a translation,
  • a supplementary work,
  • a compilation,
  • an instructions text,
  • a test,
  • answer material for a test, or
  • an atlas

and the parties expressly agree in a written instrument signed by them that the work shall be considered a work made for hire. The written “work for hire” instrument must be executed prior to the work being created; “work made for hire” does not apply to works already created.