Licensing copyrights

Licenses are agreements through which copyright owners authorize other parties to exercise some or all the rights granted by copyright law to the owner of a copyright protected work. There are two categories of copyright licenses: exclusive and non-exclusive. An exclusive license grants a single party the right to exercise a particular set of rights associated with the copyright for the work in question. The party granting the rights is the “licensor” and the party receiving the grant of rights is the “licensee.”
A copyright license gives a person or entity (“licensee") the authorization to use a work from the copyright owner, usually in exchange for payment. Copyright licenses may be exclusive or nonexclusive, and the rights that come with them vary according to the specifics of each license.

Exclusive vs. Nonexclusive Copyrights

If you grant an exclusive license of your work, only the licensee can use the work—even you, as the original copyright owner, are excluded from using the work in the manner and length of time described in the license. Moreover, the copyright owner may not authorize anyone other than the exclusive licensee to exercise the granted rights. An exclusive license, therefore, is essentially a transfer of copyright rights. By contrast, a nonexclusive license allows more than one licensee the right to use the copyrighted work as described in the license. This type of license still allows the copyright owner to reserve and exercise the rights granted as well as to grant the right to other licensees simultaneously. Licensees, however, may not authorize others to exercise the rights to that work without permission from the copyright owner, and they have no rights to assert claims of copyright infringement. Only the copyright owner may sue and potentially recover damages for infringement.

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