Licensing Made Easier

Hopefully, your New Year’s resolutions include putting all of your licenses in writing. To help with that process, the PLUS Coalition (Picture Licensing Universal System) has supplemented last year’s release of the PLUS Picture Licensing Glossary with four additional licensing standards: The PLUS Media Matrix, PLUS Packs, PLUS-ID System, and PLUS License Data Format.

PLUS Media Matrix
The PLUS Media Matrix provides a standardized hierarchy of media categories, media types and media options, allowing users to easily identify and differentiate specific types of media usage such as “Point of Purchase,” “Transit” and even “Edible Media.” One of the best tools for the photographer is the “License Generator.”

PLUS Packs
PLUS Packs introduce a new universal standard for streamlined “rights-managed” image licensing. Simple and convenient, PLUS Packs offer the flexibility of broadly defined rights, in a form that is simple, straightforward and transparent. PLUS Packs include the most common commercial, editorial and personal uses.

PLUS-ID System
PLUS has assigned a universal Matrix-ID code to each type of media and to each media usage option. Art buyers, designers and publishers can use PLUS Matrix IDs as a convenient and precise means of specifying usage rights for commissioned and stock images when communicating with any artist or stock agency, worldwide.

PLUS License Data Format
The PLUS License Data Format provides a universal standard for summarizing information essential to the understanding of an image license, such as the names of the parties, permissions granted, and any limitations on the use of the image. The License Data Format is machine readable, and is used by artists and stock agencies to embed image license information in digital image files, allowing customers to easily view the usage rights associated with any image.

The PLUS standards will appear in software used to create, edit, manage, browse, distribute and license images. Additional PLUS components now under development include the PLUS License Generator, License Information Panels, License Embedder & Decoder, Artist & Licensor Registry and the License Registry, all launching in 2007.

As discussed in my July 26, 2006, blog, the PLUS Coalition promotes clear and precise communication, leveraging current technologies to allow license information to travel within digital image files. PLUS makes image licenses easy to understand and easy to use. Take the next step by incorporating these new tools into your normal workflows to better protect your work.

Take my advice; get professional help.

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