Drone Pilots’ Biggest Failure.
Do you want to know what the biggest failure of most drone service providers is? Its their failure to understand the basics of their business model. Like a surgeon that doesn’t know anything about scalpels or surgery, they go about their drone business blind to the basic of their craft. Even consultants and so-called experts don’t understand that drone pilots are licensing copyright protected works to customers. Few appreciate that billing time for flight operations is the least important aspect of their business. Licensing their valuable data is the core of what drone pilots are providing to customers. Understanding copyright licensing is essential to each drone pilot’s business. In this podcast, we will be exploring the basics of copyright licensing for drone service providers. [listen below]
Welcome to DroneLaw Pro Radio. My name is Drone Attorney Enrico Schaefer. Today we are going to talk about Copyright.
Understanding Copyright Law.
I was listening to some other Podcasts, across all of my niche practice areas. Two drone related podcasts popped out at me. They dealt with the issue of how to sell photographs and video from Drone footage to more than one customer. The way that the issue is addressed was very eye opening. It was one of the top Drone programs with a lot of subscribers. No one really seemed to understand nor appreciate that you do not ever sell Drone photographs or video footage. You license them. This is not a complicated issue.
For instance, if you want to license your photographs to more than one real estate agent, it couldn’t be any easier. We, at DroneLaw.Pro, have all kinds of different professional grade contracts for Drone operators. One of those contracts is the SUAS Service Agreement, which is the customer contract. It is broken up into two pieces. The first piece is for the services rendered and the second piece is the Copyright license. The beauty of Copyright license is that you can slice and dice that license any way you want. In fact, unless you provide a customer an exclusive right to those photos or video, you can do whatever you want with those photos thereafter, because you are the Copyright owner. You are going to license certain rights to your customer.
Copyright Licensing Basics
How much of those rights you are going to license should depend on how much they are paying? We all know that in the world of real estate agents and brokers do not want to pay much for the “right” to use photographs and video. So, you license to that real estate agent, a non-exclusive right to use the photographs for the duration of the listing agreement. That’s it. That’s all they get. You can license those photographs and videos to anyone else including the home owner, the next home owner, or the next real estate agent after the listing expires.
The fact that we are a year and a half into Part 107 and some of the top Drone pilots and consultants still do not understand the essence of the business model which Copyright licensing is disturbing to me, because Copyright is a Drone’s pilot best friend. Copyright law protects you as the Copyright owner. Copyright licensing gives you infinite possibilities to be able to slice and dice the “rights” that you grant to a particular customer. The “rights” you reserve to yourself even on a broadly granted license.
So here is what I am going to tell you. If you are Drone Pilot or Drone service provider, your business model should have certain foundations to it. One of those is operating the Drone. The other foundation of your business model is Copyright licensing. If you want to be in this business, you must understand the basics of Copyright law. You must know how to craft a Copyright license. If you want to be in this business. Otherwise, you are like a surgeon with one arm or a surgeon without a scalpel.
Get Educated About Copyright Law
If you need to more about Copyright licensing, feel free to go to our Blog at DroneLaw.Pro. There are many articles that discuss how to license Copyright protected works. If you do not know how to draft a contract, which includes a license that has all of the different variations and rights that you can grant or reserve in it, then go to DroneLaw.Pro and to our SUAS Service Agreement. This has all of this baked right in. My name is Drone Attorney Enrico Schaefer. We are talking Copyright and we will see you next time.
Why Copyright Law is “Mission Critical” to Drone Service Companies – There are certain mission critical skills that every drone pilot must know in order to get off the ground. Some are obvious. Of course, you need your aircraft, remote controller, payload, Remote Pilot Certificate and you must comply with Part 107 during flight operations. You also need to successfully market your UAV services and secure customers willing to pay you for commercial UAV services.