Best Copyright Agreement Template in 2021

If you have created something unique and would like to keep it under your control, you might want to protect it with a Copyright License Agreement.

Picture of s copyright seal signature

Copyright protection applies when the work is complete. If you create the work for an employer, the rights belong to them. If you create it for yourself, the rights belong to you.

Common examples of copyrighted works:

  • Books
  • Maps
  • Photographs
  • Movies or other media
  • Architecture
  • Computer programs
  • and More..

What is subject to copyright protection?

Copyrights cannot protect everything. “Fair use” states that limited portions of copyrighted works can be used on a limited basis in news reporting, scholarly reports, and commentary. These do not require an agreement.
In some cases, copyright is limited unless you file a formal request with a government copyright office. This provides further formal legal protections. Regardless of whether you have a formal copyright, a Copyright Agreement offers great protection against improper use of your property and gives you control.

How to grant permission to use copyrighted materials

Drafting a Copyright Agreement with another party gives you some say in how the work can be used. You can limit the number and type of copies distributed, and how they will be used. For example, if you want your image on a coffee mug, but not on a print ad, you can specify this in the agreement. You can dictate how long the work is used for. Maybe more importantly, this agreement will also outline how you will be compensated – through royalties or payment based on how and where the work is used.
Copyright Agreements provide a temporary license between two parties. After the agreement has expired, all rights to the work goes back to the creator (or whomever owns the original rights to the work).
While you can retain the services of a lawyer, you can also use online services. Rocket Lawyer has the best template available. They provide a simple to use form that will stand up to scrutiny.

Information needed for a copyright agreement

The process is simple. You will choose your state and answer a series of questions, including:

  1. Start date of the agreement
  2. Information on who owns the copyrighted material
  3. The party receiving the right to use the property
  4. Details on the specific property to be licensed
  5. Whether the license is exclusive or non-exclusive (licensed to only this party or to more than one party)
  6. Whether the party can just use or is allowed to sell the property
  7. Whether the property can be used in a specific geographical area (for example, in the state or country, or all around the world)
  8. How the royalty is calculated and reported (for example, as a percentage of sales or a fee per unit sold)
  9. Whether the property is used as is or can be modified
  10. How this agreement can be cancelled if the licensee does not comply with the terms
  11. How claims related to the agreement will be arbitrated if one party does not comply with the terms
  12. Claims about warranties and damages resulting from use of the license
  13. Whether the license agreement can be transferred to a third party
  14. How this agreement can be terminated by either party
  15. End date of the agreement
  16. The Signors

Once this information is completed, the form can be generated, saved, and printed when you sign up for a free account. Both parties can sign the document online or on a printed copy. Both parties then agree to abide by the document.

Best online service to create a copyright agreement


Simple corporation filing solution

Screenshot of RocketLawyer copyright landing page
Visit Website

Pros & Cons

Affordable copyright agreement
Knowledgeable and responsive support
Option to incorporate for free with the purchase of subscription
Offers incorporation services in all 50 US states
Relatively expensive filing service without the purchase of subscription

While you can retain the services of a lawyer, RoketLawyer online service offers an affordable alternative. Created and vetted by lawyers, it is legally binding in court. If you do run into problems down the line, Rocket Lawyer has a Premium plan that provides legal counsel. has several legal templates. Once you consider and gather the information, filling out and generating the form takes just a few minutes. Adjusting the agreement is easy and if you run into problems, there is a great support team to assist.


Featured reading