THE LEGAL SIDE OF DIGITAL RIGHTS|
Current Contracts - Royalties and Residuals
Fighters, like performers in the entertainment industry, should maximize their return on their fights, whether from pay-per-view, live gates, a share of foreign television advertising revenue, royalties from streaming videos of live fights, or residuals. Every time a fight is viewed, it could provide income for years.
Our focus here is concerned only with providing each fighter with a share of the revenue in the form of a royalty which flows from the digital rights to only the fighter's fight on the show, not the entire show.
Promoters' contracts always include language describing certain rights the fighters sell to the promoter. The promoter gets these rights so he will be able to sell them to television. To sell them he has to buy them from the man who owns them in the first place, the fighter. This is accomplished with the following language, which has been extracted verbatim from two prominent promoters' contracts:
(1) First Contract: "Such rights include, without limitation, all rights required to stage and sell tickets to admission to all such bouts, and all ancillary and subsidiary rights such as worldwide rights of record, film, broadcast, cablecast, and otherwise distribute, merchandise and exploit all such bouts in any and all forms in perpetuity." (underlining supplied)
(2) Second Contract: "...(ii) the unrestricted right to exploit the bouts worldwide, in perpetuity, through all forms of electronic media exploitation now known or hereafter created, including without limitation standard commercial or noncommercial over-the-air television, basic or pay-per-view, closed circuit and other forms of non-standard television and cassette, disc and other forms of home exhibition; and (iii) all other rights, privileges and benefits incident to or arising out of the foregoing and the promotion and exploitation of the bouts, including without limitation the right to obtain copyrights or other protections throughout the world with respect thereto." (underlining supplied)
The promoter, as the event organizer, only acquires control of these rights through his contract with the fighter. The purpose of the specific language in the fighter's contract with the promoters above is to give the promoter those rights.
Promoters' Contracts and Fight Contracts enable promoters to use contract law to preempt the rights of creators. The originators of content are precluded from exercising their owner's rights. The promoters become the owners under their contract and continue to market those rights to television and in recent weeks are controlling digital rights by selling them to a new market of over 800 million subscribers.
All owners of products they receive a price at the fair market value of his product at the time the product was created. The product before their fight and before a digital product was created, was a Fight Contract, their Agreement to fight under specific enforceable terms. These were contractual rights of a promoter who owned a Fight Contract, an agreement between two boxers to fight at a specific time and place under specific terms. The boxers would when they fought at that time create digital content.
Our patented self-matchmaking and marketing model gives the rights of ownership of digital content back to the rightful owners, the two fighters who created and were the originators of the digital fight content. Their digital product is in high demand and if the fighters and promoters use our business model to take control, their digital products could be worth a small fortune.
Language to Restore Boxers Rights
The boxers and their managers have to qualify that language by giving the promoter the rights, but only nonexclusive rights, reserving their right to stream videos of his particular fight on the Internet in perpetuity -- especially those fighters who are being encouraged to sign multi-fight contracts (with options) with current promoters and television broadcasters.
Restoring Boxers Licensing Rights
The first requirement is to create, define, and protect the rights of both the boxers and promoters. The second step is to fit those rights into the market to maximize the boxer's income from his fights and the promoter's income from his show. A successful program of rights management will be introduced. Suggested language for additions to contracts will be offered.
The act of producing television coverage of a show (i.e., creating the pictures) and the resulting material are generally acts protected by copyright. The terminology may vary internationally, but the effect is the same. A proprietary right in the sound and pictures of the total event is created and belongs to the promoter and then the broadcaster as the originator of such coverage.
The boxer must reserve in his contract with the promoter or television company specific rights to also use his fight if it is part of the event created.
With the developments in streaming video of live fights on the Internet, it is very important that all fighters secure their positions with contract additions which define the nonexclusivity of the rights granted.
New Income Sources for Boxers and Promoters
Boxers and promoters will receive a larger share of the pay-per-view revenue from millions of fight fans in the world who view their fights live and delayed online and from the domestic and foreign television advertising before and during the fight.
Boxers (winners and losers) whose fights are shown on Great Fights Online may also realize significant residuals from repeated viewing online by thousands of fans who missed the fight or want to see it again. This will be a great incentive for both fighters to put on a memorable and exciting fight.
This is an especially exciting development for thousands of boxers who compete on undercards of championship fights, whose television purses are typically less -- another very strong incentive to use FightersOnline and and show your fights on GreatFightsOnline.
Repeated viewing of these fights will, over time, create a very significant revenue stream for boxers. Fans will now have an opportunity to see them at any time. This will provide continuing residuals to many fights which would otherwise not be available. Many would have no television value as reruns. This is the unique value added by Internet technology.
Many "off-television" undercard fights on championship shows are never shown on television. They were taped for showing in case one of the main event fighters gets knocked out early. There are hundreds of these fights in television film libraries not making any money for anyone.
These fights will now be available for earning royalties and residuals for fighters whose fights are watched by fans and other boxers in evaluating them as prospective opponents.