The Myows’ Contract Generator just went live and managing your copyrights just got even easier.

Here’s the inside scoop. From the beginning, the Myows team’s dream has been to help creative businesses and freelancers like ourselves give their intellectual property the respect it deserves.

How? By providing easy online tools that help protect and manage copyrights easily and professionally. The ability to store and register original works (OWs) was a great start but, in order to fulfill our vision, we knew we had to take things further. A truly great copyright management tool shouldn’t just be there to help out in case of infringement. Myows needed to be relevant to creatives’ day-to-day lives too. So we set out to find new ways to help you work safely and professionally and – most importantly – to avoid copyright disputes occurring in the first place.

After some pretty careful planning in consultation with hundreds of avid Myows users and creatives on four continents, we are proud to launch the next big thing in online copyright management: the Myows Contract Generator.

The resulting new version of Myows is a game changer if we say so ourselves. Not only can Myows now help members find copies of their work online (through built-in text and image searching functionality) – but members can now create valuable documents to govern the transfer of those rights to others.

Introducing the Myows’ Contract Generator: a simple tool that takes the pain out of managing, renting and selling your copyrights to third parties (such as clients). The Myows Contract Generator puts proper copyright contracts into the hands of ordinary creatives like us – helping us conduct our businesses and our craft smartly, legally and professionally.
Here’s how it works:

1. In order to create a Myows contract or license you must first stake your claim to the copyright in question.

To do this you simply upload the work itself up onto the system as an OW (or Original Work). An OW can be anything that you have created as text, an image, movie, a screen grab or whatever other digital format is applicable. If you’re already an active Myows user then you’ll already have OWs loaded on your profile.

2. When you want to assign some or all of the rights in one of the works you have uploaded you click on the contracts tab or select “create a new contract” from the OW in question.

You may want to do this because if, for example, you are selling a photograph to a client or handing over a logo that the client that commissioned it. You can then select between and customise a number of very useful sample contracts that we’ve prepared especially for you. If you prefer, you can also use a Creative Commons license or copy and paste your own contract texts to create personalized contract templates that you can use again and again.

3. Once you’ve filled in all the necessary details (such as the duration and area covered by the license for example), you can send the completed contract directly from your Myows profile.

Best of all, the receiving party (your client for example), can view the contract and the work to which it pertains, digitally sign it and/or request changes directly from the link provided. Not only is this impressive, professional and secure but, just like the rest of the Myows system, all of the actions* around your contract will be recorded and time stamped. Creating a history and a trail of evidence that you can use to help protect your rights (and your client’s) in the future.

*This includes the client’s viewing and signing of the contract.

4. The new notifications drop-down at the top left of your profile screen will keep you informed of any developments with the contracts you have issued

(for example if they have been signed and returned or if comments have been made or changes requested).

5. Finally you can also receive contracts from other parties that have provided input into your work or who have assigned some of their rights to you.

For example, if you’re a logo designer and you’ve entered into an agreement to use a particular font-designer’s typeface in your logo, you can formalize that agreement by asking them to send a license to you on Myows.

The result is that way you have all the legal documents you need around the development and sale of your work, neatly and safely, in one place.

Anybody can try out the Myows Contract Generator by clicking on the contracts tab inside their Myows profile. (If you’re not a Myows member you can sign up for free today). Even Free users can create and issue unlimited contracts and licenses.

Our focus at Myows has always been on balancing ease-of-use, effectiveness and value and we believe that the Contract Generator does exactly this. It makes the creation of comprehensive and customized legal contracts quick and easy.

Best of all, generating a license off the Myows system will cost members a fraction of the cost of hiring a lawyer, which in many cases is not necessary (when drafting simple contracts)
Please feel free to share your comments and experiences of the Myows contract generator on the forums or add your comments below…

NB: A thank you from All of us at Myows goes to the Beta Testers who have offered their help with usability and debugging.