How might I consider intellectual assets and intellectual property (including Digital IP)?

If your project or activity includes creating new work (especially digital content), then you should be clear in your application about plans...

If your project or activity includes creating new work (especially digital content), then you should be clear in your application about plans for how intellectual assets and intellectual property (IP) will be managed. The latter relates to formal ownership (like patents, trademarks, copyrights and designs) and whereas assets extend beyond formal IP. Your project may well produce some of both.

Plans should consider which project elements are assets that could be used in other ways after the project. (An asset could be a story, a character, music, graphic elements, software, a methodology or a whole range of other things.) An agreement should answer questions such as: Who can use the asset(s)? How can they use them? How long will the agreement last? Does the project need a period of exclusivity over the asset(s)?

If you are commissioning work that will be streamed (audio or video) then the rights issues are different than work commissioned for live performance or for a gallery setting. Digital assets are different because they are easy to copy and share.

If you are collaborating creatively on a digital output you might need to consider how you can share the intellectual property between you. It’s much better to put an agreement in place up front, than find you have a disagreement later.

Resources we are aware of at the moment include:

This is a specialist area and the issues in each project will be different. You may wish to take professional advice. For most projects, it is not likely taking account of intellectual assets and property will be about sharing significant profits. As such, it is something to approach in good faith and with attention to proportionality – i.e. people who do more work on a project have a greater share of ownership or more right to exploit an asset.

All of the intellectual property created by projects funded through the Open Fund will stay with the artists or makers.

As outlined in the Guidance for the Open Fund for Individuals, in line with National Lottery terms and conditions, if anything created using our funding is subsequently exploited for significant commercial gain, Creative Scotland may contact you to discuss recoupment of your award.