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Distribution Rights Made Simple
Tony Mase

I'm sure you've seen terms like "private label rights", "master resale rights", and "resale rights" tossed around the Internet in reference to various products.

These products and the specific rights they include can be a bit confusing, especially to the uninitiated, but it's vitally important for you to know the difference between the various types of distribution rights because they're *NOT* all the same and, by running afoul of copyright laws, intentionally or unintentionally, you can get yourself into some *serious* trouble if you're not careful.

In addition...

You want to make absolutely sure you understand these terms so when you're creating and distributing your own products you don't accidently "give away the store", so to speak, or have your product "bomb" because you didn't use the right terminology to explain your offer.

So...

In real simple language...

Here, in general terms, are the basic distribution rights. They each have their variations, but this'll give you the overall picture:

1. Unrestricted Private Label Rights

The "Cadillac" of distribution rights, unrestricted private label rights are the most flexible of all rights and therefore the most valuable.

You can do practically anything you want with an unrestricted private label rights product including, but not limited to:1

  • Selling it "as-is"...

  • Claiming yourself as its "author"...

  • Claiming full copyright of it...

  • Renaming it...

  • Editing or rewriting it and selling it as your own...

  • Creating a whole new type of product or products from it...

  • Bundling it with other products in a package...

  • Giving it away...

  • Selling or giving away private label rights, master resale rights (see below), or resale rights (see below)...2

Whatever!

2. Private Label Rights (PLR)

Private label rights are similar to unrestricted private label rights in that you can edit, rewrite, and/or call the product your own. However, there may be some limitations or "restrictions", if you will, like you can only sell it above a certain price or you can't give it away for free, for example.3

3. Master Resale Rights (MRR)

Resale rights or resell rights, as they're sometimes called (same exact thing), allow you to resell a product, but not edit it in any way whatsoever.

In other words...

You can't call it your own...

Nor can you add to, edit, and/or modify its content.

In addition to allowing you to resell a product, master resale rights (or master resell rights) also allow you to sell or pass on the resale rights to others, allowing them to sell the product as well, and, in some cases, the master resale rights, thus allowing others to resell the resale rights in addition to the product.

4. Resale Rights (RR)

Unlike master resale rights, resale (or resell) rights allow you only to resell a product. You can't change it in any way, nor can you give it away or sell resale rights to it.4

5. Giveaway Rights

Giveaway rights allow you to giveaway a product free of charge. More often than not, a giveaway product is "viral" in nature, designed to be "passed around", usually to promote a particular product or products. Sometimes these rights include the right to "brand" the product with your name and/or affiliate link(s) to the product or products being promoted.

6. Personal Use Rights

Personal use rights limit the use of a product to your personal use only. You may not resell it, nor give it away, PERIOD!

Odds are most of the products you've purchased online came only with personal use rights.5,6

Now...

Most private label, master resale, and resale rights products come with an agreement, usually a document named "Resellers Agreement" or "License" that further clarifies specifically what you can and can't do with a particular product.7

Here are a few of the more common terms used in these agreements defined:

1. Added to Free Membership Sites - Yes or No

Free membership sites are websites that *don't* charge a fee for access. Usually included in this category are websites that offer both free and paid memberships.

2. Added to Paid Membership Sites - Yes or No

Paid membership sites are websites that get some sort of fee to access the download areas. This website, for example, is a paid membership site.

3. Can be Broken Down Into Articles - Yes or No

Usually used in reference to private label rights products, "yes" means that a products content can be extracted and divvied up into smaller units for distribution as articles.

For example...

You may take a twenty chapter private label rights ebook and turn it into twenty or more separate articles.

4. Can be Packaged with Other Products - Yes or No

This means that you have or don't have permission to combine a product into a "bundle" with other products if, for example, you want to offer it as part of a "package" rather than sell it individually.

5. Claim Full Copyright - Yes or No

Usually used in conjunction with private label rights products, a "no" means as long as the product and/or its sales materials are not altered you may *NOT* claim full copyright (the copyright remains with the product's creator).

However...

If you change everything, which, if you're going to resell them, is what I suggest you do with private label rights products, including the products name, then you can claim full copyright.

A "yes" indicates you can claim full copyright regardless of what you do or don't do.

6. Edit/Alter the Sales Materials - Yes or No

Most private label, master resale, and resale rights products come with some sort of sales materials, like sales letters, one time offer pages, download pages, graphics, etc.

When given permission to edit these materials, it essentially means you can edit the content. This is allowable on the overwhelming majority (99%+) of the private label, master resale, and resale rights products you'll come across.

In some cases, most often with private label rights products, you'll also get the source graphics (usually in .psd format) and you can edit the graphics as well.

7. Offered as Free Bonus - Yes or No

Many private label, master resale, and resale products allow you to offer the product as a free bonus to your customers and/or subscribers (though some differentiate between the two when it comes to its allowable use) for buying another product, signing up for a newsletter, "goodwill", referrals, etc. However, some don't.

8. Offered Through Dime Sale Events - Yes or No

A "dime sale" is essentially a "firesale" where someone puts together a package of products for an extremely low price, usually for limited time like seven days or so.

Quite frankly...

Though you'll see it being done all the time...

I *don't* recommend doing this!

Most "marketers" who resort to these sorts of tactics don't make any real money and end up "folding up their tent and going home" in a relatively short period of time...

Don't you be one of them.

9. Sell at Auction Sites - Yes or No

Some product creator's may give you permission to resell their products on online auction sites like eBay.

However...

Please keep in mind, as I understand it anyway, eBay no longer allows the sale of digital downloads, so you'll be required to put your product(s) on a CD and mail them to your buyers. 

There may be a few more terms you'll run across in these agreements, but these are the "biggies".

To give you an idea of what a "Reseller Agreement" or "License" looks like and what it means, here are a couple of "real life" examples from products I've purchased...

This one from a private label rights product:

Added to Free Membership Sites: No
Added to Paid Membership Sites: Yes
Can be Broken Down Into Articles: Yes
Can be Packaged with Other Products: Yes
Claim Full Copyright: Yes
Edit/Alter the Sales Materials: Yes
Given Away for Free: No
Offered as Free Bonus: Yes
Offered Through Dime Sale Events: Yes
Sell at Auction Sites: Yes
Sell Master Resale Rights: Yes
Sell Private Label Rights: Yes

As you can see, I can pretty much do whatever I want with this product other than add it to a free membership site and/or give it away for free.8

And this one from a master resale rights product:

Added to Free Membership Sites: No
Added to Paid Membership Sites: Yes
Can be Packaged with Other Products: Yes
Edit/Alter the Sales Materials: Yes (text only)
Given Away for Free: No
Offered as Free Bonus: Yes
Sell at Auction Sites: Yes
Sell Master Resale Rights: Yes

Other than alter this product in any way (as it's not a private label rights product), add it to a free membership site, and/or give it away for free, as you can see, I can pretty much use this product anyway I see fit including, but not limited to, selling the master resale rights to it.

That's it on the subject for now...

I'm sure there'll be more to come...

Stay tuned! 

-----

1. "Products" may include, but aren't limited to, articles, audios, ebooks, ecourses, ereports, graphics, scripts, software, templates, and videos.

2. As a seller, you need to understand that by extending these rights to others you're "giving away the store", so to speak, or at least a part of it as there's absolutely nothing to stop the recipient of them from turning around and selling them the same day for half the price you are.

3. These limitations or "restrictions" usually only apply if you're pretty much selling a private label rights product "as-is". You can usually bypass them by renaming the product, rewriting it, and selling it using your own name, graphics, and sales letter (in other words, by creating a whole "new" product out of the private label rights product), which is what I recommend you do with private label rights products anyway.

4. After you obtain private label, master resale, or resale rights to a product, should you decide to resell it you keep 100% of the profits just as if it were your own product. In other words, you *don't* pay any "royalties" on it whatsoever.

5. Unless it states otherwise, you can safely assume any product you purchase online is for your personal use only. It would be *extremely* unwise on your part to *ever* assume otherwise.

6. Obviously, you can use any private label, master resale, resale, or giveaway rights product for your own personal use. You're under no obligation whatsoever to resell or give it away, whatever the case may be.

7. You'll usually find this document in the main folder the product comes in or in a subfolder usually titled something like "Documents". You'll often find this information on the sales page for the product as well.

8. As I indicated in Footnote 3 above, being a private label rights product, I could easily and legally bypass these restrictions, if I wanted to, by simply creating a whole "new" product from the existing one.

 

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