White label and internet content distribution contracts
“White labelling, portals, internet content distribution”. The internet has generated new ways of doing business; companies are joining forces to offer customers seamless webs of products and services.
Internet contract distribution contracts can range from licensing of content to linking contracts to co-branding to full white label integration.
For those licensing content to others, key issues will include protection of intellectual property rights, attribution of ownership, clarity around how the content will be displayed, ensuring no linkage with inappropriate content (especially important for children’s content), termination, plus clear-cut payment, reporting and auditing requirements.
For closer integrations, such as co-branding (both parties’ branding appears) and white labelling (the supplier supplies the service under someone else’s branding (“the brander”)), things to consider include:
- Branding: The parties will need to be clear exactly how the site will appear to users. The brander must ensure that, before they contract, users are in no doubt that their contract is with the service-provider and not the brander. Otherwise, there’s a risk that the brander will be responsible if something goes wrong under the contract.
- Exclusivity: The service-provider may require some degree of exclusivity especially if it is paying a minimum guaranteed commission.
- Promotional obligations: The service-provider may well require clear and well-defined promotional commitments by the brander so at to maximise traffic from the brander’s site to the service.
- Data protection: The parties must ensure that the co-branding or white label contract properly regulates handling of personal information and transfer between the parties, including for marketing purposes. These will need to comply with the strict requirements of the “GDPR”.