Easy eContracts for Licensing Agreements

Susie Morrow

There has been so much change in the way we live in the last couple of decades that it almost makes you feel like we’re living in a sci-fi movie. One of the areas where big change has been really positive is in how we access our entertainment.

In 2015, according to the voice of the recording industry, the IFPI, 45% of global revenue was due to digital downloads. Being able to access music, film, and TV shows, online, at will, is revolutionary in a way that many of us don’t quite realize. We no longer have to rush in from work to catch that TV show we love, and there is no need to go into town and wait in line at the ‘record store’ to get the latest hit. Instead, we search, click, and enjoy.

Selling digital content, such as movies and music, has not only been a consumer revolution, but it has also opened up the mass market to folks in the entertainment industry selling digital content. Getting a site ready for digital content sales mean that you need a dedicated ecommerce website with extended capability in the form of licensing agreement handling. In this article, we’ll look at two highly complementary products that give you everything you need to make selling digital entertainment easy.

Easy Digital Downloads + WP E-Signature = All You Need to Sell Digital Entertainment

Easy Digital Downloads is a WordPress plugin that is dedicated to the selling of online digital content. Easy Digital Downloads supports any theme, so you simply install the plugin to your WordPress site. Once installed you will have a full set of features to sell online digital content. Once installed you will be able to have a basket system for multiple purchases, set up a variety of payment gateways, and have many other features such as purchase analytics.

However, one thing missing from the Easy Digital Downloads plugin is the ability to manage an econtract and capture a digital signature during a transaction. The sale of digital content is usually associated with a licensing agreement to use the content. This licensing agreement normally sets out what you can and can’t do with the digital content once it has been downloaded.

Having a licensing agreement when selling digital content is vital as it prevents misuse and reselling of your copyrighted digital content. Being able to present a licensing agreement during a digital content transaction, and make signing of that contract really simple on any device, is what ApproveMe’s WP E-Signature WordPress plugin does well. ApproveMe’s WP E-Signature is an econtract and digital signature platform that allows you to create and present econtracts, then capture legally binding esignatures on those econtracts.

Using Easy Digital Downloads with WP E-Signature allows you to build a rich functioning ecommerce site for digital downloads that gives your users a seamless buying experience, whilst ensuring your content is protected. The benefits of using these two WordPress plugins with your digital content ecommerce site gives you two key competitive advantages:

Quicker and more simple transactions for your customers

: Rolling the licensing agreement as an econtract into the purchase process in a seamless way, means you will have a lower customer dropout rate and a generally better experience encouraging returning customers. This will help to build your brand image as easy to buy from.

Easier transaction management for you:

Being able to manage your licensing agreement directly from your site, and take esignatures during the transaction, creates a much more manageable sales process. WP E-Signature is more than a esignature solution, it is a fully fledged econtract management system. It allows you to set up econtracts, add in fields to take customer contact details, place signature blocks in a form, capture a digital signature, archive contracts in a central repository, and audit the whole process. Easier transaction management means improved efficiency and reduced costs.

Using Easy Digital Downloads and WP E-Signature to Add Licensing Agreements To Your Digital Content Site

In a few simple steps, you can make sure that your site is ready to sell your digital content, whilst protect its use. The steps below, using our fictional company ‘Supa8,’ show you how easy it is to get all the features you need to get your digital content site ready for sales:

  1. Supa8 offer movies from independent filmmakers that are hard to get. They have already installed the WordPress plugin, Easy Digital Downloads to their site to make it into an ecommerce site that can sell their movie downloads.
  2. During the purchase of the digital films, the company is legally bound to take a signature on a licensing agreement to protect the film copyright.
  3. To manage this part of the transaction, Supa8 have installed ApproveMe’s WP E-Signature WordPress plugin.
  4. To extend the capabilities of the process, Supa8 also install the extension addons, Stand Alone Docs and EDD Digital Signature which are part of the ApproveMe and Easy Digital Downloads plugins.
  5. Supa8 then create a licensing agreement using WP E-Signature which will be presented during the movie purchase.
  6. Creating the licensing agreement is a case of copy and pasting an agreed licensing agreement into the Supa8 website WordPress console. WP E-Signature allows you to modify the licensing agreement to add in various fields so that customer details can be added before signing the agreement.
  7. Supa8 then add signature boxes to the licensing agreement using WP E-Signature. These boxes direct the customer to sign on the dotted line before purchase is complete.
  8. The EDD Digital Signature addon allows Supa8 to link the agreement to the relevant product for checkout.
  9. Now, once a Supa8 customer purchases a movie download, they will be asked to read and sign the licensing agreement before the transaction is completed. Signing the agreement is really easy, the customer just adding their name, to the signature box. The esignature created is secure and legally binding.

Once the transaction is complete, the customer gets a pdf copy of the signed licensing agreement and Supa8 have a copy stored in a central repository.
Using the combination of Easy Digital Downloads and WP E-Signature gives you the tools, as a digital content supplier, to make sure your customers have an easy transaction experience, whilst making sure that your digital content is protected. And importantly, with no monthly fees, this is an affordable solution to the problem of ensuring your online business is truly online and that selling your digital content is simple, easy, and legally binding.

Check out our video on using Easy Digital Downloads and ApproveMe for licensing agreements: https://wordpress.org/plugins/edd-digital-signature-add-on/

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