Every Thursday we share with you three things that have been discussed on our Savvy Shay Business Club surgery that we think will be very useful for your small business. 


Of course this is just the tip of the iceberg – if you're interested to know more and to ask your own questions to top business lawyer Suzanne Dibble and learn from the experience of lots of other small business owners, then go to https://suzannedibble.com/savvyshay/  to find out more and to join our thriving membership.


  1. should you have a written agreement with somebody who you are interviewing on LinkedIn or on a podcast, where you want to be able to use the recordings for future promotion of your business?


Wherever you are using content produced by a third-party, it is always wise to have some form of written agreement to protect your right to continue to use that content and to ensure that there are no misunderstandings that could lead to claims of copyright infringement.


The copyright position on an interview between two parties where you are recording it is that you will own the copyright in the recording but that there is joint copyright in the interview itself.


Therefore it is always wise to have a brief document where the interviewee provides you with an exclusive license to use their part of the interview ideally without any charge, on a worldwide basis, without restriction and specifically with the right to use it for the future promotion of your business.


We have templates should you need them!


  1. In a contract for a coaching program, mentoring, training, membership or online course, would it be wise to have a clause stating that some of the materials are in the public domain and are based on third-party ideas and concepts?


Although there is nothing legally that says that what you sell in a coaching program, mentoring, training, membership or online course needs to be novel or indeed that it is all based on ideas or concepts that you have come up with yourself, it may be useful to include some wording to explain that this is the case, in order to point to it in the contract, should future customers challenge this in any way.


Wording that you might want to use would be: 


‘You acknowledge that certain information contained in the Materials is already in the public domain and that certain of the Materials are based on third party ideas and concepts.’


  1. Is it possible to state that group programmes and memberships have lifetime access?


The term ‘lifetime access’ is common in the online coaching, training and mentoring world. However, what does it actually mean? Does it mean the lifetime of the customer? Does it mean the lifetime of the creator of the content? Does it mean the ‘lifetime’ of the company selling the content? Does ‘access’ mean ongoing access to you? 


What we actually want it to mean is that there is continued access to the online materials for as long as you decide to continue to provide the programme or the membership.


You need to be clear on this in your terms of business so that there aren't any issues down the line, should you decide to discontinue the programme or membership.


You also need to think about your payment structure and when it would be reasonable to say there is no refund for no further access to the online materials. Or you could express the ongoing access to the online materials (after the main programme is complete) as a bonus.


Wording that you might want to use is:


“As part of this programme/membership you will have continued access to the online materials that are included in the programme/membership until such point as we decide to not continue to run the programme/membership. After [INSERT PERIOD eg 6 months] following your purchase of the programme/membership, if we discontinue the programme/membership, there will be no right to any refund in relation to loss of access to the online materials.”


That’s your Three Things Thursday! 


Hope it’s helpful – and remember that if you need more support – with templates, asking me individual questions or our extensive trainings on all areas of business law that are important to small business owners, you know where I am! 


© Suzanne Dibble 2013-2022

The information contained above is provided for information purposes only. The contents of this article are not intended to amount to advice and you should not rely on any of the contents of this article. Professional advice should be obtained before taking or refraining from taking any action as a result of the contents of this article. We disclaim all liability and responsibility arising from any reliance placed on any of the contents of this article.