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Has Private Label Rights Run Its Course?

Updated on July 27, 2015

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What are Private Label Rights?

Private Label Rights (PLR) is a legal term that describes rights assigned to holders of information products (eBooks, audio, video, etc.) that give those holders certain access rights assigned by the product creator. These rights vary among different product creators but typically include the right to sell the product as is or alter the product and sell the derivative product.

What is PLR?

Is PLR Dead?

Private Label Rights?
Private Label Rights?

Is PLR Still Useful?

The proliferation of its use has created some controversy over the past couple of years as to whether PLR is still useful. The answer is that it depends on how you end up using it. It is my belief that the market for PLR is improving but care is needed before incorporating it into your content marketing mix.

What Gave PLR a Bad Reputation?

When a product owner/creator gives holders of his PLR products the rights to do anything with them, those holders will tend to abuse these rights. Although these holders did nothing legally wrong, it was all-to-common for them to simply flood the internet with these PLR products. As with anything else in life, the more copies of something that exists, the less valuable it becomes. Its value is diluted.

Imagine if you do a search on a specific keyword term and thousands results point to a document that is exactly the same. What would be your feeling about the value of that document? Now imagine if you were to take the same document and try to actually sell it to somebody. What kind of results do you think you will get in doing so? Even if you could sell some copies of this product, what will happen when the buyers discover they can get it for free by simply doing a search on the internet? Your return rates will skyrocket and your reputation will be tainted.

Evaluate Yes No Maybe

How to Evaluate PLR
How to Evaluate PLR

How to Evaluate PLR

When you find a PLR product you may be interested in, you should first evaluate whether it is something that you can a) either use yourself, or b) distribute to others in exchange for some kind of benefit (sign up to mailing list, cash, etc.)

The first step in the evaluation is to go through the actual product to get a feel for how high the quality of the product is. Many PLR products are quickly thrown together with little regard to its quality. You'll even find several PLR reports with glaring errors like bad grammar and incorrect spelling.

The next step is to determine if the information is the same as what you can get by doing a standard search in a search engine.

Third, make sure there are not to many copies of this product already distributed widely across the internet. To make that determination, take some example sentences from the products (if the product is document based) and search on the web. If you see several results with the exact match for the term, that is a red flag. If the product in question is a multimedia product (audio, video, etc.) you could try using search terms from the included sales page (assuming one is included).

The next step is to determine what kind of value has been included in the product that you are evaluating. This is somewhat subjective and will also depend on the type of audience you plan on distributing this product to. If you feel good about distributing the product, then it is probably something that is high value.

Enhance the Value of the Base Product

Once you find PLR products that you feel are high quality, the next step is to add value to the product. As an example, suppose the PLR product that you find is a video tutorial. Also suppose that the video is the only part of the product that is included. To enhance its value, you could extract the audio and create an podcast. You could also transcribe the video into a document. After you perform both of these value enhancing tasks, you could sell the entire package (video, audio, and transcription).

Another idea would be to create a slideshow of the video by either screen capturing certain frames of the video or by simply typing in the text of the video into a PowerPoint (Keynote on Mac) presentation. The advantage of doing this is that you could send this presentation to presentation sharing websites such as Slideshare.net and other similar sites.

How you decide to enhance the value of the product is limited only by your creativity and imagination. Always be looking to repurpose your content no matter where you get it from (PLR or otherwise).

What Kinds of Rights are Included with PLR?

There is no way to definitively state what rights are included with each product since it's entirely dependent on the rights attributed by the product creator. However, there are some common themes among PLR products with respect to rights given. These often include rights to:

  • Sell the product
  • Use it for your own benefit
  • Package it with other products
  • Modify/Change the Sales Letter
  • Modify/Change the Product Itself
  • Add to Paid Membership Sites (such as PLR membership)
  • Modify/Change the Graphics and ECover
  • Put Your Name on the Sales Page
  • Offer Product as a Bonus
  • Use to Build a List
  • Print/Publish Offline
  • Convey/Sell Personal Use Rights
  • Convey/Sell Resale Rights
  • Convey/Sell Master Resale Rights

Product creators will at their discretion include the above rights or a subset. If a right is not shown it should be reasonably expected that it is not granted. Often, product creators will show rights that are permitted as well as rights that are not permitted (two separate lists).

***It's important to make sure you understand exactly what you can and cannot do with respect to any product that you obtain from others. Also understand that this entire article is in no way to be misconstrued as legal advice and you should consult with a legal professional for any insight with regards to this subject matter.

Ready to Publish PLR?

Ready to Publish PLR?
Ready to Publish PLR?

Use PLR For Amazon Books? Not so Fast!

Amazon has long since cracked down on its publishers using PLR as the source of content for books. Oddly enough and even to this day, there are major book sellers that still allow its use (or at least hasn't gotten to the point of cracking down like Amazon has).

The short of it all, expect to get your books removed should you decide to use PLR as the content for your books on Amazon. I would imagine repeated offenses will probably get your account banned! There, you've been warned.

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