Is Mindbody’s Virtual Wellness Platform right for your yoga studio?
We’ve all been eagerly awaiting information on the new Mindbody Virtual Wellness Platform. The seamless integration has a lot of promise. Done right, it could make things a lot easier for your yoga studio. But as it stands, Mindbody might not be your best option… Why? It’s all in the recent update to the Terms and Conditions.
The most common lie in our society is “Yes, I’ve read and agree to the Terms and Conditions.” Most of us speed right through and check the box every time we sign up for a new service or download a new app. That’s a BIG mistake when it comes to your business.
Especially right now, as studio owners are striving to shift their business models to keep up during this time of high paced change, it’s not easy to stay on top of all the fine print, its implications, and keep a finger on the pulse of what this indicates for the direction the wellness industry is taking — and what this means for your business.
Truth → You need to read the Terms and Conditions of any new platform or service to keep yourself safe.
Not everyone thinks like a lawyer. If reading the fine print stresses you out, delegate it. Just make sure you’re keeping your business safe and not ignoring the terms just because they’re full of legal jargon that’s hard to read and understand. By agreeing without reading, we give up stuff that we wouldn’t if we were talking to someone face to face.
Who controls the content? You or Mindbody?
The first thing you should do when you’re looking at Terms and Conditions is figure out what’s covered. In this case, Mindbody defines “content” as literally anything you put on the platform now and in the future. That means any video or pictures you upload, branding or branded materials (including your logo) and any other materials you may be able add in the future, like PDFs or workbooks for teacher training.
Truth → You’re consenting to give Mindbody free use of ALL your content.
Mindbody states you retain ownership of your content, but notes you’ve granted “worldwide, exclusive, irrevocable, unlimited, royalty-free… sublicensable and transferable license to the Content” meaning Mindbody can use your content, including your branding, pretty much however it wants.
Truth → You’re not allowed to use the content on another platform.
Even though you still own the content, there’s a special rule in the Terms and Conditions. It specifically states you’re not allowed to use your content on YouTube or any other platform besides Mindbody. If you upload a short class to Mindbody for your members, you can’t also use it on YouTube for a marketing funnel without breaking the contract.
Who is liable? You or Mindbody?
Everyone is trying to pass liability down the line when it comes to legal contracts. That’s no surprise. You’re liable for any content that ends up on the platform, which makes perfect sense. If you use copyrighted music in your videos that’s not Mindbody’s fault.
The problem is, Mindbody has the ability to use your content however they like, outside of your use on the platform. They could take your video content and use it in a way your music license doesn’t cover, and you’ll still be liable for it. Which is a problem, since you might not even know they’re doing it.
What about royalties? Do you get paid if they use your content?
The Terms and Conditions go so far as to specifically say Mindbody can “reproduce, distribute, prepare derivative works, display and perform it” for use by its Virtual Wellness Platform, Mindbody itself or any of its affiliates. It doesn’t state they have to tell you they’re doing it and they have zero obligation to pay you for it.
Mindbody is in control of ALL your content, can use it however they want to without paying you for it, and they decide when the contract ends. If you were to take your video down and cancel your subscription, Mindbody could still decide to use your content elsewhere. If it was profitable enough for them and they wanted to keep using it, you’d still be subject to the licensing agreement.
Truth → Mindbody is under NO obligation to pay royalties, even if they monetize your content.
To me, this clearly indicates Mindbody has a direct-to-consumer play coming where they open up virtual content in a separate app or as a consumer addition. They’d be able to use the content you and other Mindbody users make and get paid directly for access, cutting your studio out of the picture. They could choose to pay the studios that created the content in the first place, but they wouldn’t have to. You’d have no say in the matter.
What happens if you break the contract?
If you break the Terms and Conditions, Mindbody still retains licensing rights and full use of your content. They can also turn off your access to the Virtual Wellness Platform and have the option to suspend software services, which could mean turning off your Mindbody access altogether.
It doesn’t seem very likely that they’d take it that far, but it may be a possibility. Take the time to read the Terms and Conditions for yourself. Your business is exceedingly important, now more than ever. Business leadership is the most important leadership of our time. Anything you don’t understand creates a risk you could be taken advantage of.
Truth → You don’t want to get backed into a corner.
If you want to use the new MindBody platform, but have issues with the Terms and Conditions, highlight the parts you don’t agree with and contact their legal department. They’ll take your feedback and hopefully make some adjustments for everybody. Even if they don’t, you’ve had the chance to voice your complaints.
For more details, watch my video: New Terms for MBO’s Virtual Platform.
Amidst all of your responsibilities as a studio owner in this time of high speed changes, it’s nearly impossible to stay on top of every single detail and understand the potential implications for your business’s long term success. That’s why you need access to up to date info and cutting edge resources now more than ever before.
For more super relevant information, join us for The How to Re-Open your Studio Strong Bootcamp Webinars, included inside the Yogapreneur Collective. Get these livs webinars, plus the huge online resource library, private Facebook Group, and access to 1:1 coaching all for just $125.
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