You Don’t Need to Pay Me, I Work for Hope –Wrap Up

Brian's Take on Tech

Bringing you info about technology, and how it impacts your life for better and worse.   -Brian K, Community Partnerships Supervisor

This week we will take a look at three more sites and I will give you my final thoughts.

First we will look at two blogging platforms.

Exhibit Five 

Blogger wouldn’t allow anyone to use my content, would they? 

Answer: Depends on how you define anyone.  Google does have rules in place regarding copyright infringement but as you can see below you are pretty much in charge of blowing that whistle on your own. That said, Google themselves retain rights to your posted works. 

From the Source:

“We respond to notices of alleged copyright infringement and terminate accounts of repeat infringers according to the process set out in the U.S. Digital Millennium Copyright Act.

We provide information to help copyright holders manage their intellectual property online. If you think somebody is violating your copyrights and want to notify us, you can find information about submitting notices and Google’s policy about responding to notices in our Help Center.” 

Some of our Services allow you to submit content. You retain ownership of any intellectual property rights that you hold in that content. In short, what belongs to you stays yours.

When you upload or otherwise submit content to our Services, you give Google (and those we work with) a worldwide license to use, host, store, reproduce, modify, create derivative works (such as those resulting from translations, adaptations or other changes we make so that your content works better with our Services), communicate, publish, publicly perform, publicly display and distribute such content. The rights you grant in this license are for the limited purpose of operating, promoting, and improving our Services, and to develop new ones. This license continues even if you stop using our Services (for example, for a business listing you have added to Google Maps). Some Services may offer you ways to access and remove content that has been provided to that Service. Also, in some of our Services, there are terms or settings that narrow the scope of our use of the content submitted in those Services. Make sure you have the necessary rights to grant us this license for any content that you submit to our Services. 

Exhibit Six 

So Tumlbr protects me better? 

Answer: I will let you be the judge. What I do like about their policy is that while some of the verbiage remains the same, they specify the intent. See below. 

From the Source:

When you transfer Subscriber Content to Tumblr through the Services, you give Tumblr a non-exclusive, worldwide, royalty-free, sublicensable, transferable right and license to use, host, store, cache, reproduce, publish, display (publicly or otherwise), perform (publicly or otherwise), distribute, transmit, modify, adapt (including, without limitation, in order to conform it to the requirements of any networks, devices, services, or media through which the Services are available), and create derivative works of (including, without limitation, by Reblogging, as defined below), such Subscriber Content. The rights you grant in this license are for the limited purpose of operating the Services in accordance with their functionality, improving the Services, and allowing Tumblr to develop new Services. The reference in this license to "derivative works" is not intended to give Tumblr itself a right to make substantive editorial changes or derivations, but does enable Tumblr Subscribers to redistribute Subscriber Content from one Tumblr blog to another in a manner that allows Subscribers to, e.g., add their own text or other Content before or after your Subscriber Content ("Reblogging").”


Explanation of purpose

“When you upload your creations to Tumblr, you grant us a license to make that content available in the ways you'd expect from using our services (for example, via your blog, RSS, the Tumblr Dashboard, etc.). We never want to do anything with your content that surprises you.

Something else worth noting: Countless Tumblr blogs have gone on to spawn books, films, albums, brands, and more. We're thrilled to offer our support as a platform for our creators, and we'd never claim to be entitled to royalties or reimbursement for the success of what you've created. It's your work, and we're proud to be a part (however small) of what you accomplish.”


Now a quick look at Pinterest.

Exhibit Seven

Pinterest is basically a free for all, right? 

Answer: This answer is a little different because of how we use the service. Most people use Pinterest for what is called “deep linking,” your pins link users to specific content in sites you think may be of interest to them. For example, rather than linking to a recipe website you link them directly to the recipe that caught your attention. In this form of use there is no infringement because you are linked to the original source. Here comes the BUT, but you do have the ability to post unique content and when you do the policy is similar to many of the services that claim rights to use your content in a way that supports their service – including the right to modify your content.  

From the Source:

You grant Pinterest and its users a non-exclusive, royalty-free, transferable, sublicensable, worldwide license to use, store, display, reproduce, re-pin, modify, create derivative works, perform, and distribute your User Content on Pinterest solely for the purposes of operating, developing, providing, and using the Pinterest Products. Nothing in these Terms shall restrict other legal rights Pinterest may have to User Content, for example under other licenses. We reserve the right to remove or modify User Content for any reason; including User Content that we believe violates these Terms or our policies.

Final Thoughts

My purpose here was not to throw companies under the bus for their practices. As businesses they have the right to do what is best for their bottom line. My goal was simply to get people thinking. Think about the license agreements you are “signing” though I certainly wouldn’t be opposed to companies making it a little bit easier to understand. 

What I want people to think about is the real value of what they create.  Should it really be free?  The severe storm outbreak last weekend is a great example. The media agencies barely had to lift a finger to get the story.  Sure they sent a handful of people into the field but we did most of the heavy lifting for them. We stood in harm’s way to get the shot of the tornado barreling through the neighborhood tossing houses like toy blocks; filming wind gusts that folded trees in two, in downtown St. Louis.   How much in commercial residuals do you think CNN is going to send out to the people who took that footage? Answer:   Not a dime.  If they are lucky they might get their name mentioned on national television.

Think about your newspaper.  How many jobs have they cut? How many have replaced that lost content with blogs? Some would say this is the democratization of information.  That is what used to think, until I thought long and hard about who reaps the benefits of this new information economy. 

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