Monday, February 18, 2008

Terms and Conditions

Regular readers will remember that I have issues with a lot of terms of service I find on the web. Every so often I wonder if it is just me. No one else seems to have the problems I have finding web sites they are happy to use. Well today this site was brought to my attention. It isn't just me! Now Michelle, the author, says she will probably sign up for the service anyway but be very careful about what she is giving away, a fine informed choice, but I still worry about the number of people who don't read these agreement, or dont understand them if they do.

I've been trying to get a photo book printed. This is a service I will be paying for. Yet the companies are still demanding some rights to my work. I assume that as they are still in business, most people are happy to give these rights away, but why should I let a company I am employing use my work for free to advertise itself? Actually I could see me doing exactly that, if I was asked personally, but as the terms of business? I don't think so.

The print on demad book industry also has some interesting ideas on what rights they should have. Several insist you must let them sell your book, but more concerning are those who have rights to publish illustrations and extracts from your work for free in perpetuity. OK maybe you won't ever make it big, but if you do you will really regret these agreements. Personally I don't really want other people being able to publish extracts of my books for free whenever they feel like it. One also has the right to use and rewrite as much of your material as they feel like and republish without crediting the original author. Again, these places are still in business so I have to assume a lot of people are accepting these terms, but do they realise what they have done?

Please guys, if you are using any service read the terms and conditions. The small print it is binding in most cases.

1 comment:

Penny said...

It's not just you :-)

I've stopped using the blogger image upload tool, and instead insert the html of the images, which are stored on my own server. I started when the move from blogger beta happened.