Gary Farber’s caught a company that is trying to gain all rights to your blog posts, if you’re naive enough to sign up with them. The company goes by the name of Blogburst and/or Pluck.
For those of you who are unfamiliar with the publishing world, there are legitimate publishers, who buy your work, pay you a flat fee and/or royalties, and there are those who pay in copies or a penny per word. And then there are those who try to rip you off completely, by purchasing all rights to your work.
For example, a standard short story contract gives the author a flat fee and grants the publisher the right to publish the story, and often first reprint rights. After that, the story is the author’s, in perpetuity.
Now contrast that with what Blogburst is trying to do with your blog posts. They want the rights. In perpetuity.
Subject to the terms and conditions of this Agreement, you grant to Pluck and its affiliates a non-exclusive, worldwide, royalty-free, perpetual license to reproduce, distribute, make derivative works of, perform, display, disclose, and otherwise dispose of the Work (and derivative works thereof) for the purposes of (a) modifying the Work without substantially changing its original meaning, and (b) distributing the Work (and derivative works thereof) to Publisher electronic web sites or corresponding printed editions, whether now known or hereafter devised.
Yes, according to that clause, all your blog are belong to Pluck. It appears to be a work-for-hire type clause, only they don’t guarantee you any payment, and, well, you didn’t sign on to be their employee. Or so you thought. Don’t be a sucker. I know there are a lot of smaller bloggers out there trying to get big. This isn’t the way to go.
And if by some chance this post stopped you from signing up and getting your posts’ ownerships transferred, go over to Gary’s place and give him a tip. He’s the one who emailed me about them.