Assignment of Rights

January 3, 2011

I was given a Flip video camera for Christmas, had a little fun with it, and because I have funny pets (MY pets are of course the funniest pets ever), I decided to research the terms and conditions of a couple of popular upload sites.


For clarity, you retain all of your ownership rights in your Content. However, by submitting Content to YouTube, you hereby grant YouTube a worldwide, non-exclusive, royalty-free, sublicenseable and transferable license to use, reproduce, distribute, prepare derivative works of, display, and perform the Content in connection with the Service and YouTube's (and its successors' and affiliates') business, including without limitation for promoting and redistributing part or all of the Service (and derivative works thereof) in any media formats and through any media channels... The above licenses granted by you in video Content you submit to the Service terminate within a commercially reasonable time after you remove or delete your videos from the Service.

See here, the key point? I retain ownership. I'm granting a license, which has a termination limit.


All submissions become the sole property of Producer and may be used in any manner, commercial or otherwise, in any and all media and/or technologies now known or hereafter devised throughout the universe in perpetuity.

The writer in me, who has had the necessity for careful negotiation of rights assignments drilled into her by any and all writing business-oriented workshops she has ever been to, took one look at the above and said, WTF? What kind of idiot do you take me for, "Producer"? That is one seriously grabby and onerous copyright clause. And you are not even guaranteeing to pay me for my content. Neither does YouTube, but at least they don't turn around and say my content belongs to them forever and ever, unless I plan to show it in a quantum parallel universe. It's not clear to me that the "return" clause at the link actually gives me back ownership, either. Just a way to get the cassette back.

I wouldn't accept terms like that for a novel, short story or article (with the exception of certain types of work-for-hire - the key difference being that work-for-hire usually entails fair compensation). Why would I accept them here? The fact that this is a contest doesn't justify a sweeping grab, either. Just take a look at the ABNA Grant of Rights terms for comparison.

I guess I won't be winning $10,000 anytime soon. I think I can live with that.

Latest Books

Little Blue Marble 2020
1 5

Join My Newsletter


  • Latest Books



    [line] [line]

  • Newsletter Sign-up

  • Categories

  • Archives

  • Recent Comments

  • Topics

  • Archives

    Copyright Katrina Archer
    linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram