Thursday, February 3, 2011

Oprah goes for rights grab

I'm a great fan of Oprah Winfrey, a celebrity who has consistently been on the side of writers, and a strong advocate for reading, Which is why I'm so terribly disappointed to see name associated with a clear grab-- very nearly theft-- of writer's rights.

Writers beware!

It looks so innocent-- she's asking for poets to submit their poems. How can that be bad? Maybe, just maybe, she'll make them famous. Well, she's taking advantage of the hopes and dreams of gullible writers here. It's a scam.

Read the fine print. It says that anything you submit, whether they publish it or not, belongs to them. Submit, and she owns all rights forever!

"Harpo shall exclusively own all known or later existing rights to the Submissions worldwide with the unrestricted right to use the Submissions for any purpose in all media now known or hereafter discovered without compensation to the provider of such Submissions."

Not merely all rights, forever, but they're even demanding rights that haven't been thought of yet! It's probably not even legal (they're not offering to pay for the rights)-- but don't count on the terms not being enforced.

Don't just walk away from this one: run!


Geoffrey A. Landis said...

I see that my post here was reprinted over on the "Forgodot" blog. Woulda been nice if they'd mentioned the clevelandpoetics blog, or even my name, when they reprinted it. Oh, well, I guess once something's out in the blogosphere, it's gone. (And it's nice to see somebody paying attention.)

And "Amanda's Blog: A Writer's Journey to Being Published" also discusses the same rights grab.

VertigoXX said...

they're automatically importing any post on the cleveland poetics blog. that can be done (the blog has an RSS feed just for that purpose), however, they should be crediting what blog the posts came from. they removed something from the wordpress program.


The poet doesn't invent. He listens. ~Jean Cocteau