In a recent thread on iStockphoto.com, a video contributor described how he had been denied iStockphoto’s video exclusivity contract because he currently has content (one video) on Vimeo.com, a video hosting site, sort of like youtube. People use Vimeo a lot for “how to’s” and “behind the scene demos” as well as experimental and final footage clips.
The rejection for exclusivity from iStockphoto read:
Exclusivity denied as member has files posted at http://www.vimeo.com/user###### which grants that company a royalty free license to your files. Please contact us when the files have been removed and we can then reset your application.
From flickr (Yahoo):
the license to use, distribute, reproduce, modify, adapt, publicly perform and publicly display such Content on the Yahoo! Services solely for the purpose for which such Content was submitted or made available.
Well, it’s easy enough to check out Vimeo’s terms of service.
Hmmm…. Overview… Blah blah… Refunds…. Ahhh, submissions. Let’s see. Holy Heck!
By submitting your Submission to VIMEO, you hereby grant VIMEO and its affiliates, successors and assigns a worldwide, perpetual, non-exclusive, irrevocable, royalty-free, sub-licensable (through multiple tiers) and transferable license (with a right to create derivative works) to use, copy, transmit or otherwise distribute, perform, modify, incorporate into other works, publicly perform and display your Submission or any portion thereof, in or through any medium, whether now known or hereafter created. VIMEO shall be entitled to unrestricted use of any Submission for any purpose whatsoever, commercial or otherwise, without compensation to the submitter.
So, you are granting them a license to do whatever they want, including sell or otherwise license your content, worldwide, forever! Ok, maybe not forever. That bit about perpetuity was probably just a sloppy lawyer. A lower bit says:
the licenses granted by you herein shall terminate within a commercially reasonable time after you remove or delete such Submission from the Site
So, as long as you have content on the site, they are free to do whatever they want with your work wherever and however, without compensating you. Heck, they can license it themselves, or distribute it to others to license for whatever use.
I wonder what they have to say about their intellectual property rights grab. You would have thought this kind of thing has been publicized enough that this would have been written out better.