A couple of weeks ago I got an email from a marketing company doing a social media campaign for a major corporation. Apparently they wanted to get bloggers to do a contest for them, and the winner would receive . . . nope, better not go there. If I told you what the prize would have been, it would be tantamount to telling you who the corporation is, and I’d probably get sued. For my part in the production, I would have received the same prize, but since I have no use for it, it wasn’t much of an incentive. I like doing online promotions, though, whether for me or someone else, so I was going to do as they asked just for the fun of it.
(It’s a good thing I didn’t. The last contest I promoted got almost no entries, so if you’d like to help me redeem myself as a promoter, you can check out: Free ebook giveaway of the latest thrillers!)
After I said yes, I received a four page contract. I suppose it makes sense — after all, if they were going to give away a couple of items worth two hundred dollars each, they would want to make sure I did what I said I would do. The agreement seemed standard until I go to the part that said: You grant us the right to link to your blog and to reproduce, display and distribute excerpts from your blog, for any purpose, in any media now known or hereafter invented. Like I’m really going to grant them those rights forever. I told them they could have the rights to any article I wrote on their behalf, but that’s it.
Anyway, they changed that section, and I went through the agreement one last time before signing. In a section about attesting to being over eighteen and being the sole owner of my blog and not defaming the company, etc., I found this: You hereby waive any moral rights you may have in your blog.
What???? I don’t even know what that means. Still, I gave them the benefit of the doubt and said if they removed that line, they had a deal. I never heard from them again.
The contest was supposed to start in two days. I’m keeping my eyes open for contests pertaining to that corporation. I’m curious how many people got suckered into signing away the reproduction, distribution, and moral rights to their blogs. I hope you weren’t one of them!