NBC Chicago has a fun section on their website called “So My City.” They welcome people to “Tell us your moment.” I was about to submit a couple of my photos and stories, until I read their terms of service.
You basically give NBC Universal the perpetual and irrevocable, license to copy, alter, reproduce, distribute, sell, EXPLOIT your photos (these are their exact words, including “exploit”).
Check out section 5, “User Content”
Rights Granted to NBCU: By uploading or inputting User Content to any NBC Local Media website you hereby acknowledge and agree that you are granting NBCU (including without limitation, its licensees, successors and assigns), the perpetual and irrevocable, non-exclusive right and license to: (a) use, copy, create derivative works from, reproduce, distribute, display, exhibit, host, cache, store, “fingerprint” [through use of content recognition technology], archive, index, categorize, comment on, tag, transmit, broadcast, stream, edit, alter, modify, synchronize with visual material, create algorithms based thereon, and transcode the User Content to appropriate media formats, standards or mediums; and (b) otherwise use, exhibit and exploit, and sell, license, assign and otherwise transfer to third parties the right to use, exhibit and otherwise exploit the User Content (in whole or in part and as altered by NBCU in its sole discretion) throughout the world in perpetuity, in any and all media, whether now existing or hereafter devised, including, without limitation, on NBC Local Media‚Äôs websites, on other websites, on the NBC Local Media television stations, the NBC television network, and on all owned and affiliated broadcast and cable networks, as well as in connection with any distribution or syndication arrangement with third parties or third party sites, in any media format or medium and through any media channels and for any purpose, including, without limitation, downloads, streams, in audio visual recordings, motion pictures, television programs, productions, advertising, promotion and publicity, including, without limitation, advertising, promotion and publicity for the Site and the Services, as well as the other websites and User Content produced by NBCU, and its parent and affiliated companies, all without further notice to, consent from or payment to you. You waive any and all “moral rights” you may have in the Content.
Bolding is mine. I’m not sure what “moral rights” i’m waiving. But it sounds like I’m certainly giving away my photos. According to their terms, they can take your submitted content and sell it to other companies. If they wish, they could sell your content to stock photo agencies.
Now we assume that NBC is not going to do anything bad. We know that NBC will be responsible and not do bad things. They just want people to put stuff up on the “So My City” feature, and they just want to be able to show the photos on their website, and possibly on tv. That’s cool.
But then why do their terms have such strong language about being able to sell the content anywhere anytime? That’s really extreme. We certainly assume they won’t do that, but their terms allow them to do that.
NBC, I like you a lot. I don’t mean any harm with this blog post. I like your news broadcast. But your terms are really extreme. You might say that it’s norm for the industry, but as a photographer, it certainly makes me not want to post anything on your site. For now maybe I’ll only submit my lesser quality iphone photos.