Flattery Will Get You Nowhere – New Website Takes Broad License of Your Photos


Tim Darby is a great photographer who received this email full of compliments:

Dear Tim,

I am writing to you on behalf of Fanbase, Inc. . . . I found your photos of the Jaguars on Flickr and you are clearly one of the best Jaguars photographers on the web. . . . After scouring countless websites, we have chosen you and a handful of other superlative Jaguars experts to be the Founding Members of our service. . . .

Specific benefits include:

* Exposure – Be one of the first users to contribute content, to gain distribution for your work, and to build a base of subscribers.

* Influence – Preview early features, participate in product planning sessions, and regularly share your feedback with the company.

* Recognition – Earn the permanent title of “Founding Member” in acknowledgment of your role in helping to launch the service.

* Connection – Join a select group of your peers in building a definitive source of information for sports fans around the world.

* Permanence – Showcase your old and new content on a website that celebrates both past and present as living sports history.

We would be honored if you accept our invitation. Just visit [our website page] to create an account and access the preview release of our website.

. . .

Best regards,
[Name withheld]

Who doesn’t want exposure, influence, recognition, connection, and permanence? Unfortunately, pay for use of Tim’s photos is not one of FanBase’s benefits. Instead, the Member Agreement for Fanbase provides that:

Content. You retain ownership of your content, but we may, without compensation, publish your content on our site and elsewhere and republish your content (or extracts of it) to promote our site. We or other users may edit or remove your content, and we may not be able to update or stop publishing your content if it’s edited or removed. [Emphasis added.]

That’s an invitation Tim won’t RSVP.

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