The internet is an infinite portal for expression. While I am somewhat of a social networking rat, I’ve unfortunately never given considerable thought to who owns whatever I make public. Until recently.
I naturally assumed that whatever ridiculous thing I posted on Tumblr was mine (unless, of course, it is another reblogged cat-in-a-suit picture, which wasn’t mine in the first place).
But this isn’t exactly the case. If you take a look at Tumblr’s terms of service contract, the blogging forum actually has a lot of power when it comes to user-generated content. Subscribers own the content, but so does Tumblr, which can also copy, change, distribute and sublicense the content as it pleases. This may be fine for your run-of-the-mill rant or Daily What. reblog, but what about posting original, creative content? I would strongly urge anyone currently using Tumblr to post anything remotely original to switch forums.
“All materials displayed or performed on the Site, including, but not limited to text, graphics, logos, tools, photographs, images, illustrations, software or source code, audio and video, animations and Themes (as defined below), including without limitation the Tumblr Template Code (as defined below) (collectively, “Content”) (other than Content posted by Subscriber (“Subscriber Content”)) are the property of Tumblr and/or third parties and are protected by United States and international copyright laws.”
“Subscriber shall own all Subscriber Content that Subscriber contributes to the Site, but hereby grants and agrees to grant Tumblr a non-exclusive, worldwide, royalty-free, transferable right and license (with the right to sublicense), to use, copy, cache, publish, display, distribute, modify, create derivative works and store such Subscriber Content and to allow others to do so (“Content License”) in order to provide the Services”
WordPress has similar Terms of Service , with an important difference: it has the right to “a world-wide, royalty-free, and non-exclusive license to reproduce, modify, adapt and publish the Content solely for the purpose of displaying, distributing and promoting your blog.”
To me, this is an important difference. I’m still not thrilled about anyone having any sort of claim to my work, but then again, publication in other forms relinquishes similar rights.
The way we share information is constantly changing, and I feel like the issue of intellectual property isn’t stressed enough with the constant growth of new sites to publish and share content.
Does anyone know anything more about content ownership or have any recommendations in navigating the blogosphere?