As a content creator, I am always looking into ways to deliver content to our audience in the best, most efficient way possible. One area I have continued to look into is enhancing our live broadcast.
Currently, we use stickam.com to broadcast our live shows. And while it is sufficient, I wish it offered more. So I started to research alternatives.
Ustream.tv does not claim ownership rights in your User Submissions. However, by uploading, streaming, submitting, emailing, posting, publishing or otherwise transmitting any User Submission to Ustream.tv or on the Site, you hereby grant Ustream.tv a non-exclusive, worldwide, royalty-free, sublicensable, perpetual and irrevocable right and license to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, prepare derivative works based on, perform, display, publish, distribute, transmit, broadcast and otherwise exploit such User Submissions in any form, medium or technology now known or later developed, including without limitation on the Site and third party websites. You represent and warrant that you own or have the necessary licenses, rights, consents and permissions to grant the foregoing licenses to Ustream.tv. Ustream.tv will own all right, title and interest in and to all derivative works and compilations of User Submissions that are created by Ustream.tv, including all worldwide intellectual property rights therein. You agree to execute and deliver such documents and provide all assistance reasonably requested by Ustream.tv to give to Ustream.tv the full benefit of the rights granted to Ustream.tv by you.
…you hereby grant Ustream.tv a non-exclusive, worldwide, royalty-free, sublicensable, perpetual and irrevocable right and license to use, reproduce, modify, adapt…
This may not strike you as an area of concern immediately, but let’s take a closer look at exactly what Perpetual and Irrevocable mean. According to Encarta, perpetual is “lasting forever” while irrevocable means it is “impossible to revoke, undo, or change.”
Wow. So by using their service I grant them the right to use my content (pictures, audio, video, clips, etc.) forever in whatever way they want, and there is nothing I can do to change or stop it. Even if I delete my account and all my content from their servers, they still retain the right to use my work .. forever! No thank you ustream. No thank you.
In contrast, stickam.com’s terms of services reads as follows (bold added by me for effect):
You or the owner of the Content retain ownership of all right, title, and interest in Content that you Post, display, perform, transmit, or otherwise distribute on Stickam. However, you grant AVC a license to use and distribute the Content you Post on Stickam until a commercially reasonable time after you have deleted the Content. More specifically, by Posting, downloading, displaying, performing, transmitting, or otherwise distributing Content on Stickam, you are granting AVC, its, affiliates, and their subsidiaries, assigns, employees, agents and licensees the worldwide, royalty-free, sublicenseable and transferrable right to reproduce, display, distribute…
So with stickam, while I still grant them the right to use, redistribute, and edit my content to their liking, they do not retain this right forever. Once I delete the content and/or my account, their right to use my work is also deleted. This seems much more reasonable.
Some may ask why it even matters. And to that I point you to two small facts. The first, the internet show quarterlife had a brief (one episode brief) run on network television. Had they signed the righs away to their video, it is unlikely NBC would have even taken a chance on airing the show.
Second, Jerry Seinfeld was listed as the top earning comic in 2008, with a whopping $85M, mostly due to syndication deals for the Seinfeld television show. A show which filmed its last episode more than ten years ago. Think about that for a minute. Again, probably not something he could have accomplished had he granted someone a perpetual and irrevocable right to use the content royalty-free.
Therefore, it looks like we will continue to broadcast Rainy City Radio via stickam. While I like ustream and its iPhone sexiness, I just cannot bring myself to grant them perpetual and irrevocable rights.
To my fellow content creators, I strongly suggest you read the terms of service for whatever system you use to distribute and/or host your content. You may be giving away more than you realize.