This is an update on our spat with BlogBurst (see They Own the Aggregator, Now (They Think) They Own the Content.)
First off, we still cannot stop boiling at the idea that the San Francisco Chronicle, Houston Chronicle, San Antonio Express-News, the Austin American-Statesman and other nation’s major newspapers, together with Pluck, are stealing bloggers’ bandwidths to deliver content.
As for our involvement with Pluck’s BlogBurst service: we are outta here! Upon consultation with the legal advisers of Medgadget.com, we have learned that the BlogBurst agreement appropriates all of our content forever to Pluck, royalty free, without sugar on top, for as long as Pluck creates a “derivative work.” This “derivative work” could be sold by Pluck forever to who-ever.
From the contributor agreement:
… you grant to Pluck and its affiliates a non-exclusive, worldwide, royalty-free, perpetual license to reproduce, distribute, make derivative works of, perform, display, disclose, and otherwise dispose of the Work (and derivative works thereof) for the purposes of (a) modifying the Work without substantially changing its original meaning, and (b) distributing the Work (and derivative works thereof) to Publisher electronic web sites or corresponding printed editions, whether now known or hereafter devised.
What is “derivative work”? By looking at this example at the San Francisco Chronicle, the full post, full title and full picture is considered to be a “derivative work.” (Note that all images displayed by this SF Chronicle page are located at http://blog.stonegrooves.net/images/africa/ : they are not stored or served by the newspaper.)
Additionally, it seems to us that there is no out to the Pluck contract. All the work you produce is theirs for as long as you have a relationship with Pluck. Placing your blog in “suspend,” inside BlogBurst panel, probably does not suspend the contract, and they still own the above mentioned “derivative work.”
We have sent an email to many bloggers about this outrageous, abusive service (and we blame newspapers, as much as we blame Pluck, for this.)
Many responses from bloggers have been received: thanks to all! Keep up the fight, if you have any respect for what you do!
Headlines from the blogosphere (the list is growing…):
WROTE: bye bye blogburst
Living the Scientific Life: Beware BlogBurst
Bitch Ph.D.: Caveat Bloggor
Orac: “BlogBurst is a predatory company that is taking advantage of the naivete of bloggers.”
TalkLeft: “I am concerned about the hot-linking of images using my bandwidth and the reprinting of the entire text of my posts… I don’t intend to write for newspaper readers for free. I don’t want them co-opting my posts as their own.” (link)
Stillbop: Cheap crumbs
Fistful of Euros: Beware BlogBurst: Bad for Business
Living the Scientific Life: Beware BlogBurst, Part Deux
The Examining Room of Dr. Charles: “I was approached by a blog syndication service called BlogBurst sometime ago, and considered joining. I guess I’m glad I didn’t.” (link)