Another Example of No Free Lunch

I just got an email to join OpenSalon. It’s a social networking and blogging site. The idea is that you can blog there and get people to pay you for your work.

From the site:
“Open Salon is a publishing platform with a built-in audience. It was developed for writers, photographers and artists of any stripe in need of a smart home for their work (and not one of those giant, anonymous blog networks), and who are hoping to be rewarded for it. After a quick, free registration, you can immediately begin posting your words, images or videos to your blog, start building an audience and even earning money.”

This sounds like a great idea, right? I always question things that sound too good to be true. So I started a sign up process and decided it was probably important to check out the Terms and Conditions of the site before posting any content.

There was something I found in the Terms that reminded me of the following,

In life, there is no FREE LUNCH.


“By submitting or posting User Content using the Service or the Site, you grant to Salon an irrevocable, perpetual, non-exclusive, transferable, fully paid, worldwide license to: (1) use, copy, publicly perform, publicly display, reformat, translate, excerpt (in whole or in part) and distribute the User Content in or through any medium now known or hereafter invented, for any purpose; (2) to prepare derivative works using the User Content, or to incorporate it into other works, for any purpose; and (3) to grant and authorize sublicenses of any or all of the foregoing rights.”

It goes on to say that if I remove my user content, Salon still retains the above rights. They don’t own it, but they can do whatever they like with it. This sounds like a situation rife with unintended consequences.

Gotta be careful out there, I’m telling you, read your TOUs! (Terms of Use agreements) 😉


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