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.

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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