Does WorldPulse Want to Steal My Work? Your Thoughts….?
I was so excited to learn about WorldPulse through its Voices of Our Future competition, and even more excited once I joined and experienced the supportive community!
I posted my 1st Voices of Our Future challenge (http://www.worldpulse.com/node/44062) incorporating an interview I did with an Iraqi refugee in Syria – a child whose father’s finger was cut off following the US-led invasion of Iraq. The response from WorldPulse participants overwhelmed me.
Then I read WorldPulse’s Terms of Service for those participating in Voices of Our Future (http://www.worldpulse.com/about/vof-rules), which included a very disturbing clause that says by posting on WorldPulse, I consent to WorldPulse’s taking this sensitive interview and altering it in any way it chooses and posting it elsewhere without compensation to me, without my permission – or even without notification to me – forever!
So, I had to ask myself: Would WorldPulse edit this interview, take some of the sensitive quotes out of context and post on – for example – a pro-war blog?
But, this little girl trusted me with her interview – not some anonymous web site – or anyone who might buy this web site years or decades from now. Don’t I have a duty and responsibility to this little girl to protect her story from potential bastardization? What right do I have to post her story somewhere where I relinquish how her story might be told?
I immediately contacted the CEO of WorldPulse (from whom I have yet to receive a response) and the head of the Voices of Our Future challenge. I have had a courteous interchange with Rachael, but the upshot after 3 weeks of exchange is that WorldPulse’s Terms of Service will not be changed any time soon, even though I’m told my email sparked attention.
I’m conflicted. On one hand, I want to get out the stories of these forgotten refugee women and children (http://www.worldpulse.com/node/44556) to a wider audience, and I selfishly want to become one of the finalists of the Voices competition so I can become more adept at getting these important stories out.
On the other hand, these women and children trusted me with their most vulnerable stories. What right do I have exposing them to even a sliver of possibility of misrepresentation?
What if WorldPulse is sold next year, or next decade, or several decades from now? By posting on this site, I give up my rights to control how my writing is used – forever! Here’s the clause from World Pulse's Voices of Our Future Section 7:
Content Ownership. …However, with respect to content any participant makes available for inclusion on publicly accessible areas of the Site, including without limitation any and all Entries [to VOF], each participant hereby grants …the worldwide, perpetual, royalty-free, irrevocable and fully sub-licensable right to distribute, reproduce, publish, publicly display, publicly perform, modify, adapt, translate, and otherwise use such content (in whole or in part), and to incorporate such content (in whole or in part) into other materials, in any format or medium now known or later developed, in Sponsor's sole discretion, without notice, payment, attribution or other obligation to such participant of any kind.
I’m torn. I do not believe WorldPulse would steal my work, but, if that‘s the case, why would they post on their TOS that they can? If they believe in empowerment -- as I believe they do – why require their members (us!) to give up our rights to our work in order to post on their site?
So, my question to you, my new friends in my community who share the divine femininity: What should I do?