Uncategorized · Writing Stuff

Don’t Be Vocal – Read the Fine Print

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Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

I’m a mercenary. I want to be paid to do things, and I’ll do a number of things to get paid.

One of the things I do is write content for various online sites. A lot of them are kind of wonky in how you get paid – page views, sales through Amazon affiliate links, all that kind of good stuff.

I thought I might add to my current sites, so I wandered around the interwebs, and I came across “Vocal.”

Interesting place, I thought. There seem to be a lot of users and a lot of user generated content. It seems to be good content, too. Stuff that will draw in readers.

Maybe I should sign up!

But then…I did what you should do. I read the fine print.

Terms of Use:
“You retain ownership of the intellectual property rights in your User Content, subject to the license you grant to the Company below and elsewhere in these Terms of Service.

By transmitting User Content on or through the Services, you grant the Company a nonexclusive, perpetual, irrevocable, worldwide, royalty-free, fully paid, assignable, transferable, sublicensable license to use, reproduce, store, modify, edit (e.g., fixing typos, making editorial changes), truncate, aggregate, display, perform, distribute, prepare derivative works based on, and transmit such User Content, in any medium that now exists or may arise in the future, and otherwise exploit your User Content (including, but not limited to, use of your name in association with your User Content to identify you as the “Creator”) in connection with the Services and the Company’s (and our successors’ and assigns’) businesses, including after your termination of your account or the Services, and you waive any and all moral rights and publicity rights in such User Content. You represent that you have all of the necessary rights to grant this license to the Company for all of your User Content, and that such license is granted without infringement or violation of any third party rights, including without limitation, any privacy rights, publicity rights, copyrights, trademarks, contract rights, or any other intellectual property or proprietary rights. You agree that this license includes the right for other users of the Services to access and use your User Content, subject to our terms and conditions regarding such use and the right for the Company to allow its third party business partners (including social media services) to use your User Content and that this license has no restriction as to the medium, dissemination method, type of services the Company or its business partners may offer, or the type of systems or products that may be used in conjunction with your User Content.”

What does that mean?

You might “own” your content, but they can do whatever they feel like with it forever and ever, amen.

Well, at least they pay me, right?

How to Earn Money:

“You may be paid for user engagement with certain User Content that you submit to the Site. The Company determines amounts payable to users derived from User Content based on proprietary algorithms developed by the Company and subject to change in the Company’s sole discretion, without notice to the User. Generally, the algorithms measure and assign weight to such user engagement metrics as popularity of the content with visitors as measured by number of unique visitors; visitors’ interaction with the content; amount of time spent by visitors on the page; and shares on social media. Notwithstanding the foregoing, the Company reserves the right to modify its algorithm at any time, which may result in decreased revenue to users for similar content, and to suspend monetization program altogether.”

So, let’s review, shall we?

You own your work, but they can use it as much as they want, however they want, in perpetuity, and you have no say over any of it.

That sounds fair.

And you get paid, but they figure out how much they pay you, unless they decide to stop paying you, and they can’t actually tell you exactly how they figure out how much they pay you.

Another totally fair aspect of writing for them.

Now, maybe I’m being harsh, and maybe you think that you’re digging this place and going to write for them.

Clearly, this one is not right for me: I don’t want people to use my stuff ad infinitum without having to pay me or get my approval to change and use, and I really don’t want them to stop paying me just because they don’t want to pay me.

But if you like them? Cool.

I will never tell someone that they should only write for money or that they should only write for free. As a writer, it is up to you to decide what you want for what you do. You have your reasons, and I’ll stay in my lane and let you make your own decisions.

But. Please. Read. The. Fine. Print.


Things I’ve Noticed During This Trip to Tampa (Another Experimental Blog)

1. My tolerance level for middle-aged men who think they’ve figured out the world and art and are lords and masters of all they survey is…nil.

2. I’m not very good at hiding #1.


3. I’m not really bothered by #2.

4. The Baptist church on the corner had three Christmas trees and three boxes for said Christmas trees sitting out in the lobby last Friday (the 3rd) and Saturday (the 4th).
The trees had already been stripped of all decoration.
But come Sunday morning (the 5th), when it was time for services, I peered into the lobby and the trees were still there but the boxes had been hidden.
By Monday afternoon (the 6th), the trees had also vanished, but on the table in the middle of the room, a box had appeared.
It reminded me of a dibbuk box.

5. “The Princess Bride” and “Raiders of the Lost Ark” were both on TV.  And they both share the same fatal flaw.
Sort of.

6. The park across the street from the Baptist church is attractive to photographers.
There was a family taking baby pictures on a blanket.
A wedding party taking posed shots.
A group of photographers who stood in the park and took pictures across the busy street of the side of the church.
(I still don’t know why they were taking pictures of the church, but I think I may have been in some of those shots…)

7. Everyone lives their own reality.
Not all those realities are real.

8. “Great literature” is capable of producing horniness, if it’s “great” enough.

9. People who are well-educated aren’t necessarily smart or open-minded or even well-educated.

10. Walking over the drawbridge at night is extremely nerve-wracking because there are lights beneath it that illuminate the water through the metal grate, convincing me that there is metal fatigue which will result in the walk-way collapsing and me drowning in shallow water with two broken legs.


11. Writers are either too full of self-worth or too full of self-loathing.
Sometimes both.

12. The entire first floor of the hotel has no guests in its rooms.
The doors are all latched open and have notes about what needs to be fixed.
The first floor is where the laundry room is, next to the staff elevator.
The staff elevator has an “R” button.  I think it stands for “Roof” because there is no rear entrance/exit in the elevator.
I want to push the “R” button and see where I go.

Image13. There is a coke machine on the same floor as my hotel room that has a large “Calories Count” sign.
Each drink’s button has a calorie count.
The coke machine down on the first floor does not have the sign.
I have tried to not take the sign personally, but I have failed.

Image14. On the sidewalk someone has erected a sign that has some sort of approval on the back from the Florida Highway Something…
On the front of the sign, it says “DRIVE SAFELY” and “In Memory of Christopher ‘Mole Man’ Cook.”
But the sign is placed so that people on the sidewalk can’t read it without stepping into the street.
And it’s so small that people on the road would have to swerve very close to read it.
So I wonder if Mole Man is trying to get people killed.

15. Taking sugar packets from the hotel restaurant so I can make coffee up in my room makes me feel like an old woman stocking her pantry from a diner.

16. Falk Theatre has a balcony!
And the seats are mega-more comfortable.

17. I have no problem accepting rides from others when the temperature is 40 or less.

18. I miss actually attending yoga classes.

19. I’m totally judgmental.
But only when people deserve it.

20. Being exposed to all these things is inspirational.
And fun.
And off-putting.
And discouraging.