An Irrevocable, Perpetual, Non-exclusive, Transferable, Fully paid, Worldwide License to Kiss My A** …

February 9, 2009 at 1:22 pm | Posted in Fun, Legal, Web 2.0 | 71 Comments

I had a feeling of deja vu when reading Stowe Boyd’s posting (quoting Legal Andrew quoting) the Facebook terms:

By posting User Content to any part of the Site, you automatically grant, and you represent and warrant that you have the right to grant, to the Company an irrevocable, perpetual, non-exclusive, transferable, fully paid, worldwide license (with the right to sublicense) to use, copy, publicly perform, publicly display, reformat, translate, excerpt (in whole or in part) and distribute such User Content for any purpose on or in connection with the Site or the promotion thereof, to prepare derivative works of, or incorporate into other works, such User Content, and to grant and authorize sublicenses of the foregoing.

This seemed really familiar, so I did a search on this rather unique set of words and was amazed at how many places use the exact same phrase. Here’s just a few:

The statement is so one-sided in its application that I would be curious how many judges and juries have knocked it down over the years.  The shame is that this kind of phrase acts as a landmine – it can sit there quietly for years, but then explode one day if the company decides to reuse some IP that the original poster (who probably didn’t read the long legal disclaimers) didn’t even think could be reused.

One company probably used this phrase first and other lawyers loved it so much they all copied it.  In fact FindLaw publishes it as a sample to be used by others.  Great- spread the joy.  I don’t know who the original lawyer is that came up with that phrasing, but he can’t complain about all the copying since his client probably had an irrevocable, perpetual, non-exclusive, transferable, fully paid, worldwide license to use it.

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