Crowdswiping

Via Amex has got into the crowdsourcing game announcing an exciting and innovative philanthropic program Members Project in which you can propose projects, vote on the projects of others, and in so doing qualify them for $2.5 million of funding from Amex. The slogan? “Your Ideas. Your Decision. Our Money.”

Meanwhile, and if I am to come up with a culprit I’ll plump for the culture of our much loved legal profession rather than any grasping of Amex senior decision makers, here’s what happens once your ideas have been crowdsourced.

You irrevocably assign to American Express all rights (including copyrights) in any ideas or expressions of ideas that you provide on or through the Project Site, including without limitation the Project Submission and all comments, suggestions, graphics, ideas (including product and advertising ideas), and other information or materials you submit on the Discussion Boards and otherwise on or through the Project Site (collectively, “User Content”), all of which will become and remain the exclusive property of American Express, including any future rights associated with such materials.

You’re not assigning rights to use, you’re handing over “all rights”.  Crowdsourcing becomes crowdswiping.

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Bingo Bango Boingo
Bingo Bango Boingo
13 years ago

Nicholas, the lawyers would have been paid the same, perhaps more, if the agreement merely granted Amex a non-exclusive right to use. It would raise a number of legal issues requiring further drafting. It’s a cheap shot that suggests to me you don’t actually know what lawyers do, particularly for sophisticated clients like American Express.

BBB

Bingo Bango Boingo
Bingo Bango Boingo
13 years ago

Fair enough. We share experience in these (or similar) matters, albeit from different sides of the table (I’m guessing). We differ in that you are giving the managers of Amex the benefit of the doubt, whereas I would assume, in the absence of any evidence, that they deliberately sought to acquire the rights, and had their lawyers draft it up that way. The terms as drafted aren’t nonsense; I prefer to call them brazen.

BBB