Any purpose versus
Next week I’m organising a live viewing of a video podcast me and Peet Sneekes create. We will show the video we’re going to shoot this weekend and show it to everybody who wants to attend. That’s four people so far, including Peet and me. Many more people than I expected.
I thought of using a service to promote this event, so I took a look at Eventbrite. Seems like a great service, exactly what I was looking for. Before subscribing I decided to read the Terms of Service. Unfortunately the terms are written in a language that’s understandable for lawyers only. But I managed to understand most of it. And I could agree to most of it, except for section 7.2 which states:
you hereby grant to EVENTBRITE a non-exclusive, worldwide, perpetual, irrevocable, royalty-free, transferable, sublicensable (through multiple tiers) right and license to use, reproduce, adapt, modify, distribute, translate, publish, create derivative works based on, perform, display and otherwise exploit Your Content, in whole or in part, in any media now known or hereafter developed, for any purpose whatsoever
Emphasis is mine. And, the last sentence of that section:
In addition, you agree that EVENTBRITE may use your name and logo (whether or not you have made it available through the Site) for the purpose of identifying you as an existing or past customer of EVENTBRITE both on the Site and in marketing and promotional materials.
This is either a rather aggressive way of saying that they just need some rights because otherwise their service can’t function. Or it is a term that gives them far too many rights. I sent them an e-mail in which I say that, the way I understand it, I can’t agree to section 7.2 and in which I ask them what they mean by it exactly. I got a very polite answer the next morning. The part that’s most interesting is this one:
Eventbrite is an online software service and not a individually licensed software package. While the content can be used for any purpose, Eventbrite typically uses the content to facilitate the promotion of the event, which may include such actions as allowing search tools to find the event, serving up the event page to potential attendees, allowing attendees to share the event on Facebook and Twitter, sending information about the event to third parties, etc. Also, Eventbrite may use the content for internal purposes, such as preparing reports and analyzing data about events on the site.
Again, the emphasis is mine. This all sounds very logical and nice, and I would agree to all of that, except for the bit that I emphasised. Eventbrite will use your content, and your logo, only to promote your content. But it can use it for anything they want to. Ever. Whatever they want to do with your logo and name. Forever. Depending on your phantasy you are now seeing either wonderful, or gruesome things. What would you answer if I asked you if I could use your logo or name forever, for any purpose whatsoever?
Now I’m not implying that Eventbrite wants to do terrible things with my name. On the contrary. I’m convinced they’d never do that. And I think they have a wonderful and very useful service and I think that they want to make it even better for everyone. One important but easy way of improving their service could be by translating their TOS, like 500px does in their basically section. Or even better, by writing it in human readable language like the one on Editorially.
I’d really love to use Eventbrite. I just can’t agree to that particular section in the TOS. This is a terrible pity, because this forced me to hack my own little event page. Which definitely cost me much more time than using their service and is probably much less functional and beautiful.