My boss came in this morning to gripe about how a media service, Mixcloud, wanted her to upload her media to their service, rather than link to where it’s currently hosted. As always, the reason was in their Terms and Conditions (snarky emphasis mine):

  1. User Submissions

b. Grant of Rights. You shall retain all of your ownership rights in your User Submissions. However, by submitting User Submissions to Mixcloud, you hereby grant Mixcloud and its affiliates a non-exclusive, fully paid-up, royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable, sublicenseable, and transferable license, throughout the universe, to use, reproduce, distribute, modify, adapt, prepare derivative works of, display, perform,** and otherwise exploit your User Submissions** in connection with the Mixcloud Platform, including, without limitation, for promoting and redistributing part or all of the Platform (and derivative works thereof) in any media formats and through any media channels.

I love that “throughout the universe” part. Harvard Law’s Berkman Center used to have a project parsing Licensing Agreements, but I can’t find it. So here’s a recent report on how Charitable Foundations could benefit from more freely licensing their publications and those of their grantees. An excerpt:

Thoughtful and intentional decisions about how to license foundation-supported works currently happen only in a limited number of cases. The status quo prevails, often for no reason other than inertia, and generic contract language regarding copyrights is often used in place of genuine consideration or conversations about best practices between foundations and their grantees and consultants or within foundations.