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Aug 1
Citizen Podcasters, who protects them?
Note: Leesa Barnes takes over this blog while Jon enjoys his nuptials and honeymoon on the West Coast. He returns August 10th. Enjoy Leesa's take on podcasting in the meantime.

I was watching CityPulse last night. I normally don't, but when I'm on my computer, I really don't pay attention to anything else.

Maybe that's why I'm still single. But I digress...

There was a piece that finally got my attention. It was an announcement from one of the on air personalities, encouraging citizen journalists to visit their website and submit their videos and pictures on an interesting news item.

On the one hand, I applaud this effort. Not only is CityPulse encouraging citizen journalists to participate in the making and dissemination of news, but so too is Canoe, a Quebecor property.

However, I'm concerned that the media is getting way too much free labour. To the point where I have to ask, "Who's protecting the work that citizen journalists produce and send to mainstream media?"

It seems like no one is. Take a look at what you're agreeing to on the Canoe website when you upload your video content:

"I hereby confirm to Canoë Inc. that I am the owner of all rights in the picture(s), videos or recordings (the "Material") that I am sending to Canoë and I irrevocably assign all of these rights to Canoë without the payment of any fee."

And here's the verbiage from the CityPulse upload section:

"By uploading content to this archive, the participant (i) grants to CHUM a non-exclusive, irrevocable license to use the content for any publicity or programming purposes, in all media, without remuneration, throughout the world in perpetuity."

In essence, these terms are saying,  "Sorry, sucker, but we're not going to give you any credit for this little gem you sent our way. You won't see your name in lights, we won't even give you a red cent. We'll own what you create and there's nothing you can do. Thanks for the content dumb-dumb."

This reminds me of a quote I read about 2-years ago when Prince started to use his name again. He changed his name from The Artist Formerly Known As Prince back to Prince once he had complete ownership over the masters to his songs. His memorable quote?

"It's like FedEx telling me they now own the contents of a package I put together just because I'm using their delivery method."

For all the podcasters reading this, do the terms above make you think twice about giving your content away to big media houses?

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