Saturday, November 6, 2010

saatchi online: terms of endearment

i recently found out that my artist account on saatchi gallery's website was moved to something new called `saatchi online'.

when i tried to login and edit some of my works, i found i had to agree to the terms of use, including:
License to User Submissions. You may submit content (including Works) for use and display on the Website ("User Submissions"). You grant Saatchi a non-exclusive, worldwide, perpetual, royalty-free, fully paid-up license to use, reproduce, create derivative works of, reformat, distribute, perform and display the User Submissions (in whole or part) and to incorporate the User Submissions in other works in any form, media, or technology now known or later developed (i) on the Website, (ii) in materials created to promote the Website and its contents, and (iii) in connection with online and offline events conducted in connection with the Website.

i was not in the best of moods (something that is statistically linked with being an artist, science tells us...;-)) and i suddenly rebelled. i don't recall having agreed to similar terms when i signed up for my original account. so, without my knowledge and without my consent, my works have been transferred to a new site, AND hidden in the terms of use, i suddenly have to grant saatchi a very broad license of use of my works.

i emailed saatchi online, and their only solution on offer was to cancel my account. an offer which i took, so you will no longer find my page there.

however, in the meantime, the saatchi gallery site has attracted tons of links from artists like me, and these links are perhaps an important factor in its having become a high-ranked site (i don't know this for sure).

i really don't understand why a gallery like saatchi needs to treat artists in this way. i used to be really enthusiastic about their initiative to give artists from all over the world a web page. (i was naturally skeptic with regard to their showdown competition, but you know, competition is mankind's paradise...). but this gives me a bad taste. it breathes disrespect for the artist. the artist has become like a goat in a flock: economical asset, to be herded in the right direction but not to be wasted too much time on (for instance when permission could simply be asked individually, for specific occasions, to use my works...no, i have to grant this permission for all future occasions, not knowing in the least what these occasions might be).

you might think i'm being a stickler, but please read the terms very carefully, and you will see that they are broader than the hangar doors of a large aircraft. if they were a bit more narrow, i could perhaps live with them.

anyway, i hope saatchi online will reconsider (but you know how it is with goats...a few strays generally don't bother the cattle magnate!) but for now i have to conclude that i cannot support their initiative any longer.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Strange...I know for sure that when a lot of artist link to their website they get a higher Pagerank and better score @Google's.

an iProspect.nl consultant :-)

Anonymous said...

Same thing happened to me. Artists do not have to accept that.

frank waaldijk said...

thanx anonymous 1 & 2 for your comments.

i'm now considering a different approach - contradictory enough...- :
of putting a fair amount of works on the internet under a creative commons license.

because my ideal of open source is better served with this, because i myself like to use images of others, because ... it skips a lot of hassle.

if i put a fair quantity of works on wikimedia commons, my work will be more easily found and used. so that's what i'm considering, if i make the decision to do so i will write a separate post about it.

Anonymous said...

Saatchi Online has reconsidered.
Check out the terms of use again,
they've been changed.