The webcomics blog about webcomics

Improvement, Sort Of

So that was fast. Tapa* backpedaled with great speed, although I have to say that their rationale for the change doesn’t pass the smell test:

The purpose of the Right of First Refusal is not to take any rights away or steal your content. The purpose is to help you. We’ve witnessed multiple creators on Tapas accept unfair, uncompetitive deals and sign away their rights for far less than their work is worth. Creators who should have been paid 10x what they were offered agreeing to terrible deals because they either did not know their market value or did not have any competing offers.

We have connections in traditional publishing, merchandising, tv, and film. Our intention is to work with creators to bring additional offers to the table, and to create competition in the market so individuals get the best deal possible.

Go back and read that again, and then explain to me why a completely benevolent — caretaking, even! — change to the TOS was put through without any explanation, highlighting, or prior notice. Not buying it. So they put their TOS back to what it was before the change — we think; they’ve excluded that page from Internet Archive gathering, so there’s no independent way to confirm — but that in and of itself reveals a weakness. As always, one should listen to George

[long thread prior to this point … go read it]
They make an offer, if it doesn’t involve 6+ figures per exploitation right, decline. Then you’re in the clear. Kind of.

“Kind of” because Tapas can, at any time, change the ToS again and screw you over. You consent to that as item 2 in the ToS. [emphasis mine]

Yep, it’s right there in the TOS:

Although we will attempt to notify you when major changes are made to these Terms of Service, you should periodically review the most up to date version (found at Tapas Media may, in its sole discretion, modify or revise these Terms of Service at any time. Modifications and revisions will take effect 5 days after they have been posted. Nothing in these Terms of Service shall be deemed to confer any third party rights. [emphasis mine]

Unilaterally creating a new claim on your IP seems like a major change, and to my eye Tapa* didn’t make any kind of effort to notify anybody, nor are they committing to any such notification in the future. Want to get back something like a measure of trust, Tapa*? Unilaterally change the TOS one mo’ gin to amend item 2 for the last time under the current rules.

Hold yourself to a requirement of proper notification and with a decent interval before changes take effect (30 days, minimum), and maybe you won’t get the stinkeye from the community any more. Short of that, you’re screwed as far as any creators who are serious about earning from their creations are concerned.

But, that ain’t happening, I don’t think, and Tapa* will pay the price. Nothing like finishing the week on a positive note. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m told that my copies of Wasted Talent books 4 and 5 have arrived, and I need to affix some bookplates. If you’re at VanCAF this weekend and see Angela Melick, toss her the engineer’s gang sign for me.

Spam of the day:

Record Thieves Around Your Office Wirelessly

Only thief around my office has four legs, a pointy nose and long tail, and sleeps with his eyes open until I’m sufficiently distracted that he can strike with silent quickness. Don’t think I need wireless capability to determine who stole my lunch that one time.

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