Nice overview article in The Guardian, about the terms and conditions used in the videosharing services. It notes that MySpace now recognizes the creator’s ownership, but MTV does not. We quote the specific paragraphs on T&C’s only, but the article is worth reading for its context.
MySpace: “People posting content are informed they retain ultimate ownership, but have given MySpace a licence to use content without payment. The Ts &Cs also specify the licence “will terminate at the time you remove your content”. MySpace agrees the licence does not grant it the right to sell the content, nor to distribute it “outside of MySpace services”.
MTV Flux: “people who upload to MTV Flux forfeit payment and relinquish their rights “in perpetuity”. That is, forever. Removing your content doesn’t revoke MTV’s right to use it.
MTV holds the right to “commercially exploit, host, store, copy, distribute, modify, edit, incorporate into other material, and/or otherwise treat in any way” content. Providers to MTV Flux also waive “moral rights” to material – a lawyer’s way of saying MTV does not have to give the author credit. MTV doesn’t plan to be quite so tough as its terms allow. It does identify content creators, and if you leave MTV Flux, you need only give MTV seven days’ notice, as content might have been scheduled to air on an MTV TV channel or mobile service.”
BBC and Channel 4: choose a Creative Commons (creativecommons.org) licence regime
Moral rights are inalienable rights to privacy and truth. You can pretend to waive them, but you can’t actually do so (except according to exceedingly unethical law).
It is not a matter of giving credit, but being able to falsify credit.
No-one has a right to force anyone to give them credit, only a right to force anyone to be truthful in whatever credit they give (especially if they are involved).
If Bob submits something to MTV, MTV can publish it and say “based on material provided by one or more contributors to the MTV web site”. That’s fine. What MTV cannot say is “entirely the work of Jane, the CEO’s granddaughter”, nor can MTV publish the CEO’s work and misattribute it as “the work of some misbegotten pleb called Bob”.
MTV could pay Bob a lot of money to keep quiet, but they couldn’t actually contract him to keep quiet about the truth of the matter. He can always come back at some point and say, “Well, actually, it is/isn’t my work” – and he wouldn’t be obliged to refund MTV his hush money.