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Thread: Peace Corps Poetry Contest

  1. #1
    Tree whisperer Koralai's Avatar
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    Question Peace Corps Poetry Contest

    Hi everyone!

    I need a second opinion about the user agreement for a current writing contest. I'm a former Peace Corps volunteer, so I was excited to learn that the Peace Corps has announced a new poetry contest in honor of national poetry month. However, the agreement/authorization clause sends up red flags for me. You can read all of the fine print here, but these are the parts that feel especially icky to me (boldface/underlining is mine):

    I forever grant the Peace Corps a perpetual, worldwide, royalty-free, non-exclusive license in and right to sub-license the materials submitted, and authorize the Peace Corps to make any use of this material. It is my intention to give the Peace Corps the right to disseminate, reproduce, publish, publicize and make any uses of the materials submitted under this Authorization and Agreement, for any purposes whatsoever, through any forum or media possible. By submitting this material, it is my intention to provide the Peace Corps with the maximum reproduction, dissemination, publication, and all other possible usage rights possible by law. ...I understand that the Peace Corps reserves the right to accept, reject or edit all submissions in whole or in part.

    I don't mind that the contest itself has no cash prize, but this agreement, as I'm reading it, suggests that the Peace Corps can use my poem in any way it wants -- including derivative forms, hence the "edit" stipulation -- without paying me any royalties, and that I can never revoke its right to do so... even if my poem doesn't win the contest!

    That seems like a huge loss of rights to me. Also, my cynical side wonders if the agency is just trying to generate loads of royalty-free content to use in future Peace Corps paraphernalia. But then again, I don't have much experience with this kind of contract language. What do you all think?

    Thank you so much for your help!!
    Wonder - is not precisely Knowing
    And not precisely knowing not -
    —Emily Dickinson

  2. #2
    Mildly Disturbing Filigree's Avatar
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    It smells like a content-generating ploy to me. Too bad, they're tarnishing the good image I had of the Peace Corps; step-mom was in it for years.

    Especially problematic is that it seems to apply to all entries, winning or not.

    This M/M space opera
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  3. #3
    Tree whisperer Koralai's Avatar
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    Glad I'm not the only one who got that impression. Thanks for your reply!
    Wonder - is not precisely Knowing
    And not precisely knowing not -
    —Emily Dickinson

  4. #4
    permaflounced
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    I only know what you wrote about this contest, but I would run far and fast if confronted by any sort of contract with these terms.

  5. #5
    Mostly Harmless SuperModerator CaoPaux's Avatar
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    Was one of their Third Goal/Returned Volunteer Support Services programs to encourage sharing experiences. Not seeing another poetry contest, but they've begun one for storytelling: https://www.peacecorps.gov/returned-...lling-contest/
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