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Thread: OMNI Magazine / OMNI Reboot / Vocal

  1. #1
    Grr. Argh. Thedrellum's Avatar
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    OMNI Magazine / OMNI Reboot / Vocal

    https://omni.media/category/fiction

    I submitted to this magazine when they were still calling themselves OMNI Reboot, and I think I found out about them from a Facebook submission group for SFF. I think I was seduced by the fact that they seem to be presenting themselves as an actual revival of OMNI.

    Anyway, I'm writing about them now because they accepted a story of mine. They sent the contract over, and part of the language of the contract was that they wanted me to assign copyright to them for a year (after which they said they'd return copyright) and, even though they are offering no payment, they would take the right to make any money in any fashion off of the story I submitted to them. Also, after they return copyright, they reserve the right to publish the story on any website the company owns (that company being Jerrick Media) and in any anthology they want, and while that isn't necessarily different from many other magazines, the contract also stipulates that I'd only be able to republish my story on my own personal website. Not in book form. Not to a reprint market.

    I usually don't post about magazines here, but the market is new and this is such a complete rights grab that I felt a warning was in order. In good news, the editor I was in contact with had absolutely no problem with my withdrawal and was completely cordial. Honestly, the contract read as though taken from the non-publishing world and/or written by someone inexperienced in publishing.
    Last edited by Thedrellum; 08-27-2016 at 01:53 AM. Reason: Clarification from an editor

  2. #2
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    I'll be honest, I have not been impressed with the reboot, and this just reinforces my suspicions. There seems to be a lot of unprofessional behavior going on there. Last year Locus reviewed an Art of Omni book the new owners put out an absolutely trashed it.

    It's too bad, because it used to be such a force in the SFF field.

    Good luck on getting your story accepted elsewhere!

    ETA: Two other notes that I see--I don't recognize any of the author's names (except Asimov) and the same author has appeared three times in the past three months. That's odd. I'm pretty active in the short SFF world and I would be hard pressed to think of another well-respected magazine that's published the same person three times in three months outside of some extenuating circumstances. The slushpiles are so big that it's weird to pick up so many stories by the same person. It's not quite a red flag because there could be a good reason, but something to think about.

    Also, their website is pretty, but some of the terminology is strange--why are fiction pieces called "articles"? Why do they called reprinted pieces "repurposed" instead of "reprinted"? It just seems a bit amateurish.
    Last edited by bexxs; 08-26-2016 at 11:59 PM.

  3. #3
    Grr. Argh. Thedrellum's Avatar
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    They're also publishing things REALLY quickly. Five stories in the past three days? That is a crazy output (unless you're Daily Science Fiction or Flash Fiction Online).

  4. #4
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    [Content platform] Vocal / Jerrick Media Holdings, Inc.

    OMNI (the reboot) publisher, Jerrick Media Holdings, has branched out to publish digital content on a number of different 'networks' designed to target a variety of lifestyles and interests. The bulk of this content appears to be pushed through their Vocal Media platform. The company states they will pay writers after an article recieves X number of clicks. (I never found out the number as their ToU stopped me cold.)

    Interested to see if the platform/model was worth crafting content for, I took a look at their Terms of Use page. There are several ridiculous policies spelled out in the ToU, but I, specifically, wanted to warn other writers after reading Jerrick's terms of service in regards to Ownership and License of User Content.

    The policy is disingenuous as the first paragraph begins with," You retain ownership of the intellectual property rights in your User Content..." but then continues on to say you grant Jerrick a, "a nonexclusive, perpetual, irrevocable, worldwide, royalty-free, fully paid, assignable, transferable, sublicensable license...forever..."

    I'm including a longer snippet of their ToU agreement below as well as a link to the page, but wanted to get the word out as it seems like this multi-network launch is fairly recent.


    5. Ownership and License of User Content

    You retain ownership of the intellectual property rights in your User Content, subject to the license you grant to the Company below and elsewhere in these Terms of Service.

    By transmitting User Content on or through the Services, you grant the Company a nonexclusive, perpetual, irrevocable, worldwide, royalty-free, fully paid, assignable, transferable, sublicensable license to use, reproduce, store, modify, edit (e.g., fixing typos, making editorial changes), truncate, aggregate, display, perform, distribute, prepare derivative works based on, and transmit such User Content, in any medium that now exists or may arise in the future, and otherwise exploit your User Content (including, but not limited to, use of your name in association with your User Content to identify you as the “Creator”) in connection with the Services and the Company’s (and our successors’ and assigns’) businesses, including after your termination of your account or the Services, and you waive any and all moral rights and publicity rights in such User Content....

    https://vocal.media/terms-of-use

  5. #5
    practical experience, FTW zmethos's Avatar
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    So I received this email yesterday, which is weird since I've never submitted to OMNI and don't write sci-fi:

    Hey there!

    I hope this email finds you well! I wanted to reach out to invite you to submit your science fiction work to Omni (https://omni.media/).

    In order to write for Omni, create an account at Vocal (https://vocal.media). After creating and assembling your post, submit it to Omni.

    Through Vocal, you monetize your content. Your performance metrics correlate into monetary compensation. With a digital dashboard, you can monitor your post’s (and your wallet’s) success. The more “reads” your content receives, the more you profit!

    We look forward to seeing your first submission. Welcome to the OMNI team!

    Cheers,
    The Vocal Team

    I did used to subscribe to OMNI as a kid, but if that's how they found me, they must be using really old records.

  6. #6
    Mildly Disturbing Filigree's Avatar
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    That's weird.

    Blog: Blue Night
    Art and jewelry online at iCraft

  7. #7
    Mostly Harmless SuperModerator CaoPaux's Avatar
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    FYI, not only has Penthouse Global reclaimed OMNI (press release), they're suing Jerrick Media for mucking with it. (Hollywood Reporter) (HT: File 770)
    Last edited by CaoPaux; 07-13-2017 at 08:45 PM.
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  8. #8
    practical experience, FTW Shoeless's Avatar
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    Man, that sounds like one hell of a business story going on in the background. I'd love to know what on behind the scenes. Personally, from a nostalgia viewpoint, I feel good about Omni being back. As a Gen Xer, I'm always going to associate Omni with a very specific period of "air brush and neon science fiction" that was so signature of the covers and even cinematic art direction of the time. There ain't no shiny chrome starship quite like an air-brushed chrome starship, and Photoshop just doesn't feel the same.

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