Tuesday, July 22, 2008

DJ Coffman: Revised WOWIO Contracts Shady

DJ Coffman started Twittering about it at first, but went on to blog about it:

1.1 EXPANSION OF GRANT OF RIGHTS. In addition to the grant of rights by Publisher under the Agreement, Publisher hereby grants and conveys to WOWIO the following rights in and to the Content:

The right to display page images derived from Content for free in a web browser with interactive display advertising (“PREVIEW”).

* BOOM. Right off the top you’re essentially giving them the right to use the content inside your ebooks as pretty much “webcomics” that they’ll monetize by selling advertising and boost their pageviews. They go on to say they’ll give you 20% of any advertising made, more on that in a bit…


Publisher shall have the option through the Publisher account interface to make Ebooks eligible for free distribution with embedded advertising when sponsors are available (“SPONSORSHIP OPTION”). If Publisher elects to activate the Sponsorship Option, Publisher hereby grants Company the right to distribute Ebooks for free with embedded advertising. The default setting for this option is “active”.

*”When” Sponsors are available? What happens when sponsors aren’t available? That seems really vague. Who’s going to be in charge of getting sponsors now? Platinum?!? UGH.

It would seem that Platinum infected WOWIO in record time. I think Rich Johnston had something about another site that was already doing international and paid a little less lucratively than the old Wowio terms. Given the vaguity and apparent move to featuring books as webcomics with only 20% of advertising going to the publishers (fucking 80% to the distributor????), I'm thinking that other company probably looks like the better option now.


  1. I don't know. I was expecting the amount paid per download to be reduced. It hasn't been, as far as I can see. Myebook pays a fraction of Wowio, making Wowio far more atytractive.

  2. Yeah, but if you read between the lines, it looks like there are going to be many less ad-supported, free downloads. If Coffman's concerns are warranted, it looks like they'll be pushing towards selling them as ebooks (not attractive) and webcomics where the publishers/creators only get 20% of the ad revenue (double unattractive).

    So, myebook might wind up still being more attractive since they might have that many more downloads and be more trustworthy in their reporting.

  3. where do you see that you get paid from Myebook, also if you read the terms it says this:

    By uploading or posting content to the Site and/or using the Services:

    1. you warrant and represent that you have the right to grant MyEBook a licence as set out below;
    2. you grant MyEBook a worldwide, irrevocable, perpetual, non-exclusive, royalty free, transferable, fully paid licence to use, reuse, publically display, distribute in connection with the Site or its promotion or in connection with MyEBook's business.

    # Whilst you are able to remove content from the Site, the licences granted above will expire, but you recognise that notwithstanding that, MyEBook may retain archived copies of such content but these will not be displayed publicly.

    My question is how can you give perpetual or irrevocable rights that expire? On top of that the definition of "used in connection with the site or promotion..." is extremely vague and open to a lot of interpretation. I'm surprised there hasn't been any mention of this made, because other than this bit, this seems to be a really cool site.

  4. Also Rich, you are saying that Wowio is offering you more, but I am reading that they will pay you 50 cents for the sponsorship option, just as before, but not is states WHEN there are sponsors. So unless I am reading things incorrectly, if there are no sponsors you make no money on the downloads.

  5. Yeah, the original Wowio contracts had no such language as "WHEN" there are sponsors. That sounds like the catch.


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