Thursday, March 01, 2007

Helium's Response

Yesterday I wrote to Helium asking them to remove my writings, as they were currently under copyright. I was amazed to get a response from Jim Logan, the Senior Community Advocate. Here is his email:

Greetings (Somehow it doesn't seem appropriate to say Sour or Kraut for that matter) so simply...Greetings,

I would like to share a couple of things with you regarding the Helium User Agreement and its meaning. Where the agreement seems to be currently be misinterpreted what I would like to address are the following:

1) You as the writer that submits your work to Helium, retain the copyright to your work.

2) You are free to use the same content that you submit to Helium to publish as many times and in as many other places as you wish.

3) If Helium chooses to monetize your work in a way that will generate income, Helium will compensate the writer for this further monetization. (the specific wording for this is currently being worked on but in principle this is what we agree to)

I hope that this will help you to better understand the user agreement and that you will reconsider your decision. We are in the business of working with writers and in so doing know the importance of remaining fair and trustworthy.

I would like to get a response to this email from you and a confirmation regarding what you wish for us to do with your account. I also would like to ask how and where you found this blog.* We will be responding to it but it is always helpful to us to know where these things are found.

All the best,

Jim Logan

Jim Logan Sr. Community Advocate

*He is referring to Emma's blog here


Ed Abbey said...

That sounds like a pretty good deal. I love it when you can be upset at someone and they come through in a big way sometimes making me feel guilty for questioning them to begin with.

Saur♥Kraut said...

Ed, :D That's the truth!

Matt said...

It sounds like he doesn't understand copyright... or that you gave up your rights when you committed to the user agreement.

Matt said...

How did you copyright your site? Did you just put a notice somewhere with a lower case C somewhere?

Emma Sometimes said...

Oh, good. I see they addressed the point that any writer retains the copyright. That was never disputed by me nor was it the point of my initial post. In very short, what I did have issue with is that they currently have rights to remove an author's name and make a buck.

My legal expertise comes from Perry Mason and Boston Legal...hehe, so I am curious, when you presented it to your lawyer, did he read it as I had?

I found it interesting that Mr. Ranalli's letter I posted did not refute, but confirmed my suspicion of Helium's intent on selling articles. He further acknowledged that the TOS at present was confusing (in your email, Jim stated "Where the agreement seems to be currently be
misinterpreted"). If the TOS is just being misinterpreted, as they claim, then why is their legal in the process of rewriting it?

I'm pretty sure I will be back, hinging on their new TOS. It looks promising!

Daniel Hoffmann-Gill said...

I've missed summat...

The Lazy Iguana said...

Matt - whatever you create you have a copyright on. I do not need to post a notice or a little c in a circle.

Terms of service, or any contract, can NOT be legal if it violates other laws. For example lets say I buy a house and the seller requires me to sign a "legal" contract (or deed restriction) saying I will not resell my home to a black person. That contract is illegal and therefore meaningless even if I sign it and agree to the terms.

By the way, such deed restrictions HAVE been used in the past. I live in South Florida. There is (or was) a large population of Jews in Miami Beach. North Miami Beach to be exact. And you know why? Because they were deed restricted from buying homes in Coral Gables - which was and still is full of very expensive homes. Some of the old homes in the Gables that have not been sold since that time still have the restrictions written on the property deeds. But the words mean nothing.

The Lazy Iguana said...

By the way - why did you ask to have your article removed from this lighter than air noble gas thing?

Senor Caiman said...


The e-mail that you sent me, I couldn't open the attachment.

This copyright issue really bothers me, I hope you get to the bottom of it.

Excellent post.

R2K said...

That is pretty crazy.