Here’s what the Times Union said when I asked them to remove some of my old blog posts:
“Your blog is, as they say, frozen in carbonite.”
Wow. Frozen in carbonite? Any geek worth his salt knows what that means:
You are comparing yourself to Darth Vader.
It’s material originally written for this site, not the Times Union. Though I allowed them to publish it, I think it’s unfair that they consider it their property after I leave. But as it says in their TOS, they have:
Royalty-free, unrestricted, worldwide, perpetual, irrevocable, non-exclusive and fully transferable, assignable and sublicensable right and license to use, copy, reproduce, modify, adapt, print, publish, translate, create derivative works from, distribute, perform and display such material (in whole or part) and/or to incorporate it in other works in any form, media, or technology now known or later developed, including for promotional and/or commercial purpose, and to authorize others to do so.
Experts understand that this terms of service agreement would never stand up to a serious challenge.
It’s an onerous contract that gives all the rights to one party and zero compensation to the other. But, Mr. Hearst’s pockets are as deep as the day is long — and with that kind of money, you can afford to be onerous.
They hold all the cards, but there are a few things I can do. For example, I’ve been removing all the photos from my old posts. That may sound like cutting off your nose to spite your face, but when it comes to a matter of principle, a little nose cutting is sometimes in order.
In conclusion, the Times Union wrote, “I wish you continued success with your blogging.”
Thank you. I wish you continued success with your Death Star.