Herod Clause

Wifi for eldest child…. http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2014/sep/29/londoners-wi-fi-security-herod-clause

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The Royalty Free Clause Part 3

For those who follow my blog, I have recently been looking for a way to register to play club soccer without granting Football Federation Australia and its associates a royalty free, world-wide, irrevocable license to use my name and image in marketing and promotional activities as a condition of that registration.

I have argued that such a license is unnecessary, especially at a club level, and doesn’t allow people the opportunity to review or opt out of a promotional campaign if it makes them feel uncomfortable. It’s a bit like being forced to sign a job contract without rights to negotiate when you don’t know what the job is, how often you’ll work (if at all), what the work conditions are and all in order to satisfy an organisation on the off chance they might want some free labour some time. I also argue that it does not provide suitable checks and balances to protect individuals from exploitation and unwanted exposure. As an extreme example, imagine if someone took the liberty of putting you in a publication, with identifying information such as your name, image and club name, and you are an individual who has moved away from somewhere to escape violence or harassment.  That clause in its current state says nothing about asking a player on a case by case basis if that marketing or promotional activity is okay.

Today I phoned MyFootballClub, the website responsible for registrations, to see whether I could register without signing that clause. I have two pieces of news.

The great news is that I am not the only one who has raised this issue and in previous years, players have been advised to strike-out that clause during paper registration. This year there is only online registration and the only way to the next screen in the registration is to click the agree button.

The second and great piece of news is that a jolly nice fellow at MyFootballClub has checked with his manager and provided me with written advice that allows me to formally reject the royalty free clause even though I still have to click agree on the online registration form,

So, local club football players who like to protect their privacy, here are the instructions from MyFootballClub:

In confirmation from earlier, we acknowledge that in order to complete registration, your acceptance of all MyFootballClub Online Registration Terms and Conditions is mandatory. For the purposes of completing registration, these will be accepted by yourself. However, if you take a physical copy to the club and cross out clause 6, signed and dated by yourself, this will become your formal refusal of this particular term.

I’m going one step further and including a statement to this effect, noting the email and the conditions of my agreeing to the terms of conditions on the end of my registration form.

Win!

I better start kicking that soccerball about!

The Royalty Free Clause Part 2

Thirteen days ago I wrote to the Football Federation Australia asking the following questions:

  • Is it possible to opt out of this clause [non-exclusive, royalty free, world-wide, irrevocable license to use your name and/or image in any form or media format for the purpose of marketing and promotional activities;] and still register and play? If not, why not?
  • Is it possible to sign an amended version of this clause which allows an individual to be informed of the form, media and intended audience of the marketing and promotional activities on a case by case basis, with the right to opt out if that individual is uncomfortable with this intended use. If not, why not?

I am yet to receive a response. I have emailed another contact on the myfootball club website.

I went in person to register with my local club in the hope that I would be able to sign a paper contract and strike out the offending clause. I felt this would give me grounds to dispute any use of name and image without permission (in that exceedingly unlikely event) and more importantly, satisfy my honour because the need for such a clause is so unlikely. Local clubs are no longer accepting paper registrations. All registrations must go through the myfootballclub website. So the only way to register and play local club soccer is through accepting the royalty free, world-wide, irrevocable license.

Next on my list, ringing.

The Royalty Free Clause

I have a long-standing gripe with the increasing use of the following clause in standard contracts:

grant [insert organisation] a non-exclusive, royalty free, world-wide, irrevocable license to use your name and/or image in any form or media format for the purpose of marketing and promotional activities;

I do not want to grant organisations non-exclusive, royalty free, world-wide, irrevocable license to use my name and/or image in any form or media format, especially before I have had the opportunity to review, accept or veto how my name and image are to be used.

Why am I griping about this now? Because I went to join up to a local soccer club. You know, local, a bunch of local lasses, in my case unskilled, running around a field chasing after a ball. No glory, not really marketing material. Part of that process is registering as a player with Football Federation Australia. And apparently, a part of that process is signing away my rights to my name and image.

There are three parts to this:

  1. I’m applying to be a player at the lowest possible level of football. I don’t believe that there is any need for marketing my name or my image so why should I have to sign my rights away?
  2. I don’t want to be treated like a commodity in every aspect of my life. I love football, I want to play football and I want to play football with other people. Is it no longer possible to do this without signing away my name and image for commercial purposes?
  3. I’m just a local citizen, playing a local game. I kinda wish I was entitled to some degree of privacy and for people to ask first and specify exactly how my name and image is to be used for all time on a case by case basis, not just a blanket, generic clause  “for advertising and marketing material.”

Is this clause in the spirit of the Football Federation Australia’s privacy policy? Or the Privacy Act in general?

Here I was ready to pay my $340 for the winter season, excited to play football again and now I’m seriously questioning why I should agree to the registration form. If I sign the form (it’s the only way I know of to play competitive football locally) then I’m just one more commodity kicking a ball. And that makes me sad.