Content is queen. Submit your work with care and caution. I’m learning out here in this world of writing to look at the fine print. Recently, I submitted an entry to Spotify’s call for women of color podcasters. Later on in the week, I read a post on Twitter from a young lady outlining why she did not submit anything.
What she shared made me wish that I had not submitted anything as well. Reason being, when you submit something you lose all rights to the work indefinitely without compensation. Shady much?
So, I pressed on and noticed another opportunity on my timeline. This contest was being hosted by BET and asked for “emerging voices for TV series”. I got hyped and was like, heck yeah I’m going submit my ish. Pause- but let me read the fine print.
After reading the fine print, I decided against submitting. Partly because during the contest period the sponsors and their “respective parent companies , subsidiaries, affiliates and related entities, and successors” are granted “royalty-free license” for your work.
I read further down to the Perpetual Non – Exclusive License To Description and/or Pilot Script After Competition and the Perpetual Grant To Submitted Material clause and knew that I was making the right decision.
I have challenged myself to step outside of my comfort zone as a blogger and submit work. However, in doing so I’m being reminded of how important content ownership is. I think about recording artist that don’t own their masters, or actors with no writing or production credits and how limited their options are as they grow older.
What gets me the most is that hosting something such as a “contest” appears to be a front for getting content ideas and not having to outright compensate people for them. I guess this is how it works in the entertainment industry, but its very disheartening to learn especially as a black woman.
Also, BET is not black owned neither is Spotify; yet, they are hosting contest seeking out content from women of color; where even if one is selected as the winner, they still don’t maintain the rights to said content.
Sigh! I will press on and continue to read the fine print prior to submitting any work. I’m glad large platforms are recognizing the need for black women created content. I just hope that on the backend the benefits become worth the submission. A temporary glow-up is only beneficial if you can parlay that into longterm gain.