Sunday, February 13, 2011


Teletoon is running another one of those contests that essentially rape creators while pretending to do creators a favour.

By submitting your film -- not winning, just submitting -- here's what Teletoon takes:

You hereby grant TELETOON Canada Inc., its affiliates, agents and each of their successors and assigns (collectively ,”TELETOON”) the unlimited, irrevocable and royalty-free licence and right to use, display, exhibit, edit, modify licence, sub-licence and otherwise exploit the video (“Video”) you upload to (“Website”) without notice or compensation to you or any third party, in perpetuity throughout the world, in any and all manner, media or technology now known or hereafter devised including, without limitation, TELETOON’s television services, websites, or in any promotion or programming for TELETOON.

In short, they can do whatever they like with your film without your permission or without any payment to you. They can sell it to anyone they choose. They can edit it or modify it in any way they like. They can do this anywhere in the world, forever, in any existing medium or any medium not yet invented. You have a problem with that? Too bad. By submitting, you've given up your legal right to complain:

You fully discharge, release, indemnify and hold harmless TELETOON and its respective directors, officers, employees, agents, representatives and advertising and promotional agencies (collectively, “Releasees”) from any or all claims, demands, damages, losses, expenses (including any legal fees and expenses) actions or causes of action whatsoever incurred by or asserted against Releasees arising out of or in connection with: (a) any breach or alleged breach of any representation, warranty, promise or agreement made by you in this agreement; or (b) TELETOON’s use of the Video in accordance with the rights and licences you granted to it under this agreement.

It is disturbing to me that Teletoon does not find this offensive. Why would anyone want to do business with these people? What they are doing with these contests is vacuuming up other people's intellectual property and planting their flag on it. I hope this contest fails to attract entrants and I would discourage anyone from entering.

The truth is, if you have a film you want to pitch to them or anyone else, make an appointment and pitch it. If they don't want it, you walk out of the meeting with them having no rights whatsoever to your film or idea. And if they want it, get yourself a good lawyer and squeeze every penny you can out of them. Because they have no scruples about taking your property without paying. They've stated that in black and white.

If you have the stomach for it, you can read the details here.


Eric Noble said...

Jesus Christ on a crutch, that has to be the most bald-faced Satanic deals I've ever seen put to paper. I would definitely hire a lawyer. Artists should know that they have rights. Find out what they are and bring that to the bargaining table.

the doodlers said...

Thanks for the warning, Mark.


Anonymous said...

How is that even ALLOWED? Thanks for the heads up, but yeesh, that's pretty depressing!

JPilot said...

We should challenge Teletoon to explain themselves either come clean "Yes, you caught us, we will rewrite our contract to keep it fair to the artists" or "No, you are paranoid, and here's why your intellectual property will still be yours etc..."
We should not let them off the hook.
Twitter, Facebook, e-mail campaign to your elected officials and get them to address this.

BardBaby said...

i don't see what the big deal is. they tell you this before you submit anything, it's not as if they're springing this on you after you've already submitted an entry into the contest. if you don't like the rules, you don't have to play. besides, if you really do have a million-dollar idea, you probably aren't going to submit it to an online contest anyway.

Charles Kenny said...

While those terms seem pretty draconian, they're actually of a very similar language to the terms ofr usage for YouTube. And I don't hear anyone complaining about those!

In the grand scheme of things, it's a bunch of legalise that covers TeleToon from being taken to court on account of 'broadcasting' content on the internet without compensation, basically, it allows them to stream your video on their website for free.

You still retain your copyright, which is what really matters, because there are plenty of contests out there that will strip you of that.

Martin Juneau said...

Very well said Mark! I hate how Teletoon used others artist's works since years for their own needs.

Sean Wickett said...

i have to agree with mr. kenny. they've basically optioned your work for free. forever.

as for youtube, well, it's not worse than uploading your work to facebook. FB takes your copyright.

my guess is, disney and others, probably signed a contract with FB changing those terms so that they could have a fan page with official art, etc. like the art for pixar's newt.

artists should protect their work, absolutely. but getting your work on the net is tricky stuff. do some research, check out copyleft/creativecommons and for pity's sake, stay away from contests like this. (unless you're a creative genius and can just throw out stuff for a contest, get noticed, and sell more work…then have at it.)