The Bigger You Give, The Bigger You Get (Back)...Content Ownership on ActiveRain

Real Estate Technology with BoomTown

There are many who believe that there is an inherent risk when posting content to 3rd party sites because you allegedly 'don't own your content'. Its true, when you submit your content to 3rd party sites you become bound by their Terms of Use and other guidelines, which can vary greatly but have common denominators, such as allowing the site to terminate your account for violating certain guidelines...or for no reason whatsoever.   

ActiveRain has similar provisions for well founded legal reasons, although this network grants a greater degree of Content Ownership than any I could find after looking to other popular sites in this space Terms of Use.  Let me elaborate.

ActiveRain takes the position that we reserve the right to use your content if you publish it here, until such time you tell us we can't.  This constitutes a very fair degree of ownership to me.  From AR's Terms of Use:

"Although you retain any proprietary rights that you may have in and to your Content, once you post your Content to the Site, you hereby grant ActiveRain, its affiliated companies, and their respective successors and assigns, a worldwide, non-exclusive, sub-licensable (through multiple tiers) right and license...."

"The foregoing license granted by you terminates once you remove or delete your Content from the Site....ActiveRain will make commercially reasonable efforts to take down links, frames, and other work or content within its control that may be associated with your Content..."

Can you do this on other sites?  I researched a few sites in the 'real estate 2.0' space that allow user generated content  'Terms of Use' and 'Guidelines', and found the standard 'you give up all rights' language but couldn't find where your rights could be relinquished back.

ActiveRain's Terms of Use and Guidelines in full.

Citing the Terms of Use/Service from some popular and relative 3rd Party sites and services...



"Unless otherwise agreed in a writing signed by HomeGain, by submitting content, photos, video, data or other materials directly through the HomeGain web site (collectively, "Materials"), you hereby grant to HomeGain a perpetual, irrevocable, royalty-free, non-exclusive, fully transferable and sublicensable right and license to access, store, copy, modify, display, distribute, perform, create derivative works from, and otherwise use and exploit all such Materials in any form, media, software or technology of any kind now existing or developed in the future and the right to sublicense the foregoing rights through multiple tiers. You further grant to HomeGain a royalty-free right and license to use your name, image and likeness in advertising and in connection with the licensed rights for the Materials."

HomeGain Rights

You expressly agree that HomeGain: ...(b) reserve the right to review, reject, delete, remove, modify, or edit any Materials at any time for any reason, without liability and without notice to you. (Automattic)

Automattic has the right (though not the obligation) to, in Automattic’s sole discretion (i) refuse or remove any content that, in Automattic’s reasonable opinion, violates any Automattic policy or is in any way harmful or objectionable, or (ii) terminate or deny access to and use of the Website to any individual or entity for any reason, in Automattic’s sole discretion. Automattic will have no obligation to provide a refund of any amounts previously paid.


Automattic may terminate your access to all or any part of the Website at any time, with or without cause, with or without notice, effective immediately.

3. Materials You Provide; Account Use; Privacy.

...You grant an irrevocable, perpetual, worldwide license to (1) use, copy, distribute, transmit, publicly display, publicly perform, reproduce, edit, modify, and translate your Submission, in connection with the Services or in any other media, and (2) sublicense these rights, to the maximum extent permitted by applicable law. will not pay you for your Submission. may remove your Submission at any time


11. Changes; Discontinuance. reserves the right to change the Terms of Use, and you are responsible for regularly reviewing these Terms of Use. Your continued use of the Services after the effective date of such changes will constitute acceptance of and agreement to any such changes. may suspend or discontinue the Services at any time to you and/or to others, without notice.

User Submitted Content

...You are solely responsible for any Content and other material that you submit, publish, display or link to on the Site or send to other Trulia users.

You agree that by posting content on the Site, you are granting Trulia a royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable license to use this information in the course of offering the Services.

Trulia may delete any Content that in the sole judgment of Trulia violates these Terms of Use or Community Guideline....


I'll stop the citations here but you can be sure that similar language is found on every similar type site and/or service. 

If you don't want your content used by anyone but yourself, don't contribute anywhere: Use an independent web publishing platform, host the software yourself, scrub the web for content scrappers...and good luck getting found. 

Personally Ive found that the bigger you give, the bigger you get...the laws of reciprocity still work pretty well.  Participating on, or at least checking out, any and all of the above sites will yield some upside in the form of education and possibly business. 

In the end, you have to trust the venue where you are contributing your content, and be prepared to play by their domains rules...just be sure you know exactly what they are.


I've turned comments off, if you have something to say about this post, good, bad or otherwise, write about it and link back here...Why?  Its my content.  


Re-Blogged 2 times:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Maureen McCabe 02/23/2009 11:11 AM
  2. Brian Brady 02/23/2009 11:56 AM
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