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  • A Girl of Many Fandoms

Fandom PSA: Beware of NBCUniversal (via Redbubble)



To any artist considering of—or are currently—participating in the Redbubble Brand Partnership Program, please read the terms and conditions before you do. While one should ALWAYS do this before submitting one’s art—regardless of context—in this particular case I am insisting because NBCUniversal is taking advantage of artists via the fine print of their terms and conditions.

This is section 5.2 of the NBCUniversal Fan Art Terms and Conditions, which I have copied and pasted here directly from the Redbubble Brand Partnership page:


5.2 You acknowledge and agree that You irrevocably and exclusively grant to NBCUniversal all right, title and interest of every kind or nature, whether now known or hereafter devised, in and to the Submission throughout the universe in perpetuity, including, without limitation, all copyrights, trademarks, patents, trade secrets, privacy and publicity rights and other intellectual property rights therein, and the right to perform, market, sell, distribute, produce, reproduce, store, copy, transmit, exhibit, publish, post, edit, adapt, create derivative works from, and otherwise use without limitation the Submission without any further consent, compensation or attribution of any nature or kind, in whole or in part, in any manner and media whatsoever (whether now known or hereafter devised) worldwide in perpetuity for any purpose whatsoever, including, without limitation, for the purposes of advertising, promotion or publicity, or in connection with any merchandising, packaging, subsidiary or ancillary rights, products or materials. You acknowledge and agree to waive any and all property and intellectual property interests of any nature or kind that you may have in the Submission throughout the universe, including, but not limited to, copyright and any “moral rights” and similar rights of authors or creators. Without limiting the generality of the foregoing, in the event a government authority of competent jurisdiction determines the grant in the Submission to NBCUniversal is not effective, You grant to NBCUniversal a royalty-free, worldwide, perpetual right and exclusive license to use, publish, post, display, prepare derivative works, edit, alter, adapt, modify and otherwise exploit the Submission without any further consent or compensation of any nature or kind, in whole or in part, in any manner or media whatsoever (whether now known or hereafter devised) for any purpose whatsoever, including, without limitation, for the purposes of advertising, promotion or publicity, or in connection with any merchandising, packaging, subsidiary or ancillary rights, products or materials. You acknowledge and agree to sign any documents that may be necessary to confirm the grant to NBCUniversal of the foregoing rights.


After reading this mighty intimidating paragraph, you’ll understand my concern… if you’re a lawyer. If you’re just a civilian, like me, then you might still be confused and that’s okay. Personally, I broke it up into sections to help me better understand the content of that paragraph and, if my not-a-lawyer self is correctly understanding the paragraph, the content is alarming.

“You acknowledge and agree that You irrevocably and exclusively grant to NBCUniversal all right, title and interest of every kind or nature, whether now known or hereafter devised, in and to the Submission throughout the universe in perpetuity, including, without limitation, all copyrights, trademarks, patents, trade secrets, privacy and publicity rights and other intellectual property rights therein…”



My Translation:



YOU forever grant NBCUniversal—no take backsALL rights ( known and unknown, possible and impossible, in every conceivable and unconceivable combination, etc. ) to not only YOUR artwork but also EVERYTHING that could possibly be associated with it without limitation ( which could include patents, trade secrets and… privacy? ).



Also, those rights not only transcend time but space as well ( throughout the universe )?

“…and the right to perform, market, sell, distribute, produce, reproduce, store, copy, transmit, exhibit, publish, post, edit, adapt, create derivative works from*, and otherwise use without limitation the Submission without any further consent, compensation or attribution of any nature or kind, in whole or in part, in any manner and media whatsoever (whether now known or hereafter devised) worldwide in perpetuity for any purpose whatsoever, including, without limitation, for the purposes of advertising, promotion or publicity, or in connection with any merchandising, packaging, subsidiary or ancillary rights, products or materials.”



My Translation:



YOU forever grant NBCUniversalno take backsthe right to use YOUR artwork in EVERY POSSIBLE WAY without limitation ( known and unknown, possible and impossible, in every conceivable and inconceivable combination, etc. ) for any reason without limitation and NBCUniversal can do ALL of this WITHOUT YOUR consent, WITHOUT paying YOU and WITHOUT crediting YOU.


*Also, ‘create derivative works from’ means creating fan art of YOUR fan art. Which is… ironic? Dickish? Both?

You acknowledge and agree to waive any and all property and intellectual property interests of any nature or kind that you may have in the Submission throughout the universe, including, but not limited to, copyright and any “moral rights*” and similar rights of authors or creators.”


My Translation:


YOU waive any and all forms of copyright you have in YOUR artwork THROUGHOUT THE UNIVERSE!


*Also, does the fact that they put quotation marks around ‘moral rights’ seem sketchy to anyone else or is it just me?

“Without limiting the generality of the foregoing, in the event a government authority of competent jurisdiction determines the grant in the Submission to NBCUniversal is not effective, You grant to NBCUniversal a royalty-free, worldwide, perpetual right and exclusive license to use, publish, post, display, prepare derivative works, edit, alter, adapt, modify and otherwise exploit* the Submission without any further consent or compensation of any nature or kind, in whole or in part, in any manner or media whatsoever (whether now known or hereafter devised) for any purpose whatsoever, including, without limitation, for the purposes of advertising, promotion or publicity, or in connection with any merchandising, packaging, subsidiary or ancillary rights, products or materials. You acknowledge and agree to sign any documents that may be necessary to confirm the grant to NBCUniversal of the foregoing rights.”

My Translation:



As a safety precaution, in case any of the previous parts are ever to be found NOT satisfactory in a court of law, YOU agree to sign any documents needed to legalize everything they had originally said and have now just repeated.



*Also, I can’t believe they used the word ‘exploit’ there!

Based on my understanding of Section 5.2 of the NBCUniversal Fan Art Terms and Conditions, I must come to the conclusion that NBCUniversal is using the Redbubble Brand Partnership program to claim absolute ownership over every piece of fan art submitted withOUT compensating the artists.


Now some of you are probably thinking, “Isn’t that standard procedure for a big, rich company?” and you might be right.

EXCEPT that CBS went in the other direction with their Terms and Conditions which explicitly states that…


  • The artist does not lose their intellectual property rights to their artwork.

  • They will purchase the art from the artist should they ever want to use it.

  • These Terms and Conditions are finite, meaning that they cease upon the conclusion of the contract which is when the artwork is removed from Redbubble.

2a. Subject to the terms and conditions herein, you are hereby granted a nonexclusive, non-assignable, revocable license to sell and offer for sale Licensed Product(s) displaying your Fan Artwork that has been pre-approved by CBS, solely through the Redbubble Marketplace until such license terminates or is earlier revoked by CBS or its designee. You acknowledge and agree that nothing herein shall affect or limit the unrestricted right of CBS or its designees to distribute or exhibit any Program or CBS Property, in whole or in part, by any means or in any media.

2c. In the event during the Term, you create any artwork that is the same as or substantially similar to a CBS Mark or other proprietary content of CBS (except for Fan Artwork, which is separately addressed below), then all rights, titles and interests in and to such mark(s) and/or content shall immediately vest in CBS. If CBS notifies you that it would like to purchase any of your Fan Artwork(s), you agree to negotiate with CBS in good faith for such purchase. Provided you and CBS execute a contract providing for such purchase and assigning any rights you may have in such Fan Artwork (and other documents reasonably requested by CBS), such Fan Artwork shall, notwithstanding its creation by you or on your behalf, become the exclusive property of CBS or its designee(s), and CBS may use, alter and edit, and license others to use the same in its sole and absolute discretion.

Now that you are familiar with the fine print, should you still wish to submit NBCUniversal art to the Redbubble Brand Partnership program then by all means do so.


But if you’re like me and don’t feel like being stripped of any and all rights to your hard work (and possibly more than those rights, from their creepy wording) then here’s the current list of NBCUniversal titles associated with the Redbubble Brand Partnership Program so you can AVOID them:


  • Back to the Future

  • The Big Lebowski

  • Jaws

  • Jurassic World

  • Scott Pilgrim vs The World

  • Shaun of the Dead

#rant #arttheft #fandompsa #nbc #nbcuniversal #universal #universalstudios #redbubble #redbubblebrandpartnershipprogram

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