Image - spoof from this.
I am enthusiastic user of Creative Commons licences and have donated work to individuals and causes that I believed were important. I love StumbleUpon (SU); it is a great utility for learning and exchanging ideas, and the community has wonderful people.
But when SU was sold to eBay, things began to go downhill. Its functionality declined with every "improvement", and recently Stumblers (as they are known) discovered that new Terms of Service (TOS) might take over creator's rights - something that I and others there feel strongly about. Messages began to fly between members; some Stumblers wondered if it were possible to buy SU back from eBay, and I posted Creator's Rights info below and the "All your base" spoof image above.
UPDATE - April 14th 2009: StumbleUpon's original owners responded to the groundswell of activism. The founders have declared it is a startup again, and say they are going to take it back and rework/improve it.
While there was no mention of the copyright issues in press releases, we hope this means more respect for the rights of SU subscribers and bloggers.
Here is what I posted on my SU blog and here on April 11th 2009:
It is time for bloggers and subscribers at Stumbleupon/SU to take a stand against new Terms of Service.
Stumbleupon Terms of Service
3.3 Your Content
"By posting any Content on the Services, you hereby grant to us an unrestricted, irrevocable, perpetual, non-exclusive, fully-paid and royalty-free, license (with the right to sublicense through unlimited levels of sublicensees) to use, copy, perform, display, create derivative works of, and distribute such Content in any and all media or distribution method (now known or later developed) throughout the world."
Your work is copyright to you, and if anyone wishes to use it, they must get a written release with all parties involved. Usage without permission constitutes copyright infringement, and is punishable by law.
Sample agreement - Graphic Artists Guild
Sample agreement - AIGA
Sample agreement - Rooster
Sample letter - request for permission
Harlan Ellison fights for creators' rights
On Intellectual Property and copyright law:
Graphic Artists Guild
Copyright in Visual arts
University of Albany
Copyrights and Wrongs (by kids)
Statute of Queen Anne - copyright law in UK from 18th Century
From Massive Black and Concept Art, a video on creators' rights and nondisclosure agreements