Re: Uvumi Is A Music Discovery For New Artists

uvumi.png

We get the best comments! One of the more astute ones we have have received recently is that the site Uvumi, which we recently profiled, has some shady terms of service. Check out what commenter Musical Watchdog has to say:

“Once again we have a new company that unfortunately has some hostile
info in their Terms of Service.

At first it seems the information/songs you provide are revocable at
your discretion. However, this flag pops up later which pretty much
hands over all power over your uploaded info to Uvumi for eternity.
This kind of language is also a red flag in recording contracts.
Perhaps it is the wording, but it sure seems like a blanket license to
me:

“Notwithstanding anything to the contrary herein, you acknowledge and
agree that you shall have no ownership or other property interest in
your account or ANY OTHER INFORMATION or attributes associated with your
account, and you further acknowledge and agree that all rights in and
to your account or any other information or attributes associated with
your account are and shall FOREVER be owned by and inure to the benefit
of Uvumi LLC.”

(“Notwithstanding anything to the contrary” – means “this new part
replaces all the other parts we just said earlier as the rules of the
contract”)

Then later there is this:

“You agree that you have no right or title in or to any content that
appears in the Site or any attributes associated with your account or
stored in the Site.”

Um…what about YOUR uploaded content stored on the site? Looks as
if you just lost it here again… If they aren’t talking about your
content, then they need to state this. Otherwise it seems like you just
handed all your material away.”

Jesse Cannon is the editor of Musformation. He produces records at his studio Cannon Found Soundation. Follow him on Twitter at @JesseCannonMusF. For more info please visit his website.

  • Anon

    You seem to be misreading the terms. It’s obvious that “attributes associated with your account” are not songs and content that you own. I tend to think the most important part of the entire Uvumi TOS is this:
    “Your grant of such rights is revocable at any time and such revocation shall not in any way require the consent of Uvumi LLC.”
    I think what you’re overlooking here is that it’s the LICENSE that is the most important. Your songs and content are already all over the internet, you can’t stop fans with hard copies of your music from sharing it on P2P networks, just like you can’t have any assurance that someone isn’t making illegal copies from the streams they hear on your MySpace profile. This little bit of text in the Uvumi terms is very powerful, and very clearly ensures that you grant a license to Uvumi to stream and promote your songs, but that you can revoke that license instantly at any time. Compare that with TheSixtyOne, for example, where artists have to petition the staff to get their accounts deleted, and some have waited months and even years without hearing back from them. Or what about Facebook? Everything you ever do on facebook is owned by them forevermore, throughout the universe in perpetuity. Their TOS even uses the word “perpetual”!
    MOST IMPORTANTLY: The section you are quoting doesn’t even have anything to do with the license artists grant to Uvumi for the songs and creative works. It’s under the PRIVACY POLICY section! Which means “Watchdog” is 100% wrong about this issue!
    Anyway, take a good hard look at Uvumi and you’ll see that it’s run by 1 dude, and if he’s going to all this trouble to bamboozle a bunch of indie artists into handing over their creative works, then I guess you can’t believe anyone about anything, ever!

  • Musical Watchdog

    I totally disagree. The privacy policy is still part of the same agreement, and is not separate as you say. I do not see a line between them that separates the policies, especially since the last paragraph ties everything together as one agreement.
    Therefore, the “notwithstanding” section applies to the entire agreement. After reviewing your counter-claims, I believe Thesixtyone is a model of a clearly defined contract and is much better. Now if the business doesn’t follow a contract as stated then they are legally liable, but that is a different argument. So if thesixtyone does that, then so be it, but this doesn’t excuse UVUMI’s vague wording and loophole clauses. None of the terms are defined, so the user has no idea what “information” is whether it be user or site content. It is NOT obvious as you say. Most proper contracts have definitions of terms in them to specify what they mean exactly.
    Finally, most companies start as “one dude”. Facebook started as “one dude.”
    And look what happened! Besides, what if the one dude is honest, but later he sells the company with all that control to someone else that isn’t honest?
    Companies are bought and sold every day.
    Using the argument “everybody else does it” doesn’t make it right. At the end of the day, it is the contract that stands up in court, and Uvumi’s is seriously flawed. I suggest they fix it.
    Enough said.
    -MW