Alternate Distribution Options: Myebook Revisited: UPDATED

In response to my earlier posts about Myebook, Sy Whitehall, Head of Communications from Myebook.com, sent the following response. Because I am pressed for time today, I will simply post it in its entirety and let you decide.

Myebook Response

Hi Dwight. Thanks for letting me address some of the points raised. It’s vital this is done because for all of us as so much hinges on getting this right. So I will answer each of the points and hope they follow on coherently from what was said previously.
It’s less a rebuttal and more simply an honest and open response. Plus I may have something of a scoop for you here, as I am now free to talk about our next stages! Also, please call me Sy, we’re just not so formal here.

On of the first things to clear up was that I thought you had viewed another site or confused us with someone else for good reason:

I checked the url again and yep, it’s the same site. Though it does look much different since my first visit.

Thanks for noticing the changes and improvements we have made, myebook.com will continue to develop and grow from the feedback and suggestions of it’s users. The reason I suspected you were discussing another site is because some of the comments in the original piece were fairly wide of the mark to what we do here..

Having read Wowio’s and Myebook’s contracts, I beg to differ. Comparatively, the contracts were quite similar.

When you mentioned a contract that you could “sign” that led me to believe that what you understood to be our “contract” with you was connected to another entity entirely We do not have contracts in this sense. We require that you “sign” up to use the system and we ask that you are transparent in who you are so that the legalities of allowing you to use our system are fulfilled, and thereby you put your content out to the world with a measure of commitment on both sides. This does not constitute any kind of written paperwork. What we are doing here Dwight is giving each myebook creator an excellent and very advanced builder system with a media rich promotional tool for free, and for this we need basic information on what each expects of the other. This is achieved with a simple registration process online within our site.

I apologize for my poor wording when expressing how I found the two companies’ business models similar. “Modeled on” would be more accurately expressed as “similar to.” And you are correct in saying that the two platforms, systems and sites are quite different from one another.

During the development and launch of myebook.com (which has taken two years and an incredible amount of work) it became apparent that the comics industry would be one of the first to benefit. Not only because of the turning page format is an easily recognised format that suits a comic’s base model and tradition, but because with research we realised that the industry was going through an extremely rocky time. We cannot speak for Wowio, they have their own way of doing business and on speaking with users of both systems we do not feel we can be compared. We did not intend that myebook ever be specific to the comics industry, it is a platform for all to create and share content. By default though, it appears to suit it perfectly.

Secondly we do not have sponsors of myebook, therefore how do we pay a modest sum via these sponsors?

I contacted Mr. Whitehall about this statement and what compensation–if any–is made to creators and have not received a response. After revisiting the site, however, I was unable to find any advertising information or banners–except for their own site. This leads me to believe that Myebook changed their policies sometime between the creation of the site and now. And that’s fine. It’s better than fine.

We do not have, indeed have never had, sponsors, this has all been entirely self funded. We don’t answer to a sponsor about what we do because we absolutely believe we have this right in the fairest and most acceptable way for all.

So the contract has become “terms and conditions.” I will definitely have to read them.

We haven’t changed anything, it is exactly as it was. The terms and conditions are the same as they have ever been. It always has been and always will be free to use.

Fantastic! This is another wonderful change.

Just to reiterate, no “contract”, totally free to use forever, definitely no changes to our policies, no changes in any way Dwight, you were definitely thinking of another company!

But… are creators compensated for posting their work on your site? After all, their content is what draws traffic to your site to begin with. Again, I’m not being disrespectful or demeaning. I would simply like to know the answer to this important question. We are all looking for options, so Myebooks may be just what we’re looking for. Or not.

The matter of compensation still sticks in my craw, though.

It is interesting that you use the word compensation; this appears to be the crux of the matter! Compensation is an emotive term, our creators have not been in an accident, they have simply been given, for free, an outstandingly advanced promotional tool. If they choose to put their content on myebook.com in the public domain, they then have a huge and all encompassing system behind their work to promote, viral, display and develop whatever they make by their own choice. They also, most importantly, have complete control of it. The only time we would use their work in any way is when it is in the public domain area of myebook.com (user’s choose the pubic view option, not us) and we show others it as an example of what could be done using the system for demonstrational purposes. This does not infringe any copyright, each creators work is their own, not ours.

We understand that it would be easy to feel that you are giving us content to bring traffic to our site and receiving nothing in return. Yet what you are doing is placing your work in the public domain to promote it, what you do with it by using myebook.com to host it is up to you. How you build your fan base and loyal readership is your own decision but when you consider how you can use it to drive traffic to your own e-commerce site to increase your sales, and you do this all for free with myebook.com, then surely the benefits are obvious? We are not asking you to show all of your content with us, you can use merely use the platform to market samples and examples of your work, lots of creators are already doing this.

Here is the answer then……Our business model is to derive a revenue stream from advertising. When the revenue stream becomes available we hope to split the revenue 50/50 between myebook.com and those businesses who become partners of myebook. We believe this is incredibly fair, open and transparent and have found no other company who shares revenue in this way. A good question for you, what do myspace, facebook, youtube pay you for adding your content to their site so they can advertise to you and your viewers? The revenue stream will roll out initially just for the comic industry. But the onus is now on the industry, as we need the comic industry to adopt myebook as the number one platform, and create the traffic required specific to your industry, so we can switch on the revenue stream and all profit from it.

In summary then, we are giving you the best online design tool, the slickest viewing platform, an extremely powerful marketing system for you to bring your audience to and sell your products, while at the same time, when it starts, deriving a revenue.
Dwight, it’s a brilliant system, and it’s all free to use.

‘Let’s get it out there.’

Thank you, I look forward to speaking to you soon. Contact me anytime.

Sy

Bottom Line

I appreciate Sy taking the time to answer my comments. I could rebut his responses, but I don’t have the time to commit to an ongoing back-and-forth discussion. I will only cut and paste this portion of text from Myebook’s old terms that my attorney took issue with:

1. you warrant and represent that you have the right to grant MyEBook a licence as set out below;

2. you grant MyEBook a worldwide, irrevocable, perpetual, non-exclusive, royalty free, transferable, fully paid licence (with the right to sub licence) to use, reuse, copy, publically perform or display, reproduce, translate, modify, adapt, reformat, excerpt (in part or in full) and prepare derivative works from, and distribute such content and to incorporate such content in other works in any form, media or technology now known or developed, for any purpose or in connection with the Site or its promotion or in connection with MyEBook’s business.

You have heard both sides, now you must decide for yourselves.

I’m Outta Here

Please take a few moments to check out my new American McGee’s Grimm interview at Newsarama. In addition to the interview, you’ll find the first five pages of American McGee’s Grimm #1!

So what are you waiting for?!

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2 thoughts on “Alternate Distribution Options: Myebook Revisited: UPDATED

  1. Hmm… those clauses you highlight at the end are very similar to the user agreement that got Google Chrome in trouble when they first rolled it out:

    “11.1 You retain copyright and any other rights you already hold in Content which you submit, post or display on or through, the Services. By submitting, posting or displaying the content you give Google a perpetual, irrevocable, worldwide, royalty-free, and non-exclusive license to reproduce, adapt, modify, translate, publish, publicly perform, publicly display and distribute any Content which you submit, post or display on or through, the Services. This license is for the sole purpose of enabling Google to display, distribute and promote the Services and may be revoked for certain Services as defined in the Additional Terms of those Services.”

    Google Chrome was forced to change this after public outcry. Here’s an article with more on it, prior to Google fixing the situation:
    http://copyfight.corante.com/archives/2008/09/03/google_chrome_and_copyright.php

  2. In myebook’s defense you are talking about something that was used before the site was officially launched and which was still in its early development.
    There shouldn’t be an issue with something that was later changed when a problem was pointed out to myebook, and which was changed to more accurately reflect that particular issue with regard to creators and publishers.
    Myebook have worked very hard with creators and publishers alike in order to ensure that they provide the best possible service, and have gone to great lengths to ensure that creators/publishers are well protected. It goes without saying that they also have to protect themselves, as does any other company when dealing with networking-orientated sites.
    I for one pointed out several issues which I believed required amending and I did so with a view to protecting my company’s interest. The changes were made swiftly and I was thanked for pointing them out. It is a response rarely seen by the much larger sites and which we should all welcome.

    Harry

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