Helium.com Complaint - Helium.com Steals From Writers

Review by Tami_L_K on 2008-05-24
MISSISSIPPI -- Helium.com promises to pay on a pay-per-click method, by which the writers do not know the means by which this method is calculated. Upon checking the box on a user agreement, the writer is giving Helium.com all rights to the content that the writer is posting. Helium.com can remove the writer from the site without giving reason, but WILL keep the writers work posted indefinitely. The writer is then freely giving over the copyright to the written material to Helium without receiving payment. Helium.com will indefinitely earn money from the work which the writer was not paid money for release of copyright.

This is stealing.
Comments:5 Replies - Latest reply on 2009-09-24
Posted by Anonymous on 2008-05-24:
Stealing work from budding writers dates back to the day the first human drew a 'story' on "Og's" cave wall. The post is very helpful, as the terms of any agreement between Helium and the writer are likely spelled out. If they are not, writers should flee. Keep writing, Tami. If you are good at the craft, publishers will notice. Best wishes!
Posted by madconsumer on 2008-05-25:
if it says in the aggreement they keep the writtings, then that is not stealing. many online publishers are this way. if the writter wants to be paid their own royalties, then they should publish themselves or go to a larger publisher.
Posted by heaven17 on 2008-05-25:
From their website...

"Grant of license: By submitting your content to Helium, you grant Helium (and any Helium successors-in-interest, subsidiaries, or parent companies), a worldwide, perpetual, irrevocable, transferable, non-exclusive, sub-licensable right and license to, in whole or in part, with or without attribution to you, use, copy, modify, edit, adapt, publish, publicly display/perform, translate, display, create derivative works from and/or license (or sell with your authorization) and/or distribute content posted to the Site. Helium’s rights to content you submit include the right to make editorial revisions to your content; to use in any way the materials you submit on the Helium website or in other Helium media, whether now or hereafter created; to use for our own internal business purposes; and/or to reproduce and distribute the materials for Helium’s marketing and publicity purposes."

If it's stealing, they're pretty upfront about it. Let me guess...you didn't bother reading any of this before you signed up.
Posted by Tami_L_K on 2008-05-26:
No worries, heaven17. I can read. The context of the complaint is that by forming a TOS which gives Helium the rights to the writers work, then removing writers from the site upon the site's discretion (whereas the TOS are NOT clearly spelled out), then keeping the writer's work and it's earning indefinately is...well...pretty much stealing.

The question is, it would seem, how viable is a TOS in copyright law? How often are the words in the TOS changed, with my "check-mark" still in the box? Also, isn't an actual signed contract required in order to relinquish copyright? Will a "check-mark" hold up in a court of law?

As I stated, no worries. I can read.

Posted by sandj on 2009-09-24:
You are right, it has happened to me - helium is a scam - serious writers beware - hobbyists may enjoy their particular slant on vanity publishing -

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