Thursday, January 20, 2005

The Fine Print

The questions that I posted yesterday are from the real application for a television reality show, which you can download yourself from the website of the network on which it airs. The application itself is only one page, the rest of the packet is the legal forms that accompany the application.

Form I- Voluntary Participation Agreement
This is a whole page of legalese that boils down to I'm playing your game because I'm an idiot and you even warned me not to. Included in the fine print is a clause that says you have to do whatever they say. Then there is your standard indemnification clause, so you can't sue them if you get hurt. I should quote part of this:
"...REGARDLESS OF WHETHER OR NOT SUCH INJURY, LOSS OR DAMAGE WAS CAUSED BY THE NEGLIGENCE OR WILLFUL MISCONDUCT OF THE PRODUCERS OR ANY OF THEIR RESPECTIVE OFFICERS, DIRECTORS, AGENTS, REPRESENTATIVES OR EMPLOYEES, OR ANYONE ELSE CONNECTED WITH THE PROGRAM." (emphasis mine)
In other words, they can order you to push-start a 747, and if you get hurt they get to laugh about it (and of course feature it in promotional spots). The final clause in this document says they get to keep all the pictures, video, applications and everything about you forever and they can do with it whatever they want. Does this make anyone else uneasy?

Form II- Name and Likeness Release
This document takes the creepiness of the last clause of the other agreement and takes it one step further. We need to look at the whole thing and break it down:

By submitting this application I hereby consent to the recording, use and reuse [Literally ad nauseum in commercial after bloody commercial.]

by the Producers of the Program (as defined below) and [Company Name] and any of their respective licensees, assigns, parents, subsidiaries, divisions, business units or affiliated entities and each of their respective employees, agents, officers and directors (collectively "Releasees") [Any and every sociopathic freak from the CEO to the guy who brings the muffins.]

of my voice, actions, likeness, name, appearance and biographical materials (collectively "Likeness") [Everything but my actual soul.]

in any and all media now known or hereafter devised, throughout the universe, in perpetuity, in or in connection with the reality-based television series currently entitled [TV Show Name] (the "Program"). [i.e. Brain-implants of the reruns in the year 3054.]

I agree that Releasees may use all or any part of my Likeness and may alter or modify it, regardless of whether or not I am recognizable. [What are the odds they'd put my head on Jude Law's body?]

I further agree that Releasees exclusively own all right, title and interest in and to the application video that I have provided in connection with the Program (the "Video") and all rights therein and thereto including, without limitation, the right to use the Video and my Likeness in any and all media now known or hereafter devised, throughout the universe, in perpetuity. [So I get no royalties on the brain-implant reruns.]

I further agree that Releasees may use my Likeness and Video in connection with any promotion, publicity, marketing or advertisement for the Program or for any of the Releasees in any manner whatsoever, or for any other purpose and manner whatsoever. ["On the next episode, see the latest idiot to sign over all his rights."]

I grant the rights hereunder whether or not I am selected to participate in the Program. [So I don't necessarily get my 15 minutes of fame but they still get to exploit me.]

I release Releasees from any and all liability arising out of its use of my Likeness and/or the Video. I agree not to make any claim against Releasees as a result of the recording or use of my Likeness and/or the Video (including, without limitation, any claim that such use invades any right to privacy and/or publicity). [So all you internet stalker wacko-types can say you saw me on TV but I can't sue them for putting me on TV. Because I'm an idiot.]



So what do you guys think? Should I go for it?

11 Comments:

At 1:38 AM, Blogger J. said...

Yes. Because, then, since I won't ever be on a reality TV show, I can live it vicariously through you on your blog.

 
At 10:28 AM, Blogger Mike said...

Yes! Look, the day will come when your audience will tire of hearing about you dancing in your jammies. Granted, that day is not today, but make no mistake about it, it will come. So, you must feed the blog. Did you hear me? FEED THE BLOG! You must apply for The Approokie and you must succeed. That should feed the blog sufficiently.

Do you think I really wanted to have a child? Of course not! I just knew that people would eventually tire of reading about my ClassDefNotFound error in Java. So, I got the wife to pop out a blog-inpsiring kid.

Do it, Louie. Feed the blog.

 
At 10:30 AM, Blogger Mike said...

Yes! Look, the day will come when your audience will tire of hearing about you dancing in your jammies. Granted, that day is not today, but make no mistake about it, it will come. So, you must feed the blog. Did you hear me? FEED THE BLOG! You must apply for The Approokie and you must succeed. That should feed the blog sufficiently.

Do you think I really wanted to have a child? Of course not! I just knew that people would eventually tire of reading about my ClassDefNotFound error in Java. So, I got the wife to pop out a blog-inpsiring kid.

Do it, Louie. Feed the blog.

 
At 10:45 AM, Blogger Zelda said...

Don't do it. They will steal your organs and you will have no legal recourse. Plus if you do something dumb, you could become the laughingstock of the entire country. They'll use your name as a synonym for "what a wank" and when they do an "I love the 00s" show on January 1st, 2010, you will be on it and people will say, "oh yeah, I remember that asshole. What a dork." And the humiliation will be renewed. Think William Hung and cower in fear.

I'm usually a very optimistic person.

 
At 1:47 PM, Blogger mellancollyeyes said...

Um, duh.

Obviously you have to do this. There is no question about it. Look, speaking as a former Ricki Lake talk show guest, I know from experience that eventually no one will really remember anything stupid you said (not that I said anything stupid on TV...just as a hypothetical) except for maybe your very close friends and it's pretty damn exciting to see yourself on TV. Plus, it would be incredibly interesting for the rest of us to see. I, for one, am curious to see who the mystery is behind tinyhands...I'm envisioning a sort-of suave Bruce Wayne-y type person, except not so stuffy and overdressed...more like kick back and have a good time while stll being suave. Now, if it tunrs out you're like 5'3" with an underbite and thinning hair, that would only make it all the better.

Final thought: You have a severe and pressing obligation to get on that show.

 
At 3:57 PM, Blogger tinyhands said...

Jeanette- The thought of someone living vicariously through ME makes me shed a single tear. So does litter.

Mike- But what if I can't live up to the high standard you set with Feud?

Z- You're right, I'm not crazy about the idea of waking up in a bathtub filled with ice and missing a kidney. Thanks for having confidence in me being a dipshit though. ;)

Adrianne- How could you go on 'Rikki Lake' and NOT say something stupid? The bar is set pretty low there, as opposed to, say, Mike on the Feud. And you've got me backwards: I'm stuffy and overdressed, but neither suave nor rich. I'll leave the question of my ambiguously gay live-in ward to your imagination.

 
At 5:06 PM, Blogger Zelda said...

I would give the same advice to anyone contemplating such an idea along with, "good god, have you no pride?"

But seriously. What if you fart?

 
At 5:44 AM, Blogger mellancollyeyes said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At 5:08 PM, Blogger J. said...

Oh my. Zelda's right. What if you fart? Gasp! That puts a whole new twist on it. Hmm. Maybe you shouldn't. (sigh)

 
At 3:46 AM, Blogger se7en said...

but, what if cuttin' tha cheese is a secret magical mystery prize and you win tons o'money and eventually become the darling of a generation of opera patrons that love to hear you fart out Rigoletto?

seee!! you can't pass up this obvious opportunity!
i say go for it!!

 
At 1:16 AM, Blogger tinyhands said...

Actually, me farting in the presence of The Donald is a very real possibility. I don't see that as a deterrent, however, merely an incentive to try harder to get on TV. And since farting hasn't kept me from being the celebrity blogger I am today, I don't see how it'll get in the way of TV stardom.

Look out Hollywood- Pull my tiny fingers!

 

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