Last week, a writer contacted me to ask about WriterPitch.com,”a website that blends the worlds of literary agents and writers under one roof.”
You’ll have the ability to have your pitch/pitches read by hundreds of literary agents. With the click of a button an agent can request your manuscript and instantly an email will be sent to you as well as a notice to your homepage….
As an agent you’ll have the ability to search through pitches by specific genres. With the click of a button a request of materials will be sent to any pitch you like, this request letter will be completely customized by you as a field in your personal profile.
The question the writer wanted to ask me was whether WriterPitch’s Terms and Conditions posed a problem, specifically the User Content clause:
You grant to WriterPitch.com a worldwide, irrevocable, non-exclusive, royalty-free license to use, reproduce, adapt, publish, translate and distribute your user content in any existing or future media. You also grant to WriterPitch.com the right to sub-license these rights, and the right to bring an action for infringement of these rights.
I told her that this language was not ideal–it’d be preferable if the license were limited to operation of the service–but that it’s also very common. You’ll find similar language on just about any website that accepts user content. It’s not intended to enable the site to rip off users’ intellectual property, but to allow the site to operate online.
Such language is a concern, and if you’re going to participate in a website whose Terms include it, you need to understand it and its implications. With WriterPitch, however, there’s a much more pressing question.
Will agents use it?