Jeff Seymour - Author of Fantasy, Literary Fiction, & c.: The Grand Experiment: Wattpad and Moral Rights

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Wednesday, June 27, 2012

The Grand Experiment: Wattpad and Moral Rights

Yesterday I got an e-mail from Wattpad in response to my question about moral rights. It reads:

Hi Jeff,
Great question! Moral rights, as we understand them, are rights to protection of the integrity and reputation of the work in question. These rights cannot be assigned to a third party, but by asking authors to waive them we are attempting to protect ourselves from situations where one author's work ends up displayed (for example, in a list based on a search term) along side a set of works which impugns the integrity reputation of the work in question by association, and as a result the author files a suit against us. As previously mentioned, moral rights cannot be assigned to others, but by waiving them you forgo the opportunity to seek compensation from Wattpad if you think your work has been poorly associated in our attempts to display it to others.
Hopefully this makes sense. We're looking to clarify our terms as much as possible. The team at 500px.com has done a great job of this, we think, and we'd like to follow suit.
Mike Beltzner
Head of Product

So color me impressed by the quickness and thoroughness of their response. It was much more than I expected. I have to say that all of my interactions with the company so far have been positive ones. And now I have a pretty reasonable explanation for why they ask their contributors to waive their moral rights.

First chapter of Soulwoven to go up soon, friends and readers. I've been busy this week with an article I'm writing for Clarkesworld and a short story I'm submitting to Writers of the Future, both of which have deadlines that must be met.

But I still plan to get that chapter up this week, by hook or by crook.

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