Friday, October 30, 2009

Across the universe

Words are flowing out like endless rain into a paper cup,
They slither while they pass they slip away across the universe.
Pools of sorrow, waves of joy are drifting through my open mind,
Possessing and caressing me.
Jai guru deva om.

Nothing's gonna change my world,

-- Rufus Wainwright, sung by The Beatles, Fiona Apple, etc.

Greeting, Earthling.

Lawyerese Goes Galactic as Contracts Try to Master the Universe
Anne Harrison and the other women in her Bulgarian folk-singing group were lined up to try out for NBC's "America's Got Talent" TV show when they noticed peculiar wording in the release papers they were asked to sign.

Any of their actions that day last February, the contract said, could be "edited, in all media, throughout the universe, in perpetuity."

Then, like thousands of other contestants, they signed their names.

Experts in contract drafting say lawyers are trying to ensure that with the proliferation of new outlets -- including mobile-phone screens, Twitter, online video sites and the like -- they cover all possible venues from which their clients can derive income, even those in outer space.

The terms of use listed on Starwars.com, where people can post to message boards among other things, tell users that they give up the rights to any content submissions "throughout the universe....

n a May 15, 2008, "expedition agreement" between JWM Productions LLC, a film-production company, and Odyssey Marine Exploration Inc., a shipwreck-exploration outfit, JWM seeks the rights to footage from an Odyssey expedition. The contract covers rights "in any media, whether now known or hereafter devised, or in any form whether now known or hereafter devised, an unlimited number of times throughout the universe and forever...."

A 189-word sentence in a September agreement between Denver-based Spicy Pickle Franchising Inc. and investment bank Midtown Partners & Co. -- which has helped raise capital for the sandwich and pickle shops dotted across the region -- unconditionally releases Spicy Pickle from all claims "from the beginning of time"....

The article is full of other amusing and instructive instances, including this caveat:
"But, to be honest with you, we have had very few cases of people trying to exploit rights on other planets," says Lynne Hale, a Lucasfilm spokeswoman.

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