Writing Contest Ahoy: But Read The Fine Print

Grr, argh, grr.

Old House Web, which—we’re surprised to learn—is not affiliated with This Old House, is sponsoring a blogging contest. It’s easy! All you have to do is write a blog post about home improvement in an old house and link Old House Web to it! (You also have to subscribe to their RSS feed though we are not sure how they plan on verifying this??)

The winner gets a $250 gift card to Lowes and an opportunity to become a paid blogger on Old House Web.

But, of course, the fine print:

“By entering into the Contest, each contestant agrees to grant OldHouseWeb.com and its owners/operators permission to copy and publish to OldHouseWeb.com any and all copyrighted or uncopyrighted images, writings, texts, and/or graphics submitted by the contestant.”

And:

“The winner will be awarded $250 and an opportunity to discuss with [Old House Web’s parent company] QuinStreet the possibility of becoming a paid contributing blogger on OldHouseWeb.com. The foregoing is not an offer of or guarantee of employment or any freelancing opportunity with QuinStreet.”

This practice is becoming more prevalent but there are still writing contests in which you don’t automatically sign away your copyright. Honest.

We’re not going to say which way is better, but always read the fine print before getting into anything like this. That’s all we’re sayin.