The Collective (MTV)

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Website
Name: The Collective
Owner/Maintainer: MTV
Dates: July 21, 2014-present
Type: corporate-owned multi-work site
Fandom: Teen Wolf
URL: https://collective.mtv.com/teenwolf/
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Needs Updating: This page is out of date. Editors are encouraged to add more recent information.

On July 21, 2014, MTV announced through an article on Mashable[1] and a Tumblr blog post[2] that it was opening a site for fanworks as part of its overall MTV.com website.

"Teen Wolf” has always maintained a strong fan community and those enthusiasts are a major part of the show’s success. When the decision was made to start a new online venture centered around the series, we wanted those who love “Teen Wolf” to be as involved as possible, so we invited them to be direct contributors to The Collective. Through the years, we’ve worked with so many talented people who are artists, musicians, writers, and creators, and we reached out to many of them and gave them the opportunity to introduce the entire fan community to this new platform. We encourage any and all “Teen Wolf” fans to sign up for The Collective and share your thoughts, opinions, and talents with us.[2]

Fan Reactions

In the first few days after the announcement, fan reactions were mixed. Some fans focused on the Terms of Use, others on the opportunity to share their work with each other in a Teen Wolf-dedicated archive, and still others on the history of corporate attempts to monetize fanworks via projects like Fanlib as Kindle Worlds.

Terms of Use

MTV's website drew some concern about its outdated Terms of Use.

As you can see, Mtv’s Terms of Use were written in 2011, which is pretty archaic for Terms of Use for a site that hosts user-created creative content. The Terms of Use are relatively standard for a site with message boards and downloads from The Powers That Be - and they don’t require users to assign copyright ownership of anything they post, which is A Good Thing (although there is a broad license that allows Mtv to do a lot of noncommercial things with submissions - see more on this below).

However, if you post to The Collective, you’re required to “respect [Mtv’s] copyrights, trademarks, and other intellectual property rights.” What does that mean for fanworks? We have no idea - there’s no definition, no standards, no explanation. Do you have to respect Gerard or the twins or McCall Senior? Do you have to respect the Nogitsune? (I once had a long discussion with a fellow lawyer as to whether it was possible to “tarnish” Voldemort as a matter of law; this is along those lines.)

[...]

We’ve seen some people ask whether Mtv could take fanart and other items posted to The Collective and sell them on shirts or postcards - or put them on the Official Show DVDs without asking the artist’s permission. Technically, they can’t because the ToU says, “Posting is for noncommercial purposes only.”

That should mean that Mtv can’t make any commercial use of the content posted to The Collective without getting additional permission and rights from the artist. That’s how we hope it will be read.

This might be a good time for Mtv to update the Terms of Use for its entire site - but at the very least, they (and/or RebelMouse) should create specific Terms of Use for The Collective that protect fans’ rights in what they create, and possibly put limitations on what Mtv can do with fan-created and fan-submitted content. [...][3]

One user quoted sections of the MTV Terms of Use that concerned them.

5. Rights Granted to MTV. In connection with all User Content you submit using the User Content Submission Features, you grant to MTV, the Parent Companies and the Affiliates, the unqualified, unrestricted, unconditional, unlimited, worldwide, irrevocable, perpetual and royalty free right, license, authorization and permission, in any form or format, on or through any media or medium and with any technology or devices now known or hereafter developed or discovered, in whole or in part, to host, cache, store, maintain, use, reproduce, distribute, display, exhibit, perform, publish, broadcast, transmit, modify, prepare derivative works of, adapt, reformat, translate, and otherwise exploit all or any portion of your User Content on the Site (regardless of the Device through which the Site may be accessed) and any other channels, services, and other distribution platforms, whether currently existing or existing or developed in the future, of MTV, the Parent Companies and the Affiliates (collectively, the “Platforms”), for any purpose whatsoever (including, without limitation, for any promotional purposes) without accounting, notification, credit or other obligation to you, and the right to license and sub-license and authorize others to exercise any of the rights granted hereunder to MTV, the Parent Companies and Affiliates, in our sole discretion.

The rights, licenses and privileges described in this Submission Agreement and granted to MTV, the Parent Companies and the Affiliates, shall commence immediately upon submission of your User Content to or through the User Content Submission Features and continue thereafter perpetually and indefinitely, regardless of whether you continue or remain a registered user or not, unless and until terminated, in whole or in part, by MTV on notice to you…. You are not entitled to and you will not receive any compensation or other consideration for your User Content or any use made of your User Content once submitted. You also understand and agree that neither all or any portion of your User Content, nor any commercial, advertisement, promotional, marketing or other material associated with your User Content, need to be submitted for approval prior to use.[4]

For Fans, By Fans

Some fans were concerned about the broader implications of corporate sponsorship of and control over fandom.

Fandom belongs to FANS and should not EVER be on a website that the powers that be create for their own purposes or in the control of a corporate sponsor (.mtv is not cute). Placing work on the website, ADMITTING to the desire to move fandom into an area where they have more control and removing the interaction fans have with each other to a space in which 1. you don’t hold the rights to your work and standards are set not by the community but the powers that be and 2. you’re removed from the traditions of fanspace is totally gross and inappropriate on their part. They aren’t the first ones to try this bullshit either, they’re just cloaking it in different words.[5]

References

  1. 'Teen Wolf' Fans, You Can Stop Scouring Tumblr for Fan Art, posted July 21, 2014. Accessed July 23, 2014.
  2. 2.0 2.1 "Teen Wolf” has always maintained a strong fan community, posted July 21, 2014. Accessed July 23, 2014.
  3. Hey, Teen Wolf fandom, Mtv has something for you!, posted July 21, 2014. Accessed July 23, 2014.
  4. A few highlights from their User Content Submission Agreement, posted July 21, 2014. Accessed July 23, 2014. Text bolded by poster.
  5. Look y’all, I’m not in Teen Wolf fandom anymore, posted July 21, 2014. Accessed July 23, 2014.