Hello my fellow authors!
I wanted to share something that recently happened to me with you guys, and see what are your thoughts on this.
So, I sold a 1 million broadcast license at the beginning of the month. I hate getting those. While a “double” sale is always nice, I can’t help but feel like I’m getting ripped off, when I get 20 bucks for TV air time.
This one million broadcast license should be the rarest type as it should concern rural parts of the US and very small countries only. And yet, most of the broadcast licenses I sell are… yes, you guessed it right, 1 million broadcast licenses. So I find this a bit odd and I’ve grown suspicious of those licenses.
Anyway, back to that sale. I googled the buyer and found it was a major media company in Scandinavia. Hum… A week or so later, Tunesat informed me that my track was being played on a given channel in Finland. Googled that channel and found it’s a national channel with a potential reach of over 5 millions.
I immediately contacted Envato’s support about this issue. I had a similar issue a few years ago, and support was able to assist, so I had good hopes. A few days later Envato replied. They had contacted the buyer who had replied that my music was being played during shows whose audience did not cross the million threshold. And so, for Envato this is the end of this.
At first, I was dumbfounded. What? Envato doesn’t even know their own license terms? How can they not tell the buyer he’s making a mistake in the interpretation of those terms, as it is clearly stated the key figure is the potential reach and not the actual audience. So I wrote back, a bit pissed, telling them just that? How can you not know your own policies?!
They replied with a link to the tos essentially saying “This license is between the author of the Item and you (buyer). Envato Pty Ltd is not a party to this license or the one giving you the license.”
So, it’s not that they don’t know the license terms, it’s that they don’t care those terms are getting breached or not, and are not willing to do anything to enforce them! They concluded their mail with a feel free to deal with this yourself.
So, I had to contact the buyer myself, and try to work it out on my own. This makes me look petty and like a beggar. I hate that! I tried to explain to the buyer where he misunderstood the terms. Buyer is saying he thinks he got the correct license and is incompetent in this legal imbroglio and thus is forwarding the matter to his legal department.
And so here I am, waiting for this legal department, if they ever come back to me. Having to defend terms made by Envato, on my own, with no legal counsel of course.
I feel completely abandoned, let down and betrayed by Envato. I know it’s a company, they’re not here to make nice but to make money. I got that. But why do they try so hard to act so badly?
So that’s my story. Now, I’m turning to my fellow authors and ask you guys three questions.
First, do you have any advice on how to go about this matter. Should I just let it slide? After all, fighting for a 100 bucks is a bit petty indeed.
Second, where you guys aware of Envato’s policy not to enforce license terms and to let authors on their own on these issues? What do you guys think about this? Are you guys ok with paying such a high fee and not get any protection whatsoever?
And third what is your opinion on the 1 million broadcast license? Do you think it really serves a purpose? How often do you get those compared to other broadcast licenses?
Thanks for reading!