The Sword and Laser discussion

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Write short stories on 20lines!

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message 1: by Veronica, Supreme Sword (last edited Oct 23, 2014 01:16PM) (new)

Veronica Belmont (veronicabelmont) | 1671 comments Mod
Hey y'all!

I'm an advisor for a company called 20lines, and they just launched a new version of the app today:

iOS
Google Play

There's also a web version.

The app is all about sharing short stories, and reading the works of others. Kind of like Instagram for stories. The main new app feature is Channels, so of course I created a Sword & Laser channel. I was hoping some of you budding writers would be willing to test out the platform!

Let me know what you think! I will be sharing any feedback with the creators, so you definitely have a chance to make an impact.


Sean Lookielook Sandulak (seansandulak) | 431 comments An about page would be helpful for those who come across the site and don't know what it is. Also a human readable version of the TOS.


message 3: by Fauxley (new)

Fauxley | 15 comments Sounds fun! I've been working on a few short stories as a warm up for NaNoWriMo, and this seems like a neat way to do something with them.


message 4: by Veronica, Supreme Sword (new)

Veronica Belmont (veronicabelmont) | 1671 comments Mod
Fauxley wrote: "Sounds fun! I've been working on a few short stories as a warm up for NaNoWriMo, and this seems like a neat way to do something with them."

I was even thinking people could use it *for* NaNoWriMo! Like, releasing chapters as a serial or something.


message 5: by Tassie Dave, S&L Historian (new)

Tassie Dave | 3506 comments Mod
It looks interesting. A great place to waste spend a few hours.
What does the 20 Lines name mean? I initially expected there to be a 20 line restriction on the stories. Which, wisely, there isn't.

A couple of small gripes. It needs an iPad app. I'm sure it's coming. The iPhone app is quite usable but doesn't make the best use of the larger iPad screen.

I couldn't find a way to follow/join the "Sword and Laser" group on the web version :-? I found it easily on the app after I downloaded it.


message 6: by Sky (last edited Oct 23, 2014 11:34PM) (new)

Sky Corbelli | 352 comments Sounds interesting, especially if the typos in the ToS get fixed. Also, and maybe it's just me, but things like their item 8.2.2...

By submitting, posting or displaying Content on or through Website, you grant 20lines a royalty-free, irrevocable, perpetual, worldwide, transferable and fully sublicensable, non-exclusive, irrevocable license to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, publish, translate, create derivative works from, incorporate into other works, distribute, perform, display, and otherwise exploit such Content, in whole or in part in any form, media or technology now known or later developed on the Website for the purpose of displaying and distributing the Service.

...do make me a little hesitant to put anything that I might ever want to sell up there. It's probably all the modifiers before the word "license," or the use of the word "exploit," or the phrase "now known or later developed" that does it. Or maybe it's the double "irrevocable," just so you know that there are really, seriously no take-backsies here. No joke you guys.

It could be a fun place to goof around, though.


message 7: by Tassie Dave, S&L Historian (last edited Oct 24, 2014 12:36AM) (new)

Tassie Dave | 3506 comments Mod
I don't think that section is trying to take away the authors rights. The previous section (8.2.1) makes it clear the authors retain all rights.

It is lawyer talk for "in the future we might think of a cool new way to use our website content and don't want to have to ask every single user to agree before we do it"

You can object to anything they do with your content and get it removed. That section is a just a "cover their own arse" clause.


message 8: by Paolo (new)

Paolo Do the entries have to be within a certain word length? I noticed most of the entries (if not all) are pretty short.

I thought when you said short stories, it would be something like "no longer than 7,500 words" :)


message 9: by Julia (new)

Julia Khatemi (jtkhatemi) | 6 comments Hi everyone! My name is Julia Khatemi and I'm the English Community Manager for 20lines.

I notice that a few of you have questions, so feel free to ask me. Don't hesitate to reach out if you have any comments or concerns; we love hearing from our users!


message 10: by David (new)

David | 67 comments Tassie Dave wrote: "I don't think that section is trying to take away the authors rights. The previous section (8.2.1) makes it clear the authors retain all rights.

It is lawyer talk for
"in the future we might t..."


Tassie, I suspect you're correct about the current intent of this clause. And I understand it from their perspective, that having broad language ensures they don't get sued because of some corner case where someone got mad.

However, the language does give them the right to sell your work ( fully sublicensable ) for any purpose (as-is, converted to movie, etc.) in the future. Also, that clause could in the future allow someone else to take what you've posted, create a derivative work (which could be basically the same thing), and sell that.

I tend to give people the benefit of the doubt, but examples such as iStockPhoto have shown how solid intent up-front can drift over time, and lead to contributors getting screwed. Similar language to this has been discussed at length within the context of photography.

I understand the need for CYA language, but contributors also need to think about what they're agreeing to. I'd like to see 20lines revise their agreement, such that intent matches verbiage.

If not, I can see it being used for practice/throw-away/promotional/etc. content, but not for anything new/serious. And that would be too bad, because it seems like a pretty cool system.


message 11: by Sky (new)

Sky Corbelli | 352 comments Tassie Dave wrote: "I don't think that section is trying to take away the authors rights. The previous section (8.2.1) makes it clear the authors retain all rights."

Oh yeah, I agree, they aren't trying to take away your rights to anything you post, they just also have all of the same rights to it that you do.

Tassie Dave wrote: "You can object to anything they do with your content and get it removed."

I think this is actually false, based on the the section that states: By submitting, posting or displaying Content on or through Website, you grant 20lines a royalty-free, irrevocable, perpetual...

In fact, they used irrevocable twice in that clause, which (while humorous) probably means that they take that part pretty seriously.

Also, if they were to publish a compilation, "The Best of 20lines" or something similar, they wouldn't need your permission or need to pass along any royalties. I'm not saying that that's necessarily a bad thing. The vast majority of people won't even care, and most of those who do would probably be thrilled to be a part of it.

I understand that they need something like this. It's a necessary evil. But based on the verbiage here, once you post content on 20lines, you have also given them the right to do whatever they want with it, and that's something to be aware of.


message 12: by Julia (new)

Julia Khatemi (jtkhatemi) | 6 comments Paolo wrote: "Do the entries have to be within a certain word length? I noticed most of the entries (if not all) are pretty short.

I thought when you said short stories, it would be something like "no longer th..."


Hi Paolo! I'm the Community Manager for 20lines!

In regards to your question, you can write as little as you want, or up to 240 lines which is about 3,400 words.

-Julia


message 13: by Julia (new)

Julia Khatemi (jtkhatemi) | 6 comments Sean™ wrote: "An about page would be helpful for those who come across the site and don't know what it is. Also a human readable version of the TOS."

Hi Sean! You can go to http://en.20lines.com/ to find out more about 20lines :).

-Julia


message 14: by Julia (new)

Julia Khatemi (jtkhatemi) | 6 comments Tassie Dave wrote: "It looks interesting. A great place to waste spend a few hours.
What does the 20 Lines name mean? I initially expected there to be a 20 line restriction on the stories. Which, wisely, there isn't.
..."


Hi Tassie!

As far as the name 20lines, it comes from the practice of "20lines a day, genius or not" a rule created by Stendhal. The goal is to get people writing 20lines everyday, regardless of whether or not it is something profound, or just scattered thoughts. At 20lines the app, we are encouraging people to write, no matter what is it!

The name also refers to the stories being short, and not actually 20lines as you discovered:)

-Julia


message 15: by Julia (new)

Julia Khatemi (jtkhatemi) | 6 comments Sky wrote: "Sounds interesting, especially if the typos in the ToS get fixed. Also, and maybe it's just me, but things like their item 8.2.2...

By submitting, posting or displaying Content on or through Websi..."


Hi Sky,

I see that you have some concern over ownership, and I just wanted to point you back to our General Agreement.

http://en.20lines.com/general_agreement

In Section 8:
8.2.1 20lines claims no ownership over any Content submitted, posted or displayed by you on or through the Website. You or a third-party licensor, as appropriate, retain all patent, trademark and copyright to any Content you submit, post or display on or through the Website and you are responsible for protecting those rights, as appropriate.

I hope that clears everything up. We are not taking anything from you, we just want you to know that the content you post is your own responsibility. We are not going to take and sell your writing or anything like that.

As far as the section following right after, (the part that you shared and where you expressed some concern) we are stating that you, as a user, are responsible for everything you post.

Let me know if you still have any confusion or concerns! I know the lingo written in terms of service pages can be a little tricky.

-Julia


message 16: by Julia (new)

Julia Khatemi (jtkhatemi) | 6 comments Hello everyone!

In honor of NaNoWriMo, 20lines opened a channel for our new NaNoWriMo contest!

Like NaNoWriMo, we are asking you all to write a completed novel by the end of November, but are asking for only 20,000 words as well as awarding prizes to the top 3 authors.

Here's the link for more information:
http://en.20lines.com/read/189370/nan...

As well as the official rules:
http://en.20lines.com/read/189490/200...

Let me know if you guys have any questions!

Julia


message 17: by Veronica, Supreme Sword (new)

Veronica Belmont (veronicabelmont) | 1671 comments Mod
Julia wrote: "Sky wrote: "Sounds interesting, especially if the typos in the ToS get fixed. Also, and maybe it's just me, but things like their item 8.2.2...

By submitting, posting or displaying Content on or t..."


Thanks for clearing that up!


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