Your Images, Their Payday [This Is Why They're Gonna Be Rich]

So while you're busy submitting your photographs of crazy unhealthy food concoctions to This Is Why You're Fat, keep in mind that the site owners, Gawker Media video mastermind Richard Blakeley and his girlfriend, blogger Jessica Amason, are shopping the book version of the site around for a six-figure payday — the book built entirely on your images.

Did you know that when you submit your images, even via email, you sign away the rights to them? You do now!

In an interview with The Winnipeg Sun before they were outed, they claimed it started as a joke:

"We started it, because we noticed a trend, but while it started as a every joke, there's some truth. These foods really are why our society is so fat," the creator adds. She and her boyfriend don't want to be identified — preferring to keep the focus on the food. But they already have a new literary agent and talks with a television network or two.

Maybe it did start out as a joke, but it's not a joke anymore. Sometime during the site's 30+ days of existence, they got dollar signs in their eyes and slapped some legalese on their submit page.

And now they're gonna get paid.

Much like other sites where users submit images, say Cute Overload or I Can Has Cheezburger?, when you submit a photograph, they own it. Check out their Terms of Submission Agreement:

You agree that when you send a Submission via email or upload to this Website, you grant and its owners a non-exclusive, irrevocable, royalty-free license to use the work. We may use, copy, sublicense, adapt, transmit, distribute, publish, display or otherwise use it as we see fit, in our sole discretion. By making a Submission, you waive the right to make any claim against, its owners or any of its respective parents, subsidiaries, affiliates, employees, agents, directors or officers.

The submission form even asks, in a demanding tone, just in case the image isn't yours, for help in identifying the copyright holder:

If you are not the owner of the photo being submitted, you must provide a link and/or contact information for the owner so that can secure permission.

This isn't some innocent Tumblog that wants to collect and share some neat images of excessive food. Nope. This is a for-profit engine designed to exploit and capitalize on other people's work — work that's now become the property of — and Richard Blakeley and Jessica Amason can do any damned thing they want, from mugs to T-shirts to posters to books. And the original owners won't ever see a single cent.

It's brilliant: offload hosting to Tumblr, let other people generate your content, claim a royalty-free license on said images... and then... wait for it... $$$.

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