Eventbrite

Eventbrite has recanted on a recent change made to its Merchant Agreement that allowed the company to attend and film events, and then keep the copyright for that recording.

The company rolled out its new Merchant Agreement a month ago, but true to the theory that nobody reads legal agreements and terms of service, it took a while before anyone noticed the addition.

But someone eventually did, and the public outcry was enough to make the company trend on Twitter over the weekend.

The clause that got everyone amped up was clause #7, called "Permissions You Grant us to Film and Record Your Events."

We won't reproduce it in its entirety here, since its almost 500 words of legalese, but the old Merchant Agreement has been immortalized on the Archive.org's Wayback Machine website, here.

Eventbrite apologizes

In an email to Bleeping Computer today, the company has shown regret and apologized for its error of judgement, claiming the new Merchant Agreement was only added to give its PR staff a legal base to attend and film selected events, for the sole purpose of promoting artists and companies for marketing purposes only.

"It was never our intention to show up at an event unannounced, nor to take greater ownership of content," an Eventbrite spokesperson told us today via email.

Such terms are quite mundane in almost all Terms of Service agreements across the web, and there are many websites that still include similar clauses to this day. Eventbrite might have gotten a rough treatment because it failed to mention the words "promotion" or "marketing" during that whole particular section.

Nonetheless, after getting a black eye in the public media for its intrusive agreement, Eventbrite decided to drop the entire clause entirely and save some face.

We embedded the company's full statement and explanation of what happened below.

Earlier this month we made an update to our Terms of Service and Merchant Agreement that included language allowing us the option to work with individual organizers to secure video and photos at their events for marketing and promotional purposes.

We added this language to support a marketing program that is designed to help tell the empowering stories of our creators and their quest to bring people together.  It was never our intention to show up at an event unannounced, nor to take greater ownership of content.  Rather, we saw our Terms as an opportunity to make the program available to all our event creators at once.

Immediately upon hearing concerns from our customers, we agreed that the language went broader than necessary given our true intention, and recognized that each of our creators could still benefit from this program with an opt-in approach.  We’ve since removed the clause entirely from our Terms of Service and Merchant Agreement, and can confirm that we never recorded any footage during the time the clause existed within our Terms. We appreciate the feedback and sincerely apologize for any concern this caused.