So a while back, some writer tweeted about how it would be awesome to have a free train ride on Amtrak for the sole purpose of punching out words.
Amtrak saw it, and guess what? They gave the writer a free trip!
Soon Twitter (and other social media sites) were bounding with comments of “I want one too!” and “This would be awesome if this was a thing!”
And you know, it would be awesome.
If it wasn’t going to cost you an (unexpected) arm and leg.
And you definitely don’t want to be left picking up the pieces of your life after you realize you not only cost yourself, but your family.
No, I’m not sorry for the blatant Fullmetal Alchemist love. Because the example really fits.
‘Cause you see… Amtrak is asking for way more than they’re giving in return.
6. Grant of Rights: In submitting an Application, Applicant hereby grants Sponsor the absolute, worldwide, and irrevocable right to use, modify, publish, publicly display, distribute, and copy Applicant’s Application, in whole or in part, for any purpose, including, but not limited to, advertising and marketing, and to sublicense such rights to any third parties.
Emphasis mine. But this is word-for-word the first sentence of the 6th clause of the Amtrak Residency Official Terms.
This is not the only thing they ask for when you apply for the residency, but it just might be the worst. Other expectations include: background checks, an acknowledgment that gasp Amtrak employees may come up with identical ideas to what you submit in your application.
Similar ideas I can believe. I read books similar to ideas I’ve had all the time.
But identical? Seriously?
Also, you don’t have to actually be chosen for a residency for these things to apply to you. If you submit an application, you have still given up these rights to ANY of the information (or the writing sample) that you submit to them.
So, as I said on Twitter: