The Darker Side of MochiAds
November 11, 2008
I have recently been toying around with Flash, and looking at the ways Flash games make money. The biggest player in the monetization of Flash games is MochiAds. Anyone who has ever played a Flash game has probably seen the ads that popup before the game loads. This is a pretty simple to integrate, and generally easy way to make money. Or so I thought until I read the terms of service…One part in particular bothers me.
By submitting User Submissions to Mochi Media, or displaying, publishing, or otherwise posting any content on or through the Service, you hereby do and shall grant Mochi Media an irrevocable, perpetual, worldwide, non-exclusive, royalty-free, fully paid, sublicenseable and transferable license to use, modify, reproduce, distribute, prepare derivative works of, display, perform, and otherwise fully exploit the User Submissions in connection with the Service and Mochi Media’s (and its successors and assigns) business, including without limitation for promoting and redistributing part or all of the Service (and derivative works thereof) in any media formats and through any media channels.
In non-legal terms, that means that MochiAds can do pretty much whatever they want to do with your game. Say some big company buys MochiAds…that would mean that the big company in question would have free license to use your game however they see fit.
This means that I could make a Flash game, and have it be a huge hit. I could make some decent money off the Flash version of the game, but MochiAds, or whoever buys them out, could go to Nintendo and make ten times the amount of money I made on a Wii port. That is a purely hypothetical situation, but it is not impossible, and due to the terms most developers agree to, entirely feasible.
Would I like to make a living making games that I want to make, yes. Do I want to put my hard work at risk of being stolen from me, no.