What "Permanent Irrevocable Perpetual Right" Means and Which Writing Sites Use It

"Permanent Irrevocable Perpetual Right"

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Writing articles to websites is fun, challenging and can even be profitable, but did you know that some websites have the right to keep your work even after you've closed your account with them?

Sadly, it's true and if you haven't read the Terms of Service (ToS) closely enough you may be in for a nasty surprise down the road.

After getting burned at one site, I learned what the term "permanent irrevocable perpetual right and license" means when I see it in a site's ToS. It means that you are giving that site's owners permission to use and profit from articles you have posted on their website - forever.

Furthermore, you can't reuse those articles you wrote. Ever.


I think this is dirty and am upset that writers are unaware of this clause when they create an account on these sites. So, I've taken it upon myself to visit the websites listed by other writers as recommended places to get traffic via back-links and scour each ToS for this vile clause.

The following is a list of websites most commonly used by freelance writers which include the "Permanent Irrevocable Perpetual Right" clause.

The Line Up

Helium Publishing - Originally, this site kept all non-creative content ("creative" being poems, songs, story excerpts, and short stories) and was notorious for deleting account memberships without notice or explanation. In 2014, the company underwent an extreme change in both name and operation. Now named, Helium Network, the company has deleted all their Helium Publishing sites and user related accounts ... If you have any updated information, please feel free to post it in the comments below!

Examiner.com - (From jezebellamina's comments to this article) " ... is another site which retains the right to keep and profit from your content after you leave, and they also have strict publishing requirements that you must post at least once every 30 days to remain eligible to receive any payment that is due ... which means in order to be paid what is due you must keep writing for them perpetually!!"


InfoBarrel - Besides keeping your articles, this site requires that all articles go through an approval process before being posted.


Suite101 - While they keep your content, this site claims that even after you close your account, they will continue to pay your revenue via Paypal when it hits $10 USD.


Triond - Not only does this site want to keep your work, but they also reserve the right to publish it elsewhere on the internet to websites of their chosing.


Xomba - Besides keeping your articles, the links from this site are NOFOLLOW. This means that search engines won’t follow the back-links to your site.


Did I miss any? Let me know in the comments below!!

Will you still use these sites?

See results without voting

© 2011 Rosa Marchisella

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Comments 12 comments

Binaya.Ghimire 5 years ago

Dear Rosa, I wrote almost hundred articles for Helium. But one day suddenly they deleted all articles for what they said was due to user agreement violation. I tied to explain but they did not buy.

Couple of sites have also published my articles, which they copied from the sites I wrote, but they did not ask for my permission.

Your article is eye opener for people who write online content.


FloraBreenRobison profile image

FloraBreenRobison 5 years ago

This is the first negative comments I have heard about infobarrel. Because I'm new to online publishing I have been going slowly and mostly joining sites that involve backlinking. I do plan on setting up my own website-want to make sure it is great before I publish it-but I don't want to be in a hurry that I do something I regret. Only two months experience of online publishing is essentially brand new. THANKYOU bfor talking about this issue. One thing I love about hubpages is that we do own the rights to our work and unpublish it and republish it elsewhere. It is one thing to understand the TOS and decide to publish on a site anyway, and quite another not to understand what that phrase literally means.


I Am Rosa profile image

I Am Rosa 5 years ago from Canada Author

Binaya - I'm so sorry to hear that :-( I hope you were able to report those sites for plagiarism!

Flora - I'm glad this information is useful to you. I really appreciate that about Hub Pages, too. I'm assembling a list of various sites similar to HP that allow writers to remove their content when they leave.

I'm fairly new to online publishing as well, even though I've been on Helium since 2007. It was the only site I'd seen where I could post articles and didn't know about their perpetual rights clause. I found it attractive because they have a section where you can write for actual magazines with the chance of selling that article, plus for a bit they had incentives where you'd get a bonus for opening a new title, etc. For a couple months, I made $25. Then, they took the incentives away and I wanted to move my articles here, but discovered the evil clause :-s


Barbsbitsnpieces profile image

Barbsbitsnpieces 5 years ago from Napoleon, Henry County, Ohio, USA

@Binaya.Ghimire...Helium, to which I also write articles, recently changed their policy so that articles published elsewhere cannot be posted to Helium. This may have been your unexplained reason for the deletion of your articles. They have been trying to weed out any violations and also poorly written articles.

Helium is by far the toughest site to write articles, as their Rating system determines the position of your articles, which in turn determines your payment.


Barbsbitsnpieces profile image

Barbsbitsnpieces 5 years ago from Napoleon, Henry County, Ohio, USA

@I Am Rosa...Nice to make the acquaintance of a writer from Canada!

I agree that it's discouraging that one cannot publish an article on more than one site without creating a violation of policy. Because the same article can be sold to several different magazines if it's edited to fit the mag's requirements, I believe writers should have the same privilege on the Internet. In the beginning of Internet article writing, this was the case. However, since Internet writing has grown, I believe the scramble is on for each site to exclusively retain its writers.

I have written to the same topic on several different sites, but I always do a complete edit and rewrite, which is acceptable anywhere.

I also have scared off at least one article theft site, which had published without permission a large number of my Suite101 articles. I used their individual comment areas to claim my articles as mine and ask them why each article was appearing on their site. They subsequently and quickly deleted all my articles they had lifted. So one can fight back on plagerism.


Barbsbitsnpieces profile image

Barbsbitsnpieces 5 years ago from Napoleon, Henry County, Ohio, USA

@FloraBreenRobison...There are a few writing sites that lay claim to the writer's articles for a period of one year, after which time the writer is free to submit the same material elsewhere. AssociatedContent, for which I also write articles, is one.

However, as I mentioned above to this article's author, I Am Rosa, it seems the new trend of claiming exclusivity is on the upswing. I think writing sites are beginning to want writers to stay exclusively on their sites, but this is not what real writers want to do. Writers want expanded audiences, not limitations.

I use several different sites and edit my material to their individual policy if I've written on the same topic elsewhere. Actually, that way the writer is taking the opportunity to give his material optimal airing without violating any site's policy. It's not a mojo for everyone, but I enjoy doing it that way. Another thing I do is pick different major topics to write to for each different site, while including some edited material that I write to every site. That can help pass along the writer's credentials and abilities.


I Am Rosa profile image

I Am Rosa 5 years ago from Canada Author

Barbsbitsnpieces - Well! Thank you for all the great feedback on this topic and thank you so much for following!


Barbsbitsnpieces profile image

Barbsbitsnpieces 5 years ago from Napoleon, Henry County, Ohio, USA

@I Am Rosa...My pleasure! And congratulations on a very useful Hub. Nice work!


ptosis profile image

ptosis 4 years ago from Arizona

Triond sucks. No need to know more.


I Am Rosa profile image

I Am Rosa 4 years ago from Canada Author

Good to know! Thanks for the feedback :-)


jezebellamina profile image

jezebellamina 4 years ago from Dallas, TX

Thanks for the great information; I was just looking into several of these sites thinking about signing up and will certainly not do so now. Reading and understanding TOS is such a headache & you've saved me a lot of time!!

Examiner.com is another site which retains the right to keep and profit from your content after you leave, and they also have strict publishing requirements that you must post at least once every 30 days to remain eligible to receive any payment that is due, in addition to the 30 day (normal for most sites) delay in earnings...which means in order to be paid what is due you must keep writing for them perpetually!! (I would not recommend signing up).

It should be noted, by the way (re: barbsbitsnpieces' comment above), that the reason these sites have a strict policy against duplicate content is because Google penalizes a site's ranking when it has a large portion of material that appears exactly as-is on one or more other sites. If HubPages and Squidoo, etc. allowed reposts of existing articles, everyone would do it and their Google Page Rank would plummet (meaning all our articles would lose rank in search engines and be even harder to find), which would be bad news for all of us and our revenue would decrease even more. These policies actually HELP us earn as online writers, as much of a pain as it is!


I Am Rosa profile image

I Am Rosa 16 months ago from Canada Author

Glad to help, jezebellamina! And, thanks for the info!

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