Very strange "permission" form to use my name in a story

I just got a request from a fact checker for a publication who wanted to reference my April 1 joke on Brain Doping in a story (I was not interviewed for the story).  And they wanted me to sign over some rights associated with them using my name.  The text of the form is below.  I have been quoted and written about and even had my picture in places like the Scientific American, the New Yorker, US News and World Report, USA Today, PLoS Biology, Nature, Science, blogs, etc and not once has anyone sent me such a form.  Anyone seen anything like this?  

For good and valuable consideration, the receipt of which is hereby 

acknowledged, I, ___________________________ (“Subject”), hereby irrevocably grant 

to XXXXXXXXXXXX, and YYYYYYYYYYYYYY , the absolute right 

and permission to publish my name and/or photograph or likeness and/or statements 

(either in part or in their entirety) in: (a) the publication, ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ, that ,

 (including all print and digital versions), (b) reprints of the article, including excerpts thereof, 

in which Subject’s name and/or photograph or likeness 

and/or statements originally appeared (including all print or digital versions) and (c) 

promotional materials relating to ZZZZ, YYYY, XXXXX, in any and all media. 


In the event this Consent & Release cannot by signed by the Subject, the undersigned represents that 

he/she is fully authorized by Subject to grant the rights herein.  


Subject agrees that electronic signatures shall have the same force and effect as original signatures. 



Print Name 






City/State/Zip Code 









he/she is fully authorized by Subject to grant the rights herein.  

Author: Jonathan Eisen

I am an evolutionary biologist and a Professor at U. C. Davis. (see my lab site here). My research focuses on the origin of novelty (how new processes and functions originate). To study this I focus on sequencing and analyzing genomes of organisms, especially microbes and using phylogenomic analysis

8 thoughts on “Very strange "permission" form to use my name in a story”

  1. Uh.. sign that, and the “promotional materials relating to ZZZZZ” could take the form of such things as the text “ZZZZZ is the greatest thing since sliced bread!” on-the-same-page-as-but-not-in-immediate-proximity-to a photograph of your face.

    I’d balk, hard.


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