If someone on Mars wants to broadcast America’s Got Talent, they’ll have to go through NBC first. Contestants on the show sign away the rights to their performances “in all media, throughout the universe,” and similar intergalactic language peppers most entertainment industry contracts. “I think they’re just lazy and don’t want to write a real contract,” one contestant tells the Wall Street Journal.
Other contracts cover the whole time/space continuum, declaring themselves retroactive “from the beginning of time.” One production company president says he feels weird using “cosmic language,” but these days when it comes to rights, “paranoia is paramount.” Starwars.com claims even its message board posts “throughout the universe.” A spokesman says the language is industry-standard. “But, to be honest with you, we have had very few cases of people trying to exploit rights on other planets.”