Let's say you're the author of a book. Then you want to post a chapter online on some website. Or upload it for ePublishing. It doesn't matter where, but let's say that somewhere in that site's eight-bazillion word "terms of service" agreement, that no one reads, but everyone "agrees to" when they create an account, it says:
By posting anything on our site you assign us all copyright to the posted work...
Or similar language. Would they they then legally own you charterers, world, story, etc? Or would it be unenforceable?
And if so, are there any safeguards you could take to preemptively block such behavior, such as a disclaimer inside the book cover that reads something like:
Copyright 1999 - Me. Copyright may not be assigned by adhesion contract, or any digital terms of service agreement, or via any online form, or by any means other than a signature of the copyright holder signed using a blue ink pen on physical paper or parchment. Any other contract or agreement that attempts or purports to assign copyright shall not be valid.
Cragislist recently tried (and is still trying in different ways) to get the copyright for whatever you post there via TOS. But if that's legal for them to do that, what's to stop someone like Amazon from "updating" their terms of service for eBook publishers (which of course their TOS says they can do), and making it say, "You assign to Amazon all copyrights for the uploaded ebooks". Or even, "by uploading an ebook for Kindle, you give Amazon Prime the right to make film adaptions of your work".
Is there a way to protect your IP from inadvertently being licensed/stolen/assigned via TOS "agreements", without having to waste your life reading huge one-sided online "contracts" that are "subject to change without notice" anyway?