What is "... good and valuable consideration ... "?


In order to enter a design contest, The American Institute of Architects requires entrants to sign paperwork containing the clause,

"For good and valuable consideration, the exchange of which is hereby acknowledged, I grant The American Institute of Architects (“AIA”) a non-exclusive license to use my copyrighted Work ..."

This clause seems patently false, as the entrant does not receive anything of value in exchange for the non-exclusive license. To the contrary, the entrant pays the AIA so that the AIA may make money off of the entrant's work.

Furthermore, even though the entrant has paid the AIA for the AIA's right to publish, the AIA has no obligation to actually publish anything.

This clause seems like a joke, a trick, a lie. There would seem to be no common understanding - no meeting of the minds - and therefore challengeable as part of a binding agreement.

Does anyone know why the AIA chose this particular language?

Dec 25, 10 10:18 pm

I would guess you are "acknowledging" that the publication of your work is potentially beneficial both to you and to the publisher, and that is the exchanged value?

Dec 25, 10 10:45 pm

Donna pretty much nailed the answer.

If you don't like the rules, don't enter.

How, pray tell, does the AIA "make money off the entrant's work"?

Do I remember correctly that you're the idiot who sued AIA because you didn't win one of their design award programs -- come on man, get a life.

Dec 25, 10 11:46 pm

basically you don't get publishing royalties

Dec 25, 10 11:58 pm

thanks for this post

Jan 11, 11 2:17 pm


Your welcome. Sorry I took so long to get back here.

What I think the statement means is:

"I hereby declare myself to be a fool for signing something that isn't true in order to let licensed professionals discriminate against me on the basis of my religious beliefs. I freely admit that I deserve to be ripped off."

But my question wasn't "What does the statement mean?" it was "Why did the AIA choose this language?"

I suspect it was because I sued them over the previous language, which bound the entrant to the AIA's "aesthetic judgement".

So it looks like the AIA changed the language, due to my lawsuit, and now they make entrants sign false statements of economic exchange rather than religious subservience. That way, if they were to get sued for religious discrimination they can claim that it was a really commercial transaction and both parties received something of value. Which they didn't.


The problem with 'if you don't like the contest, don't enter' is that once voluntary contract language is left unchallenged, government can decide that 'these clauses are legal' and they can be imposed against people's will. This happens all the time. Gated communities, historic zones, landmarks laws, etc. It isn't getting better; it seems to be getting worse.

Up until the 1950's or 60's, it was 'legal' to include discriminatory clauses in sales of property, for example. They way our system works is that people with minority beliefs have to go to court to establish their rights. And the majority always abuses the minorities for their efforts, at least at the beginning.

Feb 7, 11 3:22 am

 A *word* to the wise: "Any organization that would need to *consider*[ation] having me as its member would surely be one not worth joining"!

Feb 1, 12 7:42 pm

That statement is quid pro quo.  In order for it to be a valid contract, you give something and they give something.  That statement just means you're agreeing that they are giving something, so that the agreement would be valid.  If you don't agree with them, then don't sign the agreement.  It's not a conspiracy and while there are many things to be upset with the AIA about, this is not one of them.  Your just bitching for the sake of bitching, and religion has nothing to do with it.  What's wrong with you?  Are you just bitter because a bigger kid stole your sweetroll?

Feb 1, 12 8:01 pm
boy in a well

the recital of boilerplate cannot create consideration where there is none. Would be interested in an opinion outside this conversation about the AIA, as there are other situations in which a contract, as it should be, is plastic and manipulated to the protection of both parties - which would never happen in entering a competition or some such like the OP mentions. Don't know our dear EJE, don't care about his or her lawsuits, am curious about anybody's manipulation or excision of such phrases . .  .

Hope everyone had a lovely labor day.

g'nite archinect!

Sep 4, 13 4:49 am

It's all meaningless, unless of course you have the time, money, fortitude and brain damage necessary to litigate, in which case it goes from meaningless to inane.

Sep 4, 13 11:13 am
boy in a well


and thanks!

but 'twas looking for something a bit less, uh, theoretical...

Sep 4, 13 5:14 pm
Stupid lawyers. Don't enter if you don't want to and quit whining.
Sep 5, 13 8:22 am


Sep 9, 13 2:22 pm

Block this user

Are you sure you want to block this user and hide all related comments throughout the site?

  • ×Search in: