I have published quite a few scholarly papers, and with each one I am invited to sign a copyright form. This is a contract between author and publisher, which which I hand over certain rights and the give me $0 (plus they publish my paper). These contracts (and my signature) is in dead-tree form, on real paper (though in recent years it follows the print/sign/fax or print/sign/scan/e-mail model).
I usually read these contracts, and from time to time I find some clause objectionable. My solution is to cross out the objectionable clause and write in my own words. After all, a contract is freely entered into between two parties, right? Since the publisher never reads these contracts after I fax them in, this has worked beautifully for years.
Reading the rest of the post, it becomes clear that they’re onto his game, but “it was fun while it lasted.”