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Contest entries - copyright vs right to use issues


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#1 bmyates

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Posted 21 July 2008 - 08:26 AM

I've never sold any of my photos for profit (when I sell prints, all profit goes to charity). And because I realize how hard it must be for you "pros" to make a living in photography, I've tried to be very protective (e.g., with copyrighting) of my work.

Well, I just started entering some photos in contests not long ago, and I'm finding that the language in some of them makes it seem like I'm "giving away" almost all future rights to use/sell, etc. my entries. For example, this is a clause in one contest I was thinking of entering:

The copyright in any Submission shall remain the property of the entrant, but entry into this Promotion constitutes entrant's irrevocable and perpetual permission and consent, without further compensation or attribution, to use, reproduce, print, publish, transmit, distribute, sell, perform, adapt, enhance, or display such Submission for any purpose, including but not limited to editorial, advertising, trade, commercial, and publicity purposes by the Sponsor and/or others authorized by the Sponsor, in any and all media now in existence or hereinafter created, throughout the world, for the duration or the copyright in the Submission.

Do you guys worry about that kind of stuff when you enter contests? Should I just assume it's "normal" and not worry about it? Does it preclude me from entering the same photo(s) in other contests, or selling prints of the photos myself?

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#2 yahsemtough

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Posted 21 July 2008 - 09:02 AM

Most I have seen only allow the use of the image for promotion of the contest itself in future years not to other sponsors etc.

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#3 TheRealDrew

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Posted 21 July 2008 - 10:23 AM

The copyright in any Submission shall remain the property of the entrant, but entry into this Promotion constitutes entrant's irrevocable and perpetual permission and consent, without further compensation or attribution, to use, reproduce, print, publish, transmit, distribute, sell, perform, adapt, enhance, or display such Submission for any purpose, including but not limited to editorial, advertising, trade, commercial, and publicity purposes by the Sponsor and/or others authorized by the Sponsor, in any and all media now in existence or hereinafter created, throughout the world, for the duration or the copyright in the Submission.



That seems rather broad for a contest, but then again it is up to the contest sponsor to determine what they want. It looks like, if people are paying entry fees, that you are paying for the priviledge of having the Sponsor stock up a photo source that they can use without any compensation to you. You do not even havee to win, just sumbitting something triggers that. Of course I have not seen the rest of the language, so there may be something else. I would not submit a photo to a contest with rules like that.

OWU, BTS and others are reasonable in what they ask for. Limited use for a couple of years to promotoe the contest and winners plus some ancillary rights which are minor and actual IMO, rather "cool" uses, such as when Eric publishes the winners in Wetpixel Quarterly or Scuba Diving Magazine publlishes their winners.

#4 davichin

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Posted 21 July 2008 - 10:58 AM

I would not submit a photo to a contest with rules like that.


I would not either. That is why I donĀ“t enter many internet contests like that. As an example, SpainĀ“s NatGeo contest rules are like that and I do not enter it. I understand the use of the image for promotion of the contest itself in future years not to other sponsors etc... but not much more.

Edited by davichin, 21 July 2008 - 11:00 AM.

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#5 scorpio_fish

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Posted 21 July 2008 - 11:35 AM

"You still own the image, but we can use for anything we want, plus let anyone else use if we like, pretty much forever"

Plus, the winner gets $5 million that is currently held in bank in Nigeria.........
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#6 underwatercolours

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Posted 21 July 2008 - 03:41 PM

A friend of mine came across another one this weekend for a contest run by the L.A. Times Parade. Its called Oceans of Wonder Photo Contest.

OWNERSHIP AND LICENSE. All entry materials become the property of the Sponsor and will not be acknowledged or returned. The copyright in any Submission shall remain the property of the entrant, but entry into this Promotion constitutes entrant's irrevocable and perpetual permission and consent, without further compensation or attribution, to use, reproduce, print, publish, transmit, distribute, sell, perform, adapt, enhance, or display such Submission for any purpose, including but not limited to editorial, advertising, trade, commercial, and publicity purposes by the Sponsor and/or others authorized by the Sponsor, in any and all media now in existence or hereinafter created, throughout the world, for the duration or the copyright in the Submission. Sponsor and/or others authorized by the Sponsor shall have the right to edit, adapt, and modify the Submission.

I have recommend he not enter this one.

#7 TheRealDrew

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Posted 21 July 2008 - 03:50 PM

A friend of mine came across another one this weekend for a contest run by the L.A. Times Parade. Its called Oceans of Wonder Photo Contest.

OWNERSHIP AND LICENSE. All entry materials become the property of the Sponsor and will not be acknowledged or returned. The copyright in any Submission shall remain the property of the entrant, but entry into this Promotion constitutes entrant's irrevocable and perpetual permission and consent, without further compensation or attribution, to use, reproduce, print, publish, transmit, distribute, sell, perform, adapt, enhance, or display such Submission for any purpose, including but not limited to editorial, advertising, trade, commercial, and publicity purposes by the Sponsor and/or others authorized by the Sponsor, in any and all media now in existence or hereinafter created, throughout the world, for the duration or the copyright in the Submission. Sponsor and/or others authorized by the Sponsor shall have the right to edit, adapt, and modify the Submission.


Pretty draconian once again, ridiculous.

I have recommend he not enter this one.



Good call.

#8 Nakedwithoutcamera

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Posted 22 July 2008 - 05:03 AM

I saw that contest. The Parade goes out with most major newspapers on Sundays. This is the same publication that ran the Bhutto interview as if she were still alive, even though they had plenty of time to pull it. It's all about money for them.Parade

Anyway, I looked at the website. Apparently there are no judges and readers vote on their favorites. So you know what that means. People calling up their friends and relatives saying "Vote for my photo." some of them are just snapshots of kids eating Popsicles.
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