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Alert about National Geographic Competition


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#1 underwatercolours

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Posted 07 December 2008 - 04:55 PM

National Geographic Images of Paradise and other Competitions

A few weeks ago, ASMP members brought to our attention the terms and conditions for an image competition conducted by National Geographic. In particular, the Visions of Paradise Contest called for a virtually perpetual unlimited rights assignment for any submitted images along with extensive releases and indemnification. The contest Home page is located at http://books.nationa...radise/myvision.

ASMP contacted National Geographic directly and expressed our concerns. Today we received the following reply, “Upon receiving your email, National Geographic Society evaluated your input and determined that a less expansive license was more appropriate to this particular competition. Accordingly, we have revised the rules to call for a less expansive license, limited to use in connection with the contest and future promotions of the contest.” The revised rules are located at http://books.nationa...-paradise/rules.

While the result is an improvement, photographers must carefully evaluate whether the benefits of participation in this type of competition outweigh the rights and indemnifications to be granted. Be sure to read the terms and conditions for any competition in which you are considering participation and pay particular attention to the grant of rights and limitations of liability.

In general, ASMP believes that no rights beyond the conduct and promotion of the competition should be granted and that this grant of rights should only apply to the winners. Also, the only affirmation that you should make is that the work is original and to the best of your knowledge its creation does not infringe upon the rights or trademarks of any individual or entity. Problems generally arise not from the making of the photographs but from the uses made. Why should you hold an entity harmless for the uses they might make when you have no knowledge or control over those uses?

Bottom line, read carefully and decide whether participation is in your best interest.