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Rights Grab????


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#1 Tim of the Deep

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Posted 02 April 2010 - 11:03 PM

This sentence is part of the contest rules for Scuba Diving's 2010 Photo Contest:
By entering, you grant to Sponsor a nonexclusive, worldwide, royalty-free license to edit, publish, promote, republish at any time in the future and otherwise use your submission, along with your name and likeness, in any and all media for any purpose, without further permission, notice or compensation (except where prohibited by law).

I am surprised they would do this. Looks like a rights grab to me:

"publish, promote, republish at any time in any and all media for any purpose, without further permission, notice or compensation"

Photographer beware!

Timbo

Edited by Tim of the Deep, 02 April 2010 - 11:04 PM.


#2 photovan

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Posted 03 April 2010 - 01:42 AM

And to make it even more insulting, you don't even have to win to get done over and render your images worthless, you just have to enter.

Might be worth some kind of petition to the publishers?

They obviously know what they are doing, but would be nice to let them know a lot of people know what they are doing.

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#3 decosnapper

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Posted 03 April 2010 - 02:24 AM

And to make it even more insulting, you don't even have to win to get done over and render your images worthless, you just have to enter.

Might be worth some kind of petition to the publishers?

They obviously know what they are doing, but would be nice to let them know a lot of people know what they are doing.


How about these terms as a replacement:-

"Limit the Sponsor rights to winners only, for promotion of future competitions for a maximum of two years and with a mandatory credit to the photographer "

Would any photographer object to those terms?
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#4 photovan

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Posted 03 April 2010 - 02:33 AM

How about these terms as a replacement:-

"Limit the Sponsor rights to winners only, for promotion of future competitions for a maximum of two years and with a mandatory credit to the photographer "

Would any photographer object to those terms?


That would make lotsa sense from a competition perspective... but obviously not from a "send us your great pictures so that we can use them for free, forever" perspective.

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#5 decosnapper

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Posted 03 April 2010 - 03:01 AM

That would make lotsa sense from a competition perspective... but obviously not from a "send us your great pictures so that we can use them for free, forever" perspective.


Photographers can help set the terms. We can choose to endorse their rights grab and enter... or we can choose not to submit and remind others why it's not a good idea.

Or we can seek to change their terms and conditions that means it remains a "competition" and not a "stock harvesting exercise". This is the preferred option I think.

It's worth remembering who the creative is and who needs content. We create, publishers need content. It's symbiotic and works, but only as one side does not seek to exploit the other beyond what they are comfortable with.

As an aside I wonder if the rights grab terms are enforceable? For a contract to work - and by entering you have entered into a contract - both parties need to benefit. The entrants who are not placed get nothing in return but the publisher gains and in doing so makes the deal very one-sided and into the realm of unfair contracts. So would a contract exist and would the publisher be exposed to litigation if they used a non-winning entry? It would take a good lawyer to prove one way or the other. And this is based on UK, not US law as I understand it. Better to raise awareness and seek changes for both parties I think.

Edited by decosnapper, 03 April 2010 - 03:02 AM.

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#6 photovan

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Posted 03 April 2010 - 03:26 AM

So, maybe some suggestions for more appropriate T&Cs, accompanied by a petition signed by all who can be mustered?

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#7 TheRealDrew

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Posted 03 April 2010 - 05:53 AM

The language looks rather broad to me. (I would not submit a photo)

Might be worth some kind of petition to the publishers?


Emails or petition. Or perhaps even a qicck phone call if someone knows someone there. This thread may even call attention to it. (More so if someone knows someone over there and says something ...pssst... you may want to check this out on what people are concerned about.


They obviously know what they are doing,



Maybe, maybe not. I have no idea who drafted the rules over there or the process, so I cannot say really what is in their minds. But very often you will have non-lawyers draft rules who take bits and pieces together to make up things, experienced lawyers who may not be familiar with the subject matter or concerns from both sides, brand new laywers who have no experience and think they are being truly protective of the client, etc. You would be suprised how often what is written is not what is intended.

Though of course they very well could mean exactly what they have written in the rules due to other factors. (Some contracts have gone from being able to be done in 20 pages to 100 pages just to make sure how many angels really do dance on the head of a pin. :) )

or we can choose not to submit and remind others why it's not a good idea.


Not sure how effective that will be unless the number and quality of enteries are basically nil and even then it really is a question of if a magazine or contest will care. There are definately some contests which "not entering" would probably have a material impact, but a print magazine, with access to stock photos and many high end shooters, probably not was much.

(As an aside, with the fact that magazines such as Scuba Diving or others that can get alot of stock photos and or have the pro shooters they deal with, I think a "rights grab" to scaroo people who enter contests is something that is not very high on their hit parade. I have a tendency to lean to giving people in most situations the benefit of the doubt initially. More so when knowing the magazine, people behind it (do not know anyone at Scuba Diving Magazine AFAIK, just talking generally) or general reputation.


As an aside I wonder if the rights grab terms are enforceable? For a contract to work - and by entering you have entered into a contract - both parties need to benefit. The entrants who are not placed get nothing in return but the publisher gains and in doing so makes the deal very one-sided and into the realm of unfair contracts.


Generally it is not going to be a very strong argument to try a failure of consideration argument, at least in the U.S. In other words, the contest rules would be in all likelihood enforceable, though I can think of ways to try to vitiate it myself. You could go the way of equity arguments like you said. But overall, as a photographer, alot easier not to send things in :(


Another part that I really like is this

PRIVACY:
By entering, you agree that the information you provide may be sent to promotional partners of the Sponsor. You may be contacted by the Sponsor and/or promotional partners with future promotional offers. Information provided by you to participate in this Contest is subject to the privacy policies of the Sponsor.


So in other words, I lose all rights to my photos and then I get on mailing lists to boot? Urgh :)

#8 photovan

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Posted 03 April 2010 - 06:24 AM

(As an aside, with the fact that magazines such as Scuba Diving or others that can get alot of stock photos and or have the pro shooters they deal with, I think a "rights grab" to scaroo people who enter contests is something that is not very high on their hit parade. I have a tendency to lean to giving people in most situations the benefit of the doubt initially. More so when knowing the magazine, people behind it (do not know anyone at Scuba Diving Magazine AFAIK, just talking generally) or general reputation.


I would like to give them benefit of the doubt, but it's a bit hard when you look at the parent company's 200 years (yes two hundred years) of experience in the media industry. They've seen it all... and I would expect? they know what they're doing.

Company Overview

Bonnier Corporation is one of the largest consumer-publishing groups in America, and with nearly 50 special-interest magazines and related multimedia projects and events, it is the leading media company serving passionate, highly engaged audiences. With over 1,000 employees and more than $350 million in annual revenue, Bonnier Corp. ranks in the top 10 nationally among publishing companies.

Bonnier Corp. was formed in March 2007 when Sweden's Bonnier Group purchased 18 magazines from Time Inc. and combined those assets with its U.S. magazine partner, World Publications, creating a new company. Bonnier Corp.'s parent company, the Bonnier Group, is a 200-year-old media company based in Stockholm, with operations in more than 20 countries, including magazine divisions in Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Finland and Spain.

Bonnier Corp. is known throughout the industry for its quality writing, design, photography and editorial excellence. The company is also known for producing quality custom publications, television programs, websites, events and marketing programs. It continues to seek new opportunities in its core markets and in related areas.


So in other words, I lose all rights to my photos and then I get on mailing lists to boot? Urgh :)


And what a mailing list given they own 50 other magazines...

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#9 TheRealDrew

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Posted 03 April 2010 - 06:34 AM

I would like to give them benefit of the doubt, but it's a bit hard when you look at the parent company's 200 years (yes two hundred years) of experience in the media industry. They've seen it all... and I would expect? they know what they're doing.

Company Overview


Very well could be. But with a parent company and subsidiarys you will often get things passed down from legal at a higher level with certain marching orders to keep things standardized. Depending on whose desk it lands on and what ability the people have to deal with it, you can often get strange results. It could be that with the number of contests and legal issues that come along with them, it simply is not worth legal's time to deal with the nuances of the contests. "If you want to run the contest, here are the rules we have signed off on."

The rules have changed from last year

www.scubadiving.com/uw-imaging/photo-contest/2008/10/2009-photo-contest


"The First Thing We Do Is Kill All The Lawyers." - Bill S. :)

#10 photovan

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Posted 03 April 2010 - 06:50 AM

Publishers are going to need lots of free content to fill the iPad magazine+ products...

Sports Illustrated Example

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#11 TheRealDrew

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Posted 03 April 2010 - 06:59 AM

Publishers are going to need lots of free content to fill the iPad magazine+ products...

Sports Illustrated Example



I held off ordering the iPad. But I really want one. Now. Wonder if my local Apple store will have one in stock? (Yeah, right.)

#12 photovan

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Posted 03 April 2010 - 07:18 AM

I held off ordering the iPad. But I really want one. Now. Wonder if my local Apple store will have one in stock? (Yeah, right.)


Nobody down here in the colony gets to even see one for another month .... :) the longest month in history.

I've got clients that have ried real hard to resist cheap/free stock, but are getting pressured to make use of it to make the balance sheets look better.

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#13 TheRealDrew

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Posted 03 April 2010 - 07:40 AM

Nobody down here in the colony gets to even see one for another month .... :) the longest month in history.


Hey I live in a colony also. At least that is what all my friends from the U.K. say :)

I've got clients that have ried real hard to resist cheap/free stock, but are getting pressured to make use of it to make the balance sheets look better.



It is an interesting time in publishing. With the sheer number of digital cameras (still and video) and outlets (web and otherwise) things are shifting and to some degree not necessarily for the better - at least for now - in terms of information and quality based on the dropping of some things (editorial control and barrier to access), though I would assume it will even out, with those with the better known names and reputations trying their best. There also seems to be a shifting baseline of what people will look at and consider good. Or maybe it was always that way and the internet has just made it easier to see.

There will be cases where cheap/free stock will have a tougher time making in-roads. Sports Illustrated, for example, where being on the sidelines for some things is really where you need to be for the "good" shots. As cameras improve, even that could be diminished, though the best angles will still be in limited access areas.

But people were probably saying the same thing when the Gutenberg Press came out.

#14 decosnapper

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Posted 03 April 2010 - 07:59 AM

Publishers are going to need lots of free content to fill the iPad magazine+ products...
Sports Illustrated Example



I wonder if Sports Illustrated cleared the rights before running that video on the web?

So there is a demand for material like no time in the past. But the paradox is everyone wants it for free with the rights to use it forever.

I'm going away to ponder the new world order and see how it can be exploited. I might be some time.

Back to Bonnier and the terms and conditions of entry. The plus of Wetpixel is that the thread has (as of 17:00 GMT) had 150 views........so in theory there should be a similar number of photographers that are aware of the negative aspect of entering the "competition".

Edited by decosnapper, 03 April 2010 - 08:12 AM.

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#15 TheRealDrew

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Posted 03 April 2010 - 08:35 AM

I wonder if Sports Illustrated cleared the rights before running that video on the web?


Probably. They have a big enough legal staff who should know they needed to get those rights. Also the shots are usually from places that are limited access, meaning press passes and credentials for which the magazine can be instrumental in providing. Very well could be a work for hire depending on the photographer and the pros have been through this before. If I was those magazines I would simply find someone to do it on my terms.

So there is a demand for material like no time in the past. But the paradox is everyone wants it for free with the rights to use it forever.


Paradox that has been litigated, discussed and pondered for quite awhile, including when VHS came out and suits regarding the release in that format. Which is exactly why the language for the rights keeps on growing. Companies like Disney or Time-Life cannot be in the position to keep on running back and re-negotiating. There will be enough people who will take the work and barring any serious leverage (think Spielberg or something) it is no going to change. And even then I would suspect uses for new technologies would be covered. If by nothing else, at least a blanket royalty provision which may not fully address the true economics early in the time of development, but helps protect both parties somewhat, perhaps with an express clause to renegotiate new technologies later on, with a failure to do so not vitiating the companies rights.

Back to Bonnier and the terms and conditions of entry. The plus of Wetpixel is that the thread has (as of 17:00 GMT) had 150 views........so in theory there should be a similar number of photographers that are aware of the negative aspect of entering the "competition".


Yup. Bringing attention is a good thing, though it would be nice knowing if it is on deaf eyes, as it were, from the publisher side of things.

#16 allen

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Posted 03 April 2010 - 01:54 PM

I would not say it is not a rights grab but it is pretty slimy, typically those terms apply to those winning. Which is okay in my opinion.
However, IMHO the contest is nothing more than a way to collect photographs for Scuba Diving to use royalty free.

Here are the folks to contact:

http://www.scubadiving.com/contact-us


Here is my letter:

So let me get this straight regarding this year's contest:

Scuba Diving's 2010 Photo Contest | Scuba Diving Magazine

1) I pay $10 to enter

2) Win or lose you get to use my photo without any compensation forever:

By entering, you grant to Sponsor a nonexclusive, worldwide, royalty-free license to edit, publish, promote, republish at any time in the future and otherwise use your submission, along with your name and likeness, in any and all media for any purpose, without further permission, notice or compensation (except where prohibited by law).

3) Further, you get sell my info to others to pimp their promotional materials:

By entering, you agree that the information you provide may be sent to promotional partners of the Sponsor. You may be contacted by the Sponsor and/or promotional partners with future promotional offers.


So what do I get out of this other than someone judging my photo? Do I get a written critique from the judges? No. Do I get a T-shirt that says "I entered Scuba Diving's 2010 Photo Contest and all I got was a T-shirt"? No. Do I get a complimentary certificate for a free air fill from my dive shop? No.

Hmm, I am finding a hard time understanding why I should enter the contest. Especially given that last years rules:

2009 Photo Contest | Scuba Diving Magazine

were much more friendlier to contestants.

Do not mistake my sarcasm as the contest is nothing more than a way to collect photographs for Scuba Diving to use royalty free. I find this contest to be nauseating.

I would suggest that the rules be changed so that 2) apply to ONLY the winners for a period of not more than two years. Further, allow contestants to opt out of 3).

Allen

Edited by allen, 03 April 2010 - 03:10 PM.


#17 photovan

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Posted 03 April 2010 - 02:07 PM

I would not say it is the rights grab but it is pretty slimy, typically those terms apply to those winning. Which is okay in my opinion.


Sadly the rules state that the company gets rights over ALL image entered, not just winners.

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#18 allen

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Posted 03 April 2010 - 04:43 PM

Sadly the rules state that the company gets rights over ALL image entered, not just winners.


I know ... I do not mind such rules for the winners.

#19 DiverPam

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Posted 03 April 2010 - 06:12 PM

So...I have been reading all of this with interest. Especially since I just entered some images in the UWImages contest. This made me go back and read the rules more closely. Which I will do from here on out VERY thoroughly - thanks for the heads up guys.

I found this in their rules section. Many of our rules are consistent with those of EPIC and LAUPS in an attempt to standardize photo competition rules worldwide.

Who are these organizations? Do the rest of you find that other contests are more consistent with what you are suggesting? And are they trying to follow stadard photo competition rules?

Trying to learn more - DiverPam




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#20 TheRealDrew

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Posted 03 April 2010 - 06:35 PM

FWIW UWImages is run by Roger Roth who is a good guy. Jason Heller, of Divephotoguide (another good guy and who is part of the OWU and DEEP contests) mentioned in another thread that Jason and Roger (I am assuming the same Roger Roth :)) both take photographers rights seriously and are trying to make sure photographers are protected.



http://wetpixel.com/...showtopic=35082

Some info on Epic and Laups

http://www.epicphoto...regulations.htm

http://www.laups.org..._2009/index.php