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Scuba Symphony Photo Competition


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#1 decosnapper

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Posted 11 February 2011 - 09:12 AM

The terms and conditions of the Scuba Symphony Photo Contest appear to be less than ideal from the photographer's perspective:-

Scuba Symphony and prize sponsors reserves the rights to publish the winning photo for our marketing campaigns, of course full photo credit to the photographer will be mentioned.

Marketing campaign = commercial advertising. This falls outside the definition of a celebration of underwater photography via a competition. There is also no time limit for such use, whereas photographer-friendly competitions normally stipulate 'Up to 2/4 years for the purposes of congratulating the winner and promoting future competitions' - or something close to that.

Of course, there may be a misunderstanding with how the terms read but as it stands there is at best ambiguity and at worst a rights grab.

Edited by decosnapper, 11 February 2011 - 09:12 AM.

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#2 LERF

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Posted 11 February 2011 - 09:37 AM

The terms and conditions of the Scuba Symphony Photo Contest appear to be less than ideal from the photographer's perspective:-

Scuba Symphony and prize sponsors reserves the rights to publish the winning photo for our marketing campaigns, of course full photo credit to the photographer will be mentioned.

Marketing campaign = commercial advertising. This falls outside the definition of a celebration of underwater photography via a competition. There is also no time limit for such use, whereas photographer-friendly competitions normally stipulate 'Up to 2/4 years for the purposes of congratulating the winner and promoting future competitions' - or something close to that.

Of course, there may be a misunderstanding with how the terms read but as it stands there is at best ambiguity and at worst a rights grab.



Good point there! It's out first contest and we're still updating the T&C and prizes as they come in.

We have very generous sponsors and some of them may wish to use the winning photo/s, mind you with full credits to the photographer.

I think it's best that we take the clause out to avoid misunderstanding and we'll let the prize sponsor deal directly with the photographer then on the publishing rights.

If there's anything else in the T&C that needs refinement, please by all means let us know. We appreciate any constructive input from anyone.

Thanks for the hint!
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#3 decosnapper

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Posted 11 February 2011 - 09:59 AM

Good point there! It's out first contest and we're still updating the T&C and prizes as they come in.

We have very generous sponsors and some of them may wish to use the winning photo/s, mind you with full credits to the photographer.

I think it's best that we take the clause out to avoid misunderstanding and we'll let the prize sponsor deal directly with the photographer then on the publishing rights.

If there's anything else in the T&C that needs refinement, please by all means let us know. We appreciate any constructive input from anyone.



How about this:-

'Copyright is retained by the photographer. Scuba Symphony reserve the right to display winning images for the purposes of congratulating the winners and for promotion of future competitions for a period of two years from closing date. In all circumstances, the photographer will be credited. Any other use will be negotiated directly with the photographer.'
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#4 LERF

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Posted 11 February 2011 - 10:21 AM

How about this:-

'Copyright is retained by the photographer. Scuba Symphony reserve the right to display winning images for the purposes of congratulating the winners and for promotion of future competitions for a period of two years from closing date. In all circumstances, the photographer will be credited. Any other use will be negotiated directly with the photographer.'


Sounds good but I still prefer to leave it out for now. Someone may still find fault and/or may not be happy with that clause as well?

Thanks anyway.
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#5 decosnapper

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Posted 12 February 2011 - 12:53 AM

Sounds good but I still prefer to leave it out for now. Someone may still find fault and/or may not be happy with that clause as well?

Thanks anyway.


Only someone who thought they were going to get high quality rights-cleared images for advertising purposes at minimal cost might object perhaps?

As it stands, thats exactly what the sponsors get. It is down to individual photographers to decide if the terms are worthy of endorsement.

Edited by decosnapper, 12 February 2011 - 12:53 AM.

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#6 LERF

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Posted 12 February 2011 - 06:28 AM

Only someone who thought they were going to get high quality rights-cleared images for advertising purposes at minimal cost might object perhaps?

As it stands, thats exactly what the sponsors get. It is down to individual photographers to decide if the terms are worthy of endorsement.


Hi Simon,

There was no mention about copyright to the high res, only unedited original with EXIF date MAY be requested for authentication. Even if you resize the original, the EXIF data is still there. This is mainly to prevent participants from submitting someone else's photo!

Actually most of us down here would kill to get ourselves published or advertised for free but I do see your point from the other side of the world, where there are many pros at work and legal issues to be considered.

Just a note, what if a diving magazine sponsor wants to feature the winning image and need high res? Most of us would be so honored to be featured, especially on the cover!

For pros who gets paid top dollars to do that, I don't think this is a contest for them. Morever this a Facebook event and the POTM is based on number of public votes ie "Like's" so the best photo may not necessarily win! Also participants may remove, resubmit their photo right up to closing date if they wish. There's nothing we can do about it.

However we do need to use the submitted images to promote the contest, so we'll add in this clause:

Scuba Symphony and prize sponsors may use submitted images (which are low res on Facebook anyway) to promote the current contest, as well as subsequent contest in the same format in the following year. That limits the usage of the images for a period of max. 2 years. Photo credit will be mentioned. Any further usage of the photo ( regardless low or high res) must be negotiated with the photographer directly.

What do you think?

Edited by LERF, 12 February 2011 - 07:47 AM.

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#7 decosnapper

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Posted 12 February 2011 - 09:25 AM

There was no mention about copyright to the high res, only unedited original with EXIF date MAY be requested for authentication. Even if you resize the original, the EXIF data is still there. This is mainly to prevent participants from submitting someone else's photo!

Copyright protects the image, regardless of how big, or the resolution. Or for that matter, the age, skill or technical ability of the photographer. Everyone - pro and amateur alike - benefit from the same legal protection. I was not referring to the physical size of the image in dpi but rather the content and the right to use it - this is far more valuable.

Actually most of us down here would kill to get ourselves published or advertised for free but I do see your point from the other side of the world, where there are many pros at work and legal issues to be considered.

Just a note, what if a diving magazine sponsor wants to feature the winning image and need high res? Most of us would be so honored to be featured, especially on the cover!


If a diving magazine sponsors a competition (and many do) then only those worth endorsing are those with photographer-friendly terms and conditions. Using an image on the front cover would fall outside the 'promote the contest' remit as it is used to sell the magazine on the news stand. For this use of a competition winning image I would expect to be paid.

Publishers know many would kill for the chance and they use this as a way of getting free content. What if Ford suddenly found a steel supplier who would give them the material for nothing? Would cars get cheaper for consumers? Probably not, but Ford would continue to sell cars and make more money. Just replace 'Ford' with 'magazine' and 'steel' with 'images' and I hope you get my point. Publishers are in it for the money, not vanity and ego, and therefore should pay. For what its worth, I get paid AND exposure every time an image runs. Isn't that better than just fame?

For pros who gets paid top dollars to do that, I don't think this is a contest for them. Morever this a Facebook event and the POTM is based on number of public votes ie "Like's" so the best photo may not necessarily win! Also participants may remove, resubmit their photo right up to closing date if they wish. There's nothing we can do about it.


Copyright applies to all equally. The rights to use the image are where the value lies, not who created it. And its worth bearing in mind many amateurs are very, very skilled in underwater photography - to the point that the word 'amateur; fails to do their work and ability justice.

However we do need to use the submitted images to promote the contest, so we'll add in this clause:

Scuba Symphony and prize sponsors may use submitted images (which are low res on Facebook anyway) to promote the current contest, as well as subsequent contest in the same format in the following year. That limits the usage of the images for a period of max. 2 years. Photo credit will be mentioned. Any further usage of the photo ( regardless low or high res) must be negotiated with the photographer directly.

What do you think?


I think those terms are fine.
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#8 LERF

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Posted 12 February 2011 - 10:53 AM

Well said and point taken!

Thanks for your help! :)
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#9 furby076

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Posted 17 March 2011 - 09:46 AM

I like it when people work together for an amicable solution.

Good thing there is language in there because the absence of language will end up creating a disasterous situation.

@Lerf - Not sure if my pics are good enough, but when I see the next competition I plan to submit some of my pics. :)
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#10 Steve Douglas

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Posted 19 March 2011 - 12:45 PM

What? No video portion? Once again, video is treated like the bastard step child.
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