Jump to content

- - - - -

Beware the "image grab"!

  • Please log in to reply
4 replies to this topic

#1 philsokol


    Manta Ray

  • Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 458 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:San Diego, CA

Posted 19 March 2012 - 08:55 PM

I've enjoyed the recent threads regarding image submissions to various contests and competitions, editing vs. manipulation, and the excellent advice to really read the contest rules and comply with their both their spirit and plain language. I thought I'd add that entrants should check and understand exactly what they're agreeing to or even giving up if they enter, place or even win in a given competition.

What prompts this post: My brother told me today that CondeNast is having a "Dream Trip" contest for travel photography, the Grand Prize for which is a $25,000 trip. Pretty cool, right? (we'll leave aside that there's one Grand Prize and the next tier consists of 20 Finalist Prizes worth $150). In addition to submission guidelines, etc, upon further reading of the Rules, one finds this:

OWNERSHIP AND LICENSE. All entry materials become the property of the Sponsor and will not be acknowledged or returned. The copyright in any Submission or Finalist 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, with or without attribution, to use, reproduce, print, publish, transmit, distribute, sell, perform, adapt, enhance, or display such Submission or Finalist 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 of the copyright in the Submission or the Finalist Submission. Sponsor and/or others authorized by the Sponsor shall have the right to edit, adapt, and modify the Submission or the Finalist Submission.

Now, I've been out of the game for a while, but in my previous life I was *gasp*, a lawyer. My reading of this, to paraphrase the sea of commas and dependent clauses is:

Don't expect we'll let you know we've gotten your images. Sure, you keep the copyright, but by just entering this contest you agree to let us use your image for anything and everything we want, even if it hasn't been thought of yet. We can do this forever (or at least as long as the copyright lasts), anywhere around the world, and you can't take it back. We can even change the image around, let other people use it, make money off it, and we don't have to even credit you or give you one cent.

Wow! They might as well just say, "Thanks for the cool pictures, sucker!" I clearly won't be entering.

So kids, be sure to read those Contest Rules, play by them, but also make dang sure the Sponsor is being fair to you!


Phil Sokol
Canon 5D3 and 7D, Nauticam and Subal, an assortment of strobes and too many damn lenses!
"Hey Dean! How do you work this crazy thing?!" Jerry Lewis

#2 decosnapper


    Manta Ray

  • Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 446 posts

Posted 20 March 2012 - 12:32 AM

Well spotted...and thanks for the warning.

There is a list of photographic rights grabbing contests maintained here:-

Artists Bill of Rights - Rights Off List

And a list of the photographer-friendly list here:-

Artists Bill of Rights - Photographer Friendly Competitions
Simon Brown


#3 Steve Douglas

Steve Douglas

    Humpback Whale

  • Industry
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2845 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:San Diego
  • Interests:filming/editing/exotic travel. l write reviews of editing software, books, tutorials and Mac based NLE related products for the www.kenstone.net and www.lafcpug.org sites as well as articles for Asian Diver Magazine and wetpixel. I am one of the founding members of the San Diego UnderSea Film Festival

Posted 21 March 2012 - 01:12 PM

So they have the right to sell your photos without compensation to you. An incredible rip off and I hope you wrote them and told them so. Also, beware of video footage houses. While a 50/50 split for royalty free footage appears to be the norm, beware of initial "SET UP" fees. I just received an email this morning saying that $1300.00 of my footage was sold and they were going to send me a check for $195 because of a buried in small print, one time 'set up fee'. Called them, cancelled my footage and take this as a lesson to be learned. Just wish lessons weren't so hard to swallow sometimes.


Steve Douglas

I have worked as an unpaid reviewer for the editing websites since 2002. Most all hardware and software is sent to me free of charge, however, in no way am I obligated to provide either positive or negative evaluations. Any suggestions I make regarding products are a result of my own, completely, personal opinions and experiences with said products.

#4 allen


    Sting Ray

  • Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 290 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Salt Lake City, USA
  • Interests:I spend most of my time alpine climbing, hiking, mtn. biking, or skiing. When I can get away it is to travel for climbing or diving. Been doing this nonsense for way too long to do anything different.

Posted 26 March 2012 - 02:25 PM

I have seen several photo contests like the Conde Nast. While I am not a big fan of social media I wonder what would happen if folks started a tweet facebook page about it? Me I prefer the direct approach, calls to the CEO which was effective in getting the rules to one contest changed :lol:.

#5 myhrvold


    Sea Nettle

  • Member
  • Pip
  • 13 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Cambridge, MA
  • Interests:Underwater photography, science writing, venture capital, elephants.

Posted 19 April 2012 - 09:10 AM

Believe it or not, many amateurs will not care if their photos are used afterward.

We may look at it as an outrageous proposition, but there are still many takers.