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Member Since 16 Oct 2007
Offline Last Active Dec 03 2013 10:14 AM

Topics I've Started

Beware the "image grab"!

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!