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Competitions - Protecting your rights

ericbowles

Atlanta, US
10535 posts

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ericbowles Moderator Awarded for his in-depth knowledge and high level skills in various areas, especially Landscape and Wildlife Photoghraphy Writer Ribbon awarded for for his article contributions to the community Donor Ribbon awarded for his very generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2015 Nikonian since 25th Nov 2005
Sat 23-Mar-13 12:27 PM | edited Sat 23-Mar-13 08:02 PM by ericbowles

One of the developments in marketing is to hold a contest to get a lot of free images to use in marketing and promotion.

The problem with this approach is they combine a legitimate photo contest with a photo grab for images used to promote the organization without any compensation to the photographer.

For example, the St. Augustine Alligator Farm has a photo contest to identify images for their annual calendar. There are reasonable cash prizes for selected images, but they have the right to use all submissions without additional compensation - even if the photo is not selected for the calendar.

The contest rules state:
"All submissions become the property of the St Augustine Alligator Farm Zoological Park (SAAF) and will not be returned. SAAF may use such photos for advertising and/or promotion without further compensation. Photo credit and Photographer’s website information (if available) will appear with photo. Credit will not appear in advertising but will be applied elsewhere whenever possible. SAAF license to use submitted photos is nonexclusive; photographers retain the rights to the original negatives or files."

This is a mild violation as calendar images are compensated. But the website contains images that were not contest winners. There are a number of contests that are simply a grab for images - or an open ended request for images to be used for any use at a later date.

How would you feel if you submitted an image to a local non-profit, and then saw the same image on a coffee mug or print with no compensation to the photographer? This was considered as an appropriate use by a local Audubon organization and later withdrawn.

How would you feel if your image appeared in a product catalog with no compensation to the photographer? This has been done by a pet training company with an international product catalog.
http://leerburg.com/photocontest2011.htm?utm_source=nlist&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=08112011

How would you feel if your images were used on a company's website without compensation? This was done by a large hotel chain in a recent contest.
http://www.1.fourseasons.com/summerphotocontest/officialrules/

And are you willing to give away your rights when you enter a contest?

Not all contests take this approach, but its important to understand the issues and the fine print. Here is a good article from ASMP that describes the issues in more detail and whether you should participate.
http://asmp.org/competitions#.UU2c2hyTiZM


Eric Bowles
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