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Petition against rights grabs

isphoto 15 31 Ireland
9 Sep 2009 6:13PM
MODS, Apologies if this has been on before or if in the wrong place.

If you care about stopping companies from grabbing image rights in competitons etc please sign the petition at this link:


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webjam 15 292 11 Netherlands
18 Sep 2009 7:28PM
That is one of the reasons I guess so many new photography magazine titles come out every few months. The publishers have loads of images to choose from and don't have to pay for the rights to publish them.

So it is better to not join the competitions? But then you have not a chance at winning one and get noticed...

In the craft/art world it is even worse. When you want to enter a challenge (sending in your work) you have to pay a fee. This fee is more than packinging and posting the artwork back to you. And they still get thousands of people so crazy to do it!

Krakman 13 3.6k Scotland
18 Sep 2009 7:42PM

Quote:So it is better to not join the competitions? But then you have not a chance at winning one and get noticed...

The rights grabbing competitions won't get you noticed even if you win them. They are nearly always some company trying to get hold of all the entrants photos to use on their products without restriction in exchange for a can of beans to the 'winner'. No one cares who the winner is.

Very few reputable competitions that are actually worth winning and might get you noticed contain rights grabs. That's because if they did, the standard of entry would be very low because decent photographers wouldn't enter it.

There are exceptions and you always have to be on your toes. Certain Sunday papers have been running travel photo competitions containing the most awful rights grabs for years (though from a quick glance at this year's Telegraph competition I think their rights grab seemed to have been dropped this year).

Most of these kinds of scams are actually already illegal in the sense that they are usually invalid legally, but the law needs clarifying to impose greater penalties on the scammers and make it clearer to them that their actions are illegal.

So all you really get from rights grabbing competitions is to lose your pictures for a can of beans and everyone gets to laugh at you for what an idiot you are. So maybe they get you noticed in that sense...
pennyspike 17 2.1k 29 United Kingdom
18 Sep 2009 8:04PM
I won a competition in a Sunday paper/magazine promotion that used my photos for several years, one even graced the cover of their book.

I was chuffed to bits.

The fabulous prize (Photo Assignment in Kenya for two) more than made up for any rights grab and I did retain copyright so I didn't lose anything. It was the best thing I've ever won in my life & will probably never be beaten.

In fact I think winning gave me the confidence to start posting on this site!
Krakman 13 3.6k Scotland
18 Sep 2009 8:15PM
That's great - in that you actually won, and in that case it sounds like you got more out of it than you lost. But to take the Times example I linked to, all the other entrants give up the same rights whether they win or not.

by entering, all entrants give TNL a worldwide royalty free perpetual licence to edit, publish and use all or segments of each entry in any and all media (including print and online) for publicity and news purposes. In particular, all entrants license TNL the right to print their entry on thetimes online and in print.

One of these Sunday paper competitions I briefly thought aboute entering a while ago actually said you give up copyright in your entry if you won! If the picture was good enough to win a competition, then giving up copyright in it would be worth an awful lot more than any prize they were offering.
roxpix 16 2.2k 11 Scotland
19 Sep 2009 8:09AM
Not that it’s needed on here but to those looking in who are thinking ‘what’s the big deal’

Imagine if the music industry was consistently asked to submit original new songs to competitions where the chosen best wins a nice guitar or similar & all submitted songs are then the property of the company running the comp
Theses songs can then be edited/merged/altered or left unchanged

From these multiple ‘catalogues/libraries’ of tracks one goes on to become a hit in several countries, another is the soundtrack to advertise a new car, a third is chosen as the theme tune to the next big soap etc etc but in each case the artist who wrote the track gets squat!

While the amount of money in the two genres is different the principle is the same
pennyspike 17 2.1k 29 United Kingdom
19 Sep 2009 8:59AM
If you are hoping to make money out of your images I quite agree.
Some of the conditions are completely out of order. For that reason I do not support the small photography competitions run by our local paper that then appear in all their spin-offs for nothing.

However for many of us amateurs who enjoy the occasional success seeing an image on exhibition in the NEC & Earls Court or being used on a flyer to promote a magazine, or even being used in the POTW gallery (Wink) is a great confidence booster. Not all of us are driven by the need to make a fortune, small pleasures more than compensate.

If you read the small print and take care not to get sucked into the 'vanity' type competitions or ones with an unfair rights grab they are not all bad news. Smile
Krakman 13 3.6k Scotland
19 Sep 2009 11:06AM

Quote:Not all of us are driven by the need to make a fortune, small pleasures more than compensate.

I don't think that many people who become photographers are driven by the desire to make a fortune. If they are then they have disappoinment waiting for them.

But that doesn't mean that they want to give their babies away to large profitable corporations for nothing.
pennyspike 17 2.1k 29 United Kingdom
19 Sep 2009 11:33AM
I don't disagree, just don't want to put people off entering anything in case of losing their copyright.
Always read the small print first.Smile If you don't like the terms don't submit your pictures.

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