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I have been asked to judge a photographic competition organised by a local society. I've agree, but want to use the opportunity to suggest to the organisers that they change what I think are very unfair Ts&Cs. The offending term is " Please note that all photographs may be used by the society for any purpose it chooses."

 

I would prefer to see something like {the photographer} "grants the society an perpetual licence to use the photographs in whole or in part in any publication, newsletter, lecture, advertising or promotion by the society without charge, provided that the photographer's copyright is asserted in each use. The society will not give or licence the photograph to any other party with the written permission of the photographer"

 

What do you think, what makes for fair entry terms for a competition? N.b. The prize is simply to hold a trophy for a year.

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A camera club's terms don't really need to be overly legalistic. It's only going to use the image as you suggest anyway, to publicise itself. That term doesn't allow anyone to play fast and loose with the images.

There could be problems with what you propose- for example, copyright doesn't need to be asserted- and some of it may be unnecessary or onerous. If the club has a memorandum of aims and objectives (as it should) it could allow use in accordance with it, but that's all that might be needed.

If there have never been any problems before, and I assume they haven't, why introduce complications?

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6 hours ago, Russell said:

I have been asked to judge a photographic competition organised by a local society. I've agree, but want to use the opportunity to suggest to the organisers that they change what I think are very unfair Ts&Cs. The offending term is " Please note that all photographs may be used by the society for any purpose it chooses."

 

I would prefer to see something like {the photographer} "grants the society an perpetual licence to use the photographs in whole or in part in any publication, newsletter, lecture, advertising or promotion by the society without charge, provided that the photographer's copyright is asserted in each use. The society will not give or licence the photograph to any other party with the written permission of the photographer"

 

What do you think, what makes for fair entry terms for a competition? N.b. The prize is simply to hold a trophy for a year.

If you're going to go with this, don't you mean "without"?

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I have an inherent dislike of terms like this. I suspect that most of the time the organisers of these competitions have sought poor advice or copied legal terms from other similar societies without understanding their legal implication or simply because it sounds professional or official.

 

I would never enter any competition on principal which seeks carte blanche to use my image/s for any purpose or in perpetuity without recourse to me. Who do these people think they are? 
A case in point is the BBC who unashamedly flatter photographers for their weather pictures or the "Countryfile" calendar with appallingly restrictive terms which grant them exclusive rights in perpetuity to use images for  any purposes free of charge.

A simple agreement to allow them to reproduce your image  while acknowledging you as the originator should be ample recompense.

If you feel happy to surrender all your rights for the possibility of a credit or vanity publication then fine. I cannot imagine why a local photographic society would feel it necessary to impose such draconian terms on photographers who should be entitled to retain full copyright in their work.  A local and very worthwhile charity who I wholeheartedly support recently sought images for their Christmas calendar. Their T&C's however were so restrictive that I refused point blank to submit images which I would otherwise have supported to the hilt. 

Sadly the vast majority are seduced by the flattery of seeing their name in print or the prestige of being 'chosen' and thereby diminishing the value of those of us who are more commercially astute. 

Edited by Richard Tadman
typo
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" Please note that all photographs may be used by the society for any purpose it chooses."

......and you don't think that's draconian? 

 

You're obviously more wealthy than me, but I do note a consistent pattern that you seem to persistently glorify in taking a contrary position to most comments on this forum to provoke attention on almost every topic. 
8,066 post ? Pretty much says it all -  "agent provocateur" springs to mind.

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That's very formal! It does look like they have copied T&C from e.g. a magazine competition.

I was in a camera club for years, and the deal was if you won a competition and were willing, you sent a small copy, with watermark if you wished, to the club webmaster; and if you weren't willing, that was fine too, even though obviously they liked us to submit our images to try to garner interest in the club in the wider community. In fact, that was the general modus operandi. The club participated in several local community events, taking pics gratis, but that was because we had got various grants (spent on equipment like a large-format printer) to support community involvement. And no-one had to participate who didn't want to.

 

Probably the society didn't intend anything nefarious, but the way it's worded lets them, or future club personel do a lot of things that many would regard as unacceptable.

Edited by Cryptoprocta
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9 hours ago, Richard Tadman said:

" Please note that all photographs may be used by the society for any purpose it chooses."

......and you don't think that's draconian? 

 

You're obviously more wealthy than me, but I do note a consistent pattern that you seem to persistently glorify in taking a contrary position to most comments on this forum to provoke attention on almost every topic. 
8,066 post ? Pretty much says it all -  "agent provocateur" springs to mind.

 

and there I was thinking odious, personal attacks were a thing of the past.in this forum.

 

My resolve to not dish out red arrows is strained.

 

DD

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Firstly my thanks to all those who have responded to my question. I'm sorry that it seems to have created some bad feeling in the forum.

 

Turning to the issue:

 

The society is NOT a camera club. It is in fact a local environmental group. If it were a camera club it would be much easier since they should be familiar with the concepts of copyright and attribution.

15 hours ago, Reimar said:

don't you mean "without"?

  Reimar you're absolutely right. Well spotted, thanks.

 

21 hours ago, spacecadet said:

terms don't really need to be overly legalistic

I agree with this Spacecadet, the challenge is to create something clear and comprehensive in "everyday language" I was hoping a member of the forum had conducted a similar exercise and had some boiler plate text.

 

12 hours ago, Richard Tadman said:

would never enter any competition on principal which seeks carte blanche to use my image/s

This is the reason for my interest. I think terms like this put off a number of potential competitors. I too would never enter a competition under these Ts&Cs. I don't think the society is being Machiavellian in setting these terms, it's that they simply haven't thought it through. Which is why I want to present the organisers with some replacement text which meets their needs (publicity for the society( mostly website) and a copy of the winning entry in the local newspaper) but also respects the photographers rights.

 

In the context of the current debate on Alamy exclusivity, no entrant in this competition could currently mark the image Alamy exclusive should they wish to upload it to their portfolio.

 

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1 hour ago, Russell said:

I'm sorry that it seems to have created some bad feeling in the forum.

Not your fault, I was trying to be helpful. You're not responsible for how others react.

1 hour ago, Russell said:

In the context of the current debate on Alamy exclusivity, no entrant in this competition could currently mark the image Alamy exclusive should they wish to upload it to their portfolio.

I don't think you need to worry about that . Alamy only excludes other picture libraries so there's no conflict that I can see.

2 hours ago, dustydingo said:

and there I was thinking odious, personal attacks were a thing of the past.in this forum.

Yes not very nice just for disagreeing, when you're trying to be helpful or just offer an opinion. I think using a word such as "draconian" probably invites comment.

Oddly enough he was on my "ignore" list after some previous unpleasantness but I'd had a peek in the interests of reconciliation. Obviously to no avail. Still I supposed it's flattering to be abused in French, at least it sounds better.

Perhaps it would be better if we "ignored" each other.

Edited by spacecadet
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I am amazed that two forum members would agree with, and support with green arrows, Richard's personal attack on spacecadet.

 

After reflection, even Richard does not agree with himself.

 

Good on Richard for making amends in a following post. Good on spacecadet for trying to be helpful.

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7 hours ago, dustydingo said:

 

and there I was thinking odious, personal attacks were a thing of the past.in this forum.

 

My resolve to not dish out red arrows is strained.

 

DD

 

Hold fire. I'm still going with the good old fashioned rational argument approach if I disagree with someone. There seems to have been a red arrow epidemic lately and somebody has been firing them unfairlyat spacecadet it seems. Presumably the red arrow slingers are lacking the ability to present a rational argument. 

 

 

5 hours ago, spacecadet said:

 

I don't think you need to worry about that . Alamy only excludes other picture libraries so there's no conflict that I can see.

 

 

I have to say though I disagree with spacecadet in his assessment. If you agree that somebody or some entity can do anything they like with a picture, then you do not have any comeback if they sell it or license it. There may never be an intention to do so but that doesn't mean it can't happen.

 

I would consider wording such as: By entering the competition you agree to allow the society to use the images for marketing, advertising and promotion of the society through any media, for example, but not restricted to, printed publicity material such as magazine or newspaper advertisements and articles, websites, social media, blogs, displays, photographic competitions and exhibitions. Images will not be sub-licensed or sold in any form without the photographer's permission. Copyright remains with the photographer.

 

The inclusion of social media brings up Facebook's small print but Alamy have said that Facebook and Instagram are ok as far as exclusibity is concerned.

 

 

 

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Brilliant MDM, thank you.

 

I too was going to raise the point that once a photographers had relinquished control of their image it was impossible to know how it would be used, it may indeed be placed with an agency. So the photographer can no longer be sure that they have exclusive control of placement.

 

An interesting thread, and having now completed judging, I shall be sending my recommendations to the society's committee.

 

Thanks all.

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33 minutes ago, Russell said:

Brilliant MDM, thank you.

 

I too was going to raise the point that once a photographers had relinquished control of their image it was impossible to know how it would be used, it may indeed be placed with an agency. So the photographer can no longer be sure that they have exclusive control of placement.

 

An interesting thread, and having now completed judging, I shall be sending my recommendations to the society's committee.

 

Thanks all.

Alamy's contributor contract requires the contributor either to own the copyright or have authority from the owner. In my view the society could not warrant either. Assignment of copyright has to be written and can't be an implied term.

Were I to sumbit an image under such rules, I wouldn't consider myself unable to have the image exclusive on Alamy.

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6 hours ago, Russell said:

Brilliant MDM, thank you.

 

I too was going to raise the point that once a photographers had relinquished control of their image it was impossible to know how it would be used, it may indeed be placed with an agency. So the photographer can no longer be sure that they have exclusive control of placement.

 

An interesting thread, and having now completed judging, I shall be sending my recommendations to the society's committee.

 

Thanks all.

 

Glad to have helped. I use something similar for my client work where I am not seeking full model or property releases but want to use images to promote my business. 

 

6 hours ago, spacecadet said:

Alamy's contributor contract requires the contributor either to own the copyright or have authority from the owner. In my view the society could not warrant either. Assignment of copyright has to be written and can't be an implied term.

Were I to sumbit an image under such rules, I wouldn't consider myself unable to have the image exclusive on Alamy.

 

I think it is better to be explicit myself. It is not a lot of trouble really to add in a brief clause along the lines I suggestted. I certainly would not submit an image to a competition where the terms were the organiser could do what they liked with the picture and I think a lot of photographers would feel the same, regardless of whether copyright has to be assigned in writing or not. It also makes the society look rather lax and careless with regard to photographers's rights. I am not in any case just referring to Alamy but thinking more generally and I would be wary of making any image exclusive with any agency if I had given someone the right to do whatever they choose with the photo. 

 

 

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How about something along the lines of...
"The competition entrants agree to allow the society to use the images for self-promotion (of the society) on all of our internet platforms and printed material in a non-commercial manner."

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On 17/01/2019 at 10:17, mickfly said:

How about something along the lines of...
"The competition entrants agree to allow the society to use the images for self-promotion (of the society) on all of our internet platforms and printed material in a non-commercial manner."

 

There is always a problem with the term commercial. To some it means any form of monetary transaction, to others it means advertising use. If in this case the society was using the image to gain new membership, then that could be interpreted as advertising for monetary gain. OK it is not likely that anyone would have a problem with that but why not be absolutely explicit and avoid ambiguity? Another term that is really confusing is creative as is evident from Alamy's use of the term in relation to the search engine and image categoristation. 

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46 minutes ago, MDM said:

 

There is always a problem with the term commercial. To some it means any form of monetary transaction, to others it means advertising use. If in this case the society was using the image to gain new membership, then that could be interpreted as advertising for monetary gain. OK it is not likely that anyone would have a problem with that but why not be absolutely explicit and avoid ambiguity? Another term that is really confusing is creative as is evident from Alamy's use of the term in relation to the search engine and image categoristation. 

 

The first one, gaining new members is commercial in anybody's book, whether the club or society is a non-profit entity or not.

So they would need releases for everything and everybody in the picture. A photographer hanging the photo in a show or participating in a competition or promoting him/herself would usually not. But people have been going to court over this, demanding millions of dollars. (This probably the most famous one, about a professional art photographer however - who won btw. NYT here. And yes only in the US. There have been court cases in the Netherlands as well, just with lesser money claims and no 1st amendment.)

Creative may be more of an American term or just typical media industry jargon. A bit like talent, which has nothing to do with someone's abilities, but it's people you're hiring.

Creative has a very distinct meaning in stock or advertising: it's images that are fully released for commercial use or don't need releases. Which is exceptionally rare, I can think of a seascape or sky with clouds maybe.

 

wim

Edited by wiskerke
typo
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3 hours ago, wiskerke said:

 

The first one, gaining new members is commercial in anybody's book, whether the club or society is a non-profit entity or not.

So they would need releases for everything and everybody in the picture. A photographer hanging the photo in a show or participating in a competition or promoting him/herself would usually not. But people have been going to court over this, demanding millions of dollars. (This probably the most famous one, about a professional art photographer however - who won btw. NYT here. And yes only in the US. There have been court cases in the Netherlands as well, just with lesser money claims and no 1st amendment.)

Creative may be more of an American term or just typical media industry jargon. A bit like talent, which has nothing to do with someone's abilities, but it's people you're hiring.

Creative has a very distinct meaning in stock or advertising: it's images that are fully released for commercial use or don't need releases. Which is exceptionally rare, I can think of a seascape or sky with clouds maybe.

 

wim

 

Yes good point and I wasn't even thinking about releases for anybody or anything in the pictures, just the photographer's rights. 

 

As for creative, this is incredibly confusing as used as you say in advertising and stock. Fully released would be a far better term. It's like DPI - a misnomer used extensively throughout the world of photography - why not call it what it is - PPI. Is it eats shoots and leaves or eats, shoots and leaves :) ?

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