In continuing our education about photo rights grab, here’s another example of a photo contest that amounts to a rights grab.
The Ontario Conservation Areas Photo Contest 2011 has a laudable objective in raising awareness about conservation and its photo contest is a step in the right direction. However, for the prize of a Canon EOS Digital Rebel XS, you will lose all rights to your prize-winning photos. In fact, all submitted photos, whether they win a prize or not, automatically become the exclusive property of Conservation Ontario to use as they will for whatever purpose they want.
Repeat: By entering this contest, you automatically lose all rights to your submitted pictures (whether they win a prize or not) which, in effect, amounts to a rights grab.
Here are the relevant portions of the rules about copyrights:
6. To be considered in the contest, all submissions must be original, unpublished photographs taken of or in an Ontario Conservation Area and submitted by the amateur photographer who took the photo. By entering into the contest, the contestant grants Conservation Ontario and its partner Conservation Authorities the unrestricted and exclusive rights to use the photograph(s) for any purpose. This includes, but is not limited to, publishing your photograph(s) in print or electronic form for promotional purposes without further compensation or notification. The photographer must own all rights to any photographs entered in this contest. It is the responsibility of the contestant to ensure that publication of the photographs raises no legal claims. Accordingly, by entering the contest, you agree to compensate Conservation Ontario fully regarding any claims arising out of the use of your photograph(s). Photograph(s) previously published in full or in part in other publications, contests etc, are not eligible.
We realize that Conservation Ontario probably does not mean to engage in a photo rights grab but that is what their rules amount to currently. We recommend that the rules be changed to read: “[...] By entering into the contest, the contestant grants Conservation Ontario and its partner Conservation Authorities the restricted and non-exclusive rights to use the photograph(s) for the strict purpose of promoting this contest for a period of one year. The contestant retains all rights to submitted photos. [...]”
Read the rules at: ontarioconservationareas
You can obtain more information about your photo rights and rights grab photo contests at: Photo Attorney.