PetaPixel

Vogue Photo Contest an ‘Effort to Secure Thousands of Free Images,’ ASMP Says

voguewarning

A handful of groups representing professional photographers are calling for a boycott of a Conde Nast photo contest whose terms they consider exploitative.

The New Exposure Photography Competition, produced by Conde Nast’s Vogue and sponsored by fashion house Bottega Veneta, requires contestants to sign over most of the rights to any work submitted, win or lose.

Intended for up-and-coming photogrpaphers, the contest promises the winner a $10,000 assignment, a year of agency “mentorship” and other ostensibly career-building perks. Losers get an unintentional education in intellectual property law.

A screenshot of the Vogue photography contest

A screenshot of the Vogue photography contest page

“This contest…appears to be an effort to secure thousands of free images for unlimited use in publications and in advertising,” according to a statement from the American Society of Media Photographers. “For this reason, we believe this contest exploits photographers.”

Some relevant passages from the contest rules:

 (Entry in the contest) 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, and the entrant’s name and/or likeness, 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 or the copyright in the Submission….

Entry into the Promotion constitutes the consent of each entrant, without further compensation, to use his/her name, likeness, biographical data, contact information and his/her Submission for editorial, advertising, marketing, publicity, and administrative purposes by the Sponsor and/or others authorized by the Sponsor….

Sponsor may conduct a background check to confirm any potential winner’s eligibility and compliance with these rules. By entering, you agree to cooperate reasonably with any such background check. If the prize includes participation in any public event(s) or publicity, or if Sponsor Entities intend to publicize the winner in any way, and if a background check reveals that a potential winner has engaged in conduct that could damage the reputation or business of any Sponsor Entity, as determined by Sponsor in its discretion, the potential winner may be disqualified and the prize may be awarded to an alternate winner.

Joining ASMP in protesting the contest are American Photographic Artists, the Picture Archive Council of America, the Graphic Artists Guild and the North American Nature Photography Association.

(via ASMP via A Photo Editor)


Image credit: Warning by Benson Kua


 
  • Me

    Isn’t this pretty much EVERY photo contest?

  • http://www.michaelpalmer.com/ Michael Palmer

    Don’t they kinda need all that legal speak just to cover themselves to use and show the images from the competition?

  • Attilio

    I think it’s “Bottega Veneta” ;-)
    Many contest had such conditions now, like the Persol Reflex Edition contest (at least, here in Italy..): yes, it’s unfair , but THEY write the rules: we can only accept them, or not. But we HAVE to read the rules.

  • bleugh

    if you dont want to have your images used…Oh i dunno…DONT PARTICIPATE…

    its not hard

  • Frank

    no kidding

  • MickO

    No, they don’t. That’s why the ASMP is highlighting this particular contest as particularly egregious. Yes, many photo contests do have to put in some onerous-sounding terms just to be able to host the contest. In this case, the explicit mention of sale rights, and things like “for any purpose, including but not limited to editorial, advertising, trade, commercial, and publicity purposes” as well as explicit assignment of copyright seem to go beyond the normal terms for this sort of thing. This is significantly worse than most photo contests.

  • http://www.allanschroeder.com/ Allan Schroeder

    But you see, that’s the problem. Maybe you and I don’t participate. But now they have enough images from those who did participate to no longer require our services. And nothing in the TOA says they can’t sell to one of their partners, who could very well be a prospective client.

  • http://www.phoozl.com/ AdminHarald

    No, not at all. As MickO says above, other photo contests (like mine) understand the issues involved and try hard not to exploit photographers.

  • Txphoto

    How is this any different from Facebook? Tons of photographers gladly post their images on there and in so doing are granting Facebook an irrevocable license to use, sell, and distribute the images for no compensation! Sure, it is web size images on Facebook, but it becomes micro stock which can be used for lots of online purposes.

  • SiriusPhotog

    ^^^ Myth – get your facts straight.

  • josh

    Can you prove it where in facebook clauses says that?

  • jrconner

    That’s why I never entered a photo contest. I have this selfish notion that my images are, well, mine.

  • jrconner

    That’s not how I read Facebook’s terms of service. I do, however, emblazon the images I post on Facebook with my copyright notice, and website URL to make it harder for plagiarists to claim the image is orphaned.

  • Nik.C

    Facebook compresses the images to a lower rez when you upload, whether this means they have your original rez image or not I don’t know, but the displayed one is of low quality,

  • Gord

    I’d never win this competition anyway, all the people I take photos of look like they’ve eaten in the last few days.

  • sELF

    It leaves an unsavoury taste in the mouth. Exploitation. And it furthers my distrust of the Italian business model! (Pardon, it’s something I attribute to my Rastafarian chronicling of Roman misdemeanours!) Although Roman capitalistic values are spread widely by now of course.

  • Banan Tarr

    So let me see if I can sum this up: Photographers (ostensibly professionals) are worried that a company/organization who clearly *does not want* to pay for photography is running a “contest” so that they don’t have to pay for photography. So if they aren’t breaking any laws how exactly is bitching and moaning about it going to change that? Forget these clowns that are running this “contest”, and if you’re a pro focus on companies and organizations that actually do want to support the industry. I assure you they do exist. Expending effort on this is a waste, IMHO.

  • David Eslick

    No, it’s not.

  • Me

    Then I would say you are the exception rather than the rule.

  • TXphoto

    SEE FB’s LEGAL TERMS. And read the five short paragraphs about “Sharing Your Content and Information”

    If your Privacy Settings are set to Public you are granting Facebook the following: “…you grant us a non-exclusive, transferable, sub-licensable, royalty-free, worldwide license to use any IP content that you post on or in connection with Facebook (IP License). This IP License ends when you delete your IP content or your account unless your content has been shared with others, and they have not deleted it.”

  • Txphoto

    Proof: SEE FB’s LEGAL TERMS (I am not including the link here, but I did earlier and the reply is waiting moderation, but if you add /legal/terms after the .com you will find your proof.) Read the five short paragraphs about “Sharing Your Content and Information”

    If your Privacy Settings are set to Public you are granting Facebook the following: “…you grant us a non-exclusive, transferable, sub-licensable, royalty-free, worldwide license to use any IP content that you post on or in connection with Facebook (IP License). This IP License ends when you delete your IP content or your account unless your content has been shared with others, and they have not deleted it.”

  • Txphoto

    What part of “…you grant us a non-exclusive, transferable, sub-licensable, royalty-free, worldwide license to use any IP content that you post on or in connection with Facebook (IP License). This IP License ends when you delete your IP content or your account unless your content has been shared with others, and they have not deleted it.” are you reading differently? Just curious. And according to many articles I’ve read, you can “delete” your account, but it’s still there. And your images get reposted, so good luck with FB ever really terminating the IP License. I agree, a copyright notice and URL is always a good idea!

  • http://www.ameridane.org/ thingwarbler

    I think Allan made the point earlier in this thread: even if we boycott these bogus contests, the damage is done when these outfits are able to saturate “our” potential customers in the market with the images they ripped off via the contest. In other words, I can’t very well forget the clowns that are running this “contest” if they make it impossible for me to get work elsewhere. Your notion that there are “companies and organizations that actually do want to support the industry” makes it sound like charity or pity when we get a decent assignment that actually pays. Sure, they may exist, but unless they’re foundations looking to support struggling artists, why should they buy original content from us if they can buy “stolen goods” from the likes of Vogue much cheaper?

  • clipper

    Here’s some of the BBC’s terms & conditions for submitting images….#

    In contributing to BBC News you agree to grant us a royalty-free, non-exclusive
    licence to publish and otherwise use the material in any way that we want, and
    in any media worldwide. This may include the transmission of the material by our
    overseas partners; these are all reputable foreign news broadcasters who are
    prohibited from altering the material in any way or making it available to other
    UK broadcasters or to the print media. (See the terms and conditions for the full terms of our rights.)

  • Jonno Wade

    And nowhere does it allude to commercial usage. The contest spells out that they may sell your images.

  • http://www.oldworldcreative.com Evan Skuthorpe

    Yep. At least most photo contests anyway.

    T&C’s generally say that the company will have the right to use the images in their promotional/marketing material and no payment will be made.

  • station44025

    Realistically, the images would all be editorial use only because they don’t have releases from the models, locations, etc.. The same lawyers who are practicing CYA by grabbing outrageous rights in the contest rules are going to be equally conservative when it comes to usage. I have shot original images for Conde a lot, and I often have to deal with stock licensing for various other projects. These are not people who believe in the existence of a fair use doctrine. Corporations won’t let you run a picture of a NYC taxi in an ad if you can see the logo on the door, so I wouldn’t worry about them selling an image you made for a client to another advertiser. They did use one of our images in an ad in New Yorker for a web project we shot for Vogue–I think this is what they’re going for in practice with the contest rules. I was psyched to see my picture in New Yorker, even though it was work-for-hire and we didn’t get paid additionally. At the end of the day, more exposure gives you more power to negotiate. No exposure gives you none.

  • dunniteowl

    You’re kidding, right? Did you read the conditions? Into perpetuity (that means for the end of the time of time to the end of the universe) without compensation for ANY purposes and with any entity, sponsor or organization they see fit, with or without attribution. That’s not standard boilerplate, Michael. That’s exactly what the ASMP claims — exploitative. It’s the same kind of crap you’ll find on many of those “fly-by-night” glamor companies that seek to take 13-18 year old kids and “make them models, actors” or something, but at a great cost to the individual, not the company.
    Let me ask this of all of you: Even if it were standard to include these kinds of conditions — is that how you want to live? Do you want someone else to exert such control over your efforts, your work, your talent? I don’t. Read all your conditions and terms and if you don’t like them, then don’t sign. Better yet, print out a copy, mark out the crap you think is useless to you and submit to them a ‘modified’ contract and ask them to look it over and sign. If they won’t sign your contract, then why sign theirs?

  • dunniteowl

    No. It’s a lot of them, but it’s not every photo contest. The real question (and this is for everyone) is: do you find this sort of behavior to be exploitative? If so will you add your voice to make a change? If not, then there’s no issue, right?

  • dunniteowl

    This is exactly the issue I see. It’s not so much about a crappy contest and strict rules for participation, that’s one thing. This is about literally letting us do all the work and then screwing us over with owning all that work for free. All it took was a few thousand suckers hoping to get a photo contest assignment for Conde Nast or something. And the terms indicate they own your work just through submitting them. That means any time you enter another contest with the same image, you’re violating THEIR copyright of YOUR work. How is that okay without, in their own wording: attribution, compensation or notice, at any time for the rest of eternity to any person, entity, sponsor or organization they see fit?
    If I sold them the work, then that would be okay, but for just entering a contest win or lose? I don’t think so. The only reason companies get away with this crap is because we allow it. Well I’m not on that “we” list any more. How about all of you?

  • dunniteowl

    Not enforceable, actually, if you disagree with the terms and conditions and still use FB. Of course, they attorneys are going to have more staying power than any of ours in such a fight, but that doesn’t mean roll over and let them win, either. If you post a copyright notice of your own on FB and they don’t challenge, then what? You’ve publicly notified the entity through an open posting of legal information on their website. If they don’t object, then they, like you, are tacitly agreeing to your point of view in writing. Now you have a counter claim. If they tell you via electronic media and no signatures are made, then you have the EXACT SAME POWER AND RIGHTS. So don’t let the PtB abuse you with abusive verbiage.
    Fight back. I did. (then again, I don’t post anything — you know — important to me, vis-à-vis copyrighted materials.)