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



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