Photo Attorney

Jan 26, 2008

Pay to Play in Photo Contest

PDN, National Geographic Traveler, and others are sponsoring "The Great Outdoors" photo contest. If you win, you win big - a trip to Hawaii, a professional camera and equipment package, and/or a Photoserve portfolio. Winners also will be published in the July PDN issue in print and online. Nice!

But it comes at a price. The rules provide that your:

Entries may be published by Sponsors and/or their designees, licensees or affiliates (the "Authorized Parties") in magazines, on websites, or in any other medium, at Authorized Parties' discretion. By participating, all entrants grant a license in the Entries to the Authorized Parties, and acknowledge that any Authorized Party may use the entries and a name credit in any media now or hereafter known, without restriction, including commercially using the entries to the fullest extent possible worldwide in perpetuity. Authorized Parties will not be required to pay any additional consideration or seek any additional approval in connection with such use.

In sum, this means that the Sponsors could grant a license to anyone or any company to use your photo in any manner for free. There is no promise that your photo credit will be included with the use.

And there's a fee to enter the contest, to boot. Pay to get someone else to use your photo for free? That seems too high a price to pay.