Photo Attorney

Mar 5, 2009

Photo Contest Takes License for Commercial Uses

The Smithsonian Institution is "America's national educational facility with 18 museums, 9 research centers and 120 affiliates around the world." That's impressive and it's good to support such activities.

But it's a shame that the Smithsonian is sponsoring a photo contest wherein the rules provide:

By entering the contest, entrants grant Smithsonian Institution a royalty-free, world-wide, perpetual, non-exclusive license to display, distribute, reproduce, and create derivative works of the entries, in whole or in part, in any media now existing or subsequently developed, for any Smithsonian Institution purpose, including, but not limited to advertising and promotion of the magazine and its Web site, exhibition, and commercial products, including but not limited to Smithsonian Institution publications.

At least, "any photograph reproduced will include a photographer credit." However, "the Smithsonian Institution will not be required to pay any additional consideration or seek any additional approval in connection with such uses."

Whether to agree to such terms by entering the photo contest is your choice. But do so with full knowledge of the ramifications.

Thanks to Bill Stone for submitting this alert.