Photo Attorney

May 9, 2009

Rights Grabs Are Rampant

REI is at it again. It's offering a chance for its members to "share" their photos. But the terms are onerous:

I irrevocably grant to Recreational Equipment, Inc., its affiliates, agents, representatives, licensees and assigns ("REI") in perpetuity, for no additional consideration, permission to use the photographs . . . an unlimited number of times in any manner REI deems fit . . . . I agree to release, discharge, indemnify and hold harmless REI . . . from any liability, claim, damage, judgment, cost, loss, expense . . . by virtue of any publication or use of the Photos as previously described. I agree that in the event of a dispute arising out of the use of the Photos, my damages shall not exceed Fifty Dollars ($50.00) and in no instance shall I be entitled to seek an injunction against REI's use of the Photos.

Compare REI's previous rights grab as reported in my Sept. 18, 2007, blog.

Now Google has joined this unfortunate club. Its Photography Prize competition offers great prizes:

36 shortlisted entries will be turned into iGoogle themes, shown on Google and put to public vote.

6 finalists will be exhibited at the Saatchi Gallery London, and reviewed by our independent jury. The finalists will be invited to the private view of the exhibition on 23rd June 2009 (with travel and accommodation included).

1 winner will receive a £5,000 ($7500 USD) bursary and an invite to spend a day with Martin Parr.

But they come at a price. The terms and conditions provide:

However, by entering the Competition, and to the extent allowed by law, entrant grants Google and its affiliates, licensees, promotional partners, developers and third party marketing entities a non-exclusive, perpetual, worldwide, royalty-free license to edit, modify, cut, rearrange, add to, delete from, copy, reproduce, adapt, publish, exploit and use the Photographs themselves and the content of and elements embodied in the Photographs, including any names, locations and likenesses, for the duration of the rights, in any and all media, including but not limited to digital and electronic media, computer, and audiovisual media (whether now existing or hereafter devised), and specifically for use as an iGoogle theme, in any language, throughout the world, and in any manner, for trade, advertising, promotional, commercial, or any other purposes without further review, notice, approval, consideration, or compensation.


It's up to you as to whether you play. Just know the rules of the game.

Thanks to Michael Calanan and John Goldsmith for submitting these alerts.