"All the Fuss Over the Rights"

Scott Kelby of Photoshop Insider and NAPP are hosting a Worldwide Photo Walk. It looks to be a great event. The photographers with the best photos from the day also will win great prizes.

Several photographers wisely read the original Terms and Conditions of Use for the contest. The terms originally stated that:

Any Submission received through this Site will be deemed to include to Us a royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable, worldwide, non-exclusive right and license to use, copy, reproduce, modify, adapt, publish, translate, create derivative works from, republish, transmit, disseminate, distribute, perform, and publicly display all content, remarks, suggestions, ideas, graphics, or other information in the Submission, in whole or in part, without additional approval, to incorporate any Submission in other works in any form, media, or technology now known or later developed, in connection with this Site and Our affiliated web sites and publications. We will not be required to treat any Submission as confidential.

We provide no compensation for Your Submission or for Our use of a Submission. We will not sell individual reproductions of your Submission. We assume no responsibility or liability for the timeliness, deletion, delivery failure or failure to store images.

These terms caused a stir on the Photoshop Insider blog. Some were offended; others were not concerned.

The terms have been updated and are more photographer friendly. The terms now provide for:


a) One (1) year usage rights and permissions to use, re-use, publish, and re-publish your winning image(s) you created, or reproduction hereof in color or otherwise, made through any and all media now or hereafter known for illustration, art, promotion, advertising, trade, or any other purpose whatsoever.

b) You also permit the use of any printed material in connection therewith.
While the terms still allow use of your photo for “promotion, advertising, trade, or any other purpose whatsoever” they are improved from a RF license forever.

What can we learn from this? You may not care that someone takes a license (or in some contests, a complete transfer of your copyright) of your image to use for commercial advantage. We certainly trust Scott Kelby and NAPP to not misuse any license. But other organizations are not so caring.

You may choose to give your rights away, but at least you should know what you’re giving up. In the end, however, you might think differently when you find your photo used in a way you didn’t expect. You might then wish you had made a fuss.

Thanks to Andie Smith and Lori Carey for submitting this topic.

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