Photography Still Not Allowed and Rights Grabs Continue

Bighorn Sheep Lamb with Rocks and reports that a “Russian Billionaire has installed an ‘Anti-Photo Shield’ on his huge yacht.” The owner purportedly can turn on lasers to fire at cameras that will “obliterate” the photo. A bright light that is shot towards a camera so that the shot is overexposed might be legal. But if an infrared laser damages the camera or the photo, then the photographer might have a cause of action for damaging personal property.

Edward Horn tells what happened to him when taking photos of a church. reports on and shows the video wherein a detective ordered a cameraman to stop shooting in a public area.

The Xplore Photo Contest rules provide:

By entering the Contest, each contestant grants to Sponsor an exclusive, royalty-free and irrevocable right and license to publish, print, edit or otherwise use the submitted entry, in whole or in part, for any purpose and in any manner or media (including, without limitation, the Internet) throughout the world in perpetuity, and to license others to do so, all without limitation or further compensation. Each contestant further agrees that if his/her entry is selected by Sponsor as the winning entry, he/she will sign any additional license or release that Sponsors may require. is running a “what is art” photo contest. But the rules duplicate those above for the contest. Seems as though they are either cutting and pasting the same bad rules or have the same overreaching lawyer.

Note, however, than when the license for your photos is for uses “in connection with the Site,” then the license is appropriate. A website needs the ability to copy, sublicense, prepare derivative works, etc., to operate. Take, for example, the Terms & Conditions for, that provide:

(a) Content License and Access. When you submit content to the Site, you grant us a non-exclusive, worldwide, perpetual, irrevocable, royalty-free sublicenseable and transferable license to use, reproduce, distribute, prepare derivative works of, display and perform the content in connection with the Site, in any media known now or in the future.

But the terms of the Verde Valley Wine Trail Photo Contest will drive you to drink:

Upon submission all photo entries become the property of the Cottonwood Chamber of Commerce. Contestants grant the Cottonwood Chamber of Commerce unlimited usage and unrestricted rights of any photograph submitted for the contest regardless of whether or not it is a winning entry. They reserve the right to use the photos in printed or on-line materials and for educational, informational, and promotional purposes without paying compensation to the photographers or the subjects.

Thanks to Dave Christenson, Michael Menefee, Joel DeYoung, Gregg Lowrimore, Jeff Hostetler, David Sanger, and Bryan Ghows for submitting these topics.

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