Yes I remember them. You entered, the organizers respected your intellectual property, sought carefully worded copyright permissions from you to enable limited usage by them in connection with the competition, rewarded you with really desirable prizes, and left all concerned feeling it had been mutually beneficial.
Here’s a competition that shows just how far we’ve come from those glory days:
You choose your category from the organizers list.
You enter your images, and give the organizer some money. (“We ask for a £5 donation to enter up to 3 images and you can pick which categories you would like to enter.”)
You agree to abide by the Terms and Conditions:
- By submitting your contribution to the RSPB you agree to be legally bound by these terms and conditions;
- By submitting any contribution you agree the RSPB may use the material for any purpose and in any way it chooses, including, but not limited to, developing, manufacturing and marketing products. Any contribution you provide shall be non-confidential;
- You agree to waive any moral rights in your contribution for the purpose of its submission to and publication as “RSPB Scotland Photography Competition” on the website and the other purposes specified above.
Shorthand? It means we can use it any way we want, change it, sell it to others and generally exploit it with no reference (nor payment) to you.
- The RSPB reserves the right to edit, adapt, move or delete any contribution accepted. We will try to credit authors where possible, but may not always do so;
- Save as expressly provided for in these terms neither the RSPB nor its trading subsidiary(ies) shall be liable for any direct, indirect or consequential loss or damage or for any costs, claims or demands of any nature whatsoever arising directly or indirectly out of the use of your contribution or any part thereof;
- These Terms and Conditions (as amended from time to time) constitute the entire agreement between you and the RSPB concerning your contribution to “RSPB Scotland Photography Competition”. The RSPB reserves the right to update these Terms and Conditions from time to time and any updated version will be effective as soon as it is published on the Website.
Shorthand: We can do what we want with your work, and we don’t even have to credit you, oh and we can change the applicable terms and conditions any time we like and further disadvantage you if we want to, and we are not liable for any claims arising from our use, or use by anyone we sell your work to. (Which usually implies that the photographer will accept liability.)
And the prizes?
You get a day out. (“A ‘money can’t buy RSPB experience’ with some of our specialist staff (Summer 2014).”)
You get a copy of your own picture as a print. (“Specially commissioned copy of winning image.”)
You get to see your picture used in a calendar, without payment. (“Image featured in RSPB Scotland Photography competition calendar 2015.”)
You get to see your picture in a magazine, without payment. (“Image featured in Scotland News magazine.”)
Yes these are the “fantastic prizes” on offer to the lucky entrants.
Definition of fantastic : The adjective fantastic has two meanings — extraordinarily brilliant or ludicrously far-fetched.
They want your pictures, to do whatever they wish with them, which may include selling them on through their picture library, but I don’t imagine that they’ll give you 50% of the revenue generated. And you pay them £5 for the privilege.
I’m all for competitions. They provide a valuable opportunity to have your work judged against your peers, and maybe see your work in print, and they may even benefit the organizing agency.
But they need to benefit the entrants too.
By all means enter this one, but before you do think carefully about which definition of ‘fantastic’ applies.
Edit: competition webpage has now been taken down but duckrabbit managed to find a copy of it – a little bird told us where to look……… I really like the bit that exhorts us to “Read more about what else we do.”