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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre General Photography Talk 
Thread started 12 Feb 2016 (Friday) 15:17
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Are Adoramapix contest rules fair?

 
Picture ­ North ­ Carolina
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Feb 12, 2016 15:17 |  #1

Adoramapix is holding a contest that is in my opinion, a rights grab.
And it also seems somewhat apparent they are trying their best to conceal this fact.

I received an email announcing the contest Best Friends Forever - Instagram Contest
- There is a clickable link in the email to enter the contest
- There is no clickable link in the email to read the contest rules
- There is a line of very small print in the email advising that Adoramapix's contest rules apply
- Clicking that link does not reveal the rules, it goes to the same link to enter the contest

- When you go to Adoramapix's main web page to read the rules, there is no link to contests
- To find contest rules, you must click to read their blog.
- Once in their blog, you must find the post about the contest
- Once in that post, there is this rule:

"By entering photography contests, photographer hereby grants Adoramapix (sponsor) (1) a nonexclusive, unconditional, unrestricted, worldwide, irrevocable ,royalty-free license to reproduce, reformat, adapt, creative derivative works, distribute, transmit, display, make available and perform the photographs photographer submits to Adoramapix (sponsor) in and/or through any and all medium or media, now known or hereinafter developed or discovered, and "

In other words, they can do anything with your picture they want to at any time. And to add insult to injury, they even cover future uses in media that does not exist now!

It is my personal opinion that all contests that are rights grabs are disgusting. It is especially disgusting when it appears they make it as hard as possible to discover the rules which, in my opinion, Adoramapix has done here.


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Snydremark
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Feb 12, 2016 15:36 |  #2

That is standard, boilerplate text that you're going to find in any, sponsored photo contest and something you'll have to get over if you ever expect to participate in any of that style contest/competition. You'll also find similar wording in almost all online services that you post digital photos to, if you take the time to read through each TOS.

If you dislike the terms that strongly (I do), don't enter. They need that clause to be able to use the submitted images to promote those contests, especially the year to year ones; if they didn't, and had to pay to license all of those images, they'd never have the ability to give away prizes and such. It is that clause that allows you to go to their sites, when they announce a new contest and show you past winners, runners up, honorable mentions and such.


It used to freak me out, too, but once I started looking at all of them it became more clear that that is what's happening. Then it is just a matter of figuring out what your tolerance is for that in any, individual case. Eventually, I may find an entity/contest that I feel strongly enough about supporting or joining that it will overcome my objection...but, until then, I just don't submit.

It's great to remind folks to be informed and read those Terms clauses fully!


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Picture ­ North ­ Carolina
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Feb 12, 2016 15:52 |  #3

Wrong. They do NOT need the clause as written to perform the contest. The clause can be written in such a way they can perform and promote the contest but with usage of images delegated to that purpose.

Clauses like this allow them to use the images for any purpose, even those NOT even remotely associated with the contest.

There are many contests that have clauses written in such a way usage is for the purpose of the contest. In THAT context, the rules are understandable and necessary.


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Picture ­ North ­ Carolina
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Feb 12, 2016 15:56 |  #4

Oh, and to address another point. This has been going on and evolving to worse and worse for many years. Now many big name companies are involved in blatent rights grabs.

I posted this to remind people, as you say, to read the terms.

But what was especially bothersome about this one was how many hoops had to be jumped thru and how far I had to dig down to get to those rules.

In other rights grab contests, at least the companies are straightforward enough to post a link directly to the rules.

This was not done here which left me with the personal impression Adoramapix was intentionally trying to conceal the rights grab.

That, to me, makes it especially abhorrent.


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Bassat
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Feb 12, 2016 16:00 |  #5

1.) I have entered several photo contests. I won one of them. All of them REQUIRE you give the contest sponsor's unlimited rights to all submissions. Big deal.

2.) You are never REQUIRED to enter contests.

3.) If you can't find the rules, see #2.

I am having trouble finding a problem here.




  
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Snydremark
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Feb 12, 2016 16:17 |  #6

To your first response, they *could* have it written that way, but why go through the expense, etc when the boilerplate exists? In all the time I've been around here I have never heard of one of these fontests actually exploiting images in this way...only fears that it could happen due to the aforementioned, too broadly worded, clause.

And on your second, I would agree; burying terms and conditions is an underhanded thing to do and it's worrisome that a brand that large would not be more conscious about it.

On the whole, I agree with your point and elevating the fact that these clauses exist, especially for our many, newcomers that constantly arrive in the community, and don't intend to diminish that; I just feel that calling these things out, in general, as actively malicious is somewhat sensationalistic...com​panies will spend as little as they can possibly get away with on promotion, and using a rubber stamp clause instead of generating the cost of an update and legal review of that update is one of those ways.


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Jon
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Feb 12, 2016 16:54 |  #7

Much ado about nothing - the BFF contest doesn't ask you to submit a photo. It asks you to follow 2 Instagram feeds and tag a friend on a specific photo from one of those feeds. So what rights to what photo are you giving up?


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Feb 12, 2016 17:32 |  #8

Jon wrote in post #17895953 (external link)
Much ado about nothing - the BFF contest doesn't ask you to submit a photo. It asks you to follow 2 Instagram feeds and tag a friend on a specific photo from one of those feeds. So what rights to what photo are you giving up?

Presumably a collection of rights to the photo(s) that Adoramapix is talking about when it says "the photographs photographer submits to Adoramapix (sponsor)"--from what the OP pasted into his first post.


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Feb 12, 2016 17:35 |  #9

1) they don't need unlimited rights for the future, so they are needing an inch and taking a mile
2) don't enter it then

Simple.

But it's good this stuff comes to light. Companies now a days want everything they can for nothing.

But it sounds like THIS contest isn't even a submission of your own image... So...

3) it's moot


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Feb 13, 2016 12:32 |  #10

This is a note from Libby, the Social Media Manager for AdoramaPix. Hopefully the info below will clarify a few things with this contest.

First and foremost our business is built by photographers - we do not take this for granted. The rules and regulations cover all of our contests for the entire year (we run about 2 dozens contests a year) -- this is the 4th year of running this contest. Why does it matter it's the 4th year? Because you can do research and see how we've conducted ourselves the past 3 years and how we've handled submissions and winners by simply searching the internet.

1. This is a world-wide contest online run through Facebook - there are certain things that must be in the rules and regulations when it comes to Facebook to clear both them and us from any legal issues. With that being said, we try to protect the photographer as much as possible. That's why in the blog post under submissions to submit watermarked images - jpegs.
http://www.adoramapix.​com …r-best-shot-2015-contest/ (external link) . We don't ask for high-resolution images until the top 12 and only then it's for print purposes for the photo book winners receive.

2. From this blog post, please read the FAQ - 'what do we do with images after contest?' We delete everything from the inbox and only keep the top 12. And that again is only for printing purposes of the 8x8 photo book prize for the top 12 winners.

3. 'What do you do with the winning images?' We make an announcement about the grand prize winner in a mass mail out and then will use it to advertise the the next year's contest. If we use images for display - we do so only with the permission of the photographer, we give them specifics and we also give them a sample of what we put their image on. In other words, if we show your image on a 20x24 metal print, we ask for the photographer's permission and then will send them a copy of that 20x24 metal print as well for their own use.

4. Images are altered to fit formats for email mail-outs to our client list - so the language will stand regarding that we need to make changes. If you do a search for another big NY store and the words "photo contest" together - you'll quickly see that their online contests use the exact same language. Feel free to email Libby and she can give you link.

5. We welcome questions, feedback and concerns - please email libby@adoramapix.com - if you would like names of winners from the last 3 years you can get in touch to discuss directly with them how we handled everything on the back end. You can also just do a search on the internet - everything is there. Again, our business is built by photographers and our reputation relies heavily on how we handle your images. We do not take this for granted.



  
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Feb 13, 2016 16:44 as a reply to  @ HelenOster's post |  #11

Helen I understand the need for the specifically worded licence release for your contests, as you say the wording has to be pretty specific. A simple explanation of the full intent of what you will be doing with the images entered, as you have detailed here would probably make those that are concerned about this happier. There have been some large companies in the past who have really pushed the commercial use of images submitted to competitions, and not just in the internet era. I recall that even Facebook at one point when faced with criticism over the wording of the licence you grant when uploading to FB, and your competition rules strike me as very familiar from reading those FB ToS, resorted to a plain English explanation of exactly what they would and would not do with your images. A simple statement of intent will very often reassure people when faced with lawyer language.

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Feb 14, 2016 15:28 |  #12

Carolyn Wright found it interesting enough to post.

For those unfamiliar with Carolyn Wright, she is known as the Photo Attorney. She has been active on the web and various photography forums for years. She is probably one of the internet's top defenders of photographers in issues of copyrights. Not only that, but for years she has been posting advice and info for free to help photogs on her blog at http://www.photoattorn​ey.com/ (external link).

She posted info about the contest. One thing she noticed I did not was that the winner will be chosen by a random number generator. I found this enjoyably funny. You send your picture off and it's the best of the bunch and Adoramapix gets to use it. But even tho it may be the best, you might not get anything for it because you were not chosen by the random number generator.

The article on Carolyn's site is posted as Not Feeling the Love – Photo Contest Takes Broad License (external link)

She adds this comment:

"Such a broad license is extreme for just submitting your photo to the contest. But, hey. You and your friend may win a photo book or some other big prize (sarcasm intended)."

Thank you, Carolyn. Glad to know some still get it.


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Feb 14, 2016 16:10 |  #13
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One is always free NOT to enter any contest. Heh, even if a gun is pulled to your head you can still say 'no'.

The main concern I've always had with rights grab photo contests is that the organiser will use the contest to build, essentially for free, a library of good images they can use later for their own marketing, since many good images are bound to be submitted even though they'll never win (why, Poogl—, er, Google was doing this with Picassa and no contest was being run). It's good that Ms. Oster has clarified here that Adorama isn't doing anything of the such. Now, as for the mechanics of the contest itself, that's up to the organiser to devise them and apply them –heck, if they want to select the winners by bringing in chimps and have them pick a print out of the photo, they're perfectly within their rights to do so, and Ms Wright can cry all the bloody murder she wants on her corner of the blogosphere: fact of the matter is that nobody needs her permission, approval or counsel to run a contest.

Methinks the number of spurious contests (and this one doesn't look like one of those) is far surpassed by the amount of photographers with egos inflated larger than Zeppelins who think that every single picture they make should earn them thousands upon thousands of perpetual royalties, and if anyone wants to use their poorly exposed photo of their mangy cat to promote the local veterinary clinic or what have you, they're entitled to be set for life, lest they cry all the way home for the fortune they're being deprived of due to 'lost revenue'.


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Jon
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Feb 14, 2016 16:19 as a reply to  @ Picture North Carolina's post |  #14

Go back and read the BFF Contest entry requirements again. Looks like neither you nor Carolyn Wright noticed that you ARE NOT ASKED TO SUBMIT PHOTOS. Kind of hard to grab rights for photos you haven't received.


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Feb 15, 2016 15:24 |  #15

I once entered a contest that was judged by the public. Rules were simple. Send in photos or files, winners will receive x prizes. all submissions will be deleted or destroyed. Do not send originals. Way it should be. Did not win.


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Are Adoramapix contest rules fair?
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