Medway Council 2010 calendar competition | Rights Grabbing Raid

Medway Council are running a photography competition.  Obvious perhaps but the theme is Medway. They are looking for pictures that will showcase the best views of Medway to include in the first ever Medway calendar to be produced by the Council.  The judging panel will select pictures that are, ‘…the most visually appealing, original and self-explanatory for use on a Medway calendar’.

There is a prize for what they deem to be the best photo – a £250.00 voucher to spend in a local camera shop. The winning entry will feature on the cover of the calendar and get ten copies of the calendar for *free*. Runners up i.e. 12 additional pictures, one for each month, will receive five *free* copies of the calendar.

So the runners up prize is a bit naff and the Council have obviously entered into some kind of publicity deal with whatever photography shop the voucher comes from but never mind that. What a great opportunity I thought. I’ve got loads of pictures of the best views of Medway right through the year. Some of them could have been in with a chance. No point in any false modesty here!

Thought I best check out the term and conditions first. I’d hate to haplessly become an unwitting ambassador for the Council in the event any of my entries were chosen. Glad I did. The competition is a rights grabbing raid

6. Copyright in all images submitted for this competition remains with the respective entrants. However, in consideration of their providing the competition, each entrant grants a worldwide, irrevocable, perpetual licence to Medway Council to feature any or all of the submitted images in any of their publications, their websites and/or in any promotional material connected to this competition. All such usage will be credited to the named entrant.

Essentially this means the competition is no more than a cheapskate way for the Council to get itself a stock of images to use in any way it likes, for as long as it likes, whenever it likes, for any purpose it chooses. For free.

To be fair to the Council they are not the first to include such terms in a photography competition. It’s a ploy used by many many companies and organisations that really should know better. Needless to say I won’t be entering.

I’ve submitted the details of the competition to the Bill of Rights for Photography Contests campaign. They will invite the Council to reconsider the terms. If the Council does amend the T&C and bring them in line with the Bill of Rights For Photography Competitions they will be added to the Rights On list and will be promoted on Bill of Rights Supporters page. If the Council decline to amend the T&C or just ignore the invite they will be included on the Rights Off List. You can read more about the campaign here.

I hope the Council does the right thing; amend the T&C, show some respect to local photographers and demonstrate support for the Bill of Rights. We shall see.

22/05/2009 Update – The Council’s group for the competition on Flickr has been deleted.  Looks like they broke Flickr’s TOS.