If you’ve been reading the fine print of the plethora of photo contests that have arisen lately, you’ve undoubtedly noticed that Somalia isn’t the only place experiencing modern day piracy. No, the rights grabs sunk deep in the fine print of most photo contest rules these days make the Somali pirates look like pikers and the bonus babies at AIG look like paragons of conscience. I’m amazed at what some contests ask for, just for entering (never mind winning), and also stunned that some of these contests are sponsored by allegedly photo-friendly organizations and publications (who really do know better, but don’t seem to care). I’ve got a whole column on the subject in an upcoming issue of Outdoor Photographer.
So it was with the usual world weary trepidation that I went to the website of Weibetech, makers of excellent harddrives that I use for backup, when they sent me a marketing email announcing a photo contest. I was expecting the usual “you grant us the rights to your life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness, as well as the copyright to this picture…” jargon, and instead read this:
Terms and conditions
By submitting a photo you agree that the photo is yours, that you own all copyrights, and that this is your original work. You also understand that it will be published on the internet as your work, and under your copyright. WiebeTech will not claim ownership of any submission or use it in a non-contest related way. WiebeTech desires to publish your entry on the web at a reasonable resolution for screen display in relation to the contest. You agree that submissions will be reviewed before being accepted for the contest. If the photo is offensive, artificially enhanced, a studio image, animation/artwork, or of poor image quality, it may be disqualified. You may enter this contest a maximum of five (5) times.
Wow, now that’s a contest with fair terms and some nice prizes (the grand prize is one of their cool raid arrays). I’m almost speechless, except to say, “good on ya, Weibetech.” Here’s a company that depends on photographers for some of its business and then turns around and offers a fair contest to reward us. Just shows you that the words “corporate” and “greed” may not necessarily be joined at the hip! For info on the contest, go here.