Photo Contest Scam

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by Mike D Smith, May 17, 2005.

  1. Mike D Smith

    Mike D Smith TPF Noob!

    May 17, 2005
    Likes Received:

    I'm new to photography, but I have already had a bad experience and I'm
    wondering how common it is.

    Let me explain. I love photography and kendo. Kendo is a Japanese sport
    like fencing where people try hitting each other with bamboo sticks for
    points. I ran across a photo contest by the All Japan Kendo Federation
    and I thought the contest was perfect for me.

    But then I read the fine print.

    It seems that the copyright of any photo submitted to the "contest"
    becomes the property of the All Japan Kendo Federation. So if I
    understand correctly, that means that if I send in my photo then I will
    no longer be the owner of the photograph and will never be able to use
    it again in the future. The All Japan Kendo Federation can do whatever
    they like with my photo like sell it to people, publish it whenever
    they want, or even give it away to others, but I won't be allowed to
    show it on my home page or even make a copy of the photo for myself.

    At first I thought that this might just be a cultural difference, but
    other contests like Nikon Photo Contest International and Fujifilm
    Photo Contest in Japan don't have the transfer of copyright
    requirement. They only ask for the right to use the winning photos for
    promotions and don't take away the photographer's rights to use the
    photo. That seems reasonable and fair.

    The photo contest by the All Japan Kendo Federation sounds like some
    kind of fraud. It seems that they are not really running a photo
    contest, but instead they are just running a scam so that they can
    collect as many photos as possible by stealing them from any
    photographer stupid enough to enter.

    How common is theft of copyright by photo contest?

    Is there a list of other fraudulent photo contests?

    If not, I'd like to make a list of photo contest scams like the one
    above to warn others. Please post the names of other photo contests
    that steal the copyright of the photos from people who enter.

    Comments and suggestions would be appreciated.

    Mike Smith
  2. ksmattfish

    ksmattfish Now 100% DC - not as cool as I once was, but still

    Aug 25, 2003
    Likes Received:
    Lawrence, KS
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    As long as they spell it out in fine print it's not a fraud, a rip off yes, but not fraud. This kind of "contest" is very common, and I think you hit the nail on the head; it's not about good photos, it's about getting good photos for free!

    Unfortunately this seems to be the trend. Super cheap stock photography, and even the BBC has started to use viewer submissions (for free) instead of paying for editorial use. Neither of these is as bad as wrangling copyrigt, but still not good signs for folks trying to make a living doing this.
  3. lazarus219

    lazarus219 TPF Noob!

    Aug 30, 2004
    Likes Received:
    Port Macquarie
    ALOT of contests use these, i recently entered one and ebcausefo where im at with phtography this didnt matter much to me (it didnt take copyright though) so i put in 2 prints, they cost me $30 for 2 prints, i was expecting 5-6 so i was kidna cut when i had to hand these away (i got them printed for the competition)
    it is a bad thnig but if you have no plans for the shots then enter if you feel comfortable!
  4. Aoide

    Aoide TPF Noob!

    Oct 6, 2004
    Likes Received:
    Houston, TX
    I agree with ksmattfish that it isn't fraud since they spell it out in the rules, but it is definitely not the kind of contest I want to enter. Just last week I ran across a contest for the Houston Downtown Management District (HDMD) and 002 Magazine (local mag.) I LOVE photographing downtown, but the rules state:

    By entering, entrants agree that the image becomes the property of HDMD and 002+ Magazine. HDMD and 002+ Magazine may use name of the winner and the image in connection with the promotion of this contest. Additionally, HDMD and 002+ Magazine reserve the right to use and reproduce the images in any way, as deemed appropriate, except where prohibited by law.

    I'm not wild about they getting to do whatever they want with my pictures, so I'm not going to enter.
  5. SLOShooter

    SLOShooter TPF Noob!

    Dec 21, 2004
    Likes Received:
    This happens a lot in "contests". It's a good thing that you read the rules before you entered. Very smart.

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