Model Citizen Magazine

Discussion in 'Photographic Discussions' started by Groovejunky, Nov 15, 2018.

  1. Groovejunky

    Groovejunky TPF Noob!

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    Hello all. This is my first post here. I did a bit of poking around and couldn’t find anything that directly dealt with my question.

    I was approached on IG by an account that offered to feature me in a magazine called “Model Citizen Magazine” (www.modelcitizenmag.com). I have little to no exposure as a photographer so this seemed like an exciting opportunity for me to get some traction online and grow my following etc.

    The person who messaged me told me to go to the website and submit photos in the submission forum. Before doing so I checked out the privacy policy and uncovered some sinister sounding language. Here’s a link to their terms and conditions: Privacy Policy

    These 3 paragraphs get to the heart of my concern:

    By submitting to Model Citizen App/Magazine, you are providing us permission to crop, make basic edits, and select from your submitted content. We do not guarantee that all photos accepted will be used. As a submission based magazine we provide contributors with a professional and curated platform to showcase their work, as such, it should be known that we do not pay for submissions. Any expense or cost incurred from your shoot is done so at your risk and expense. All submissions can be considered for our cover. However, it is not guaranteed. We reserve the right to make last minute changes.

    By submitting this form Model Citizen App/Magazine, you at this moment state that you are in fact 18 years of age or older. You and your constituents agree to hold harmless Model Citizen App/Magazine, its owners, employees and acting agents/constituents. Also, upon submission, you and all of your constituents agree to have any and all rights revoked in a court of law. As a professional digital entity, we take what we do here very seriously, and ask that all contributing submitters do the same.

    In the interest of everyone involved with Model Citizen App/Magazine, we ask that models maintain a high standard of professionalism and understand that once images have been published in Model Citizen App/Magazine, they are now legally the property of the magazine and shall remain published as such. If a special circumstance arises Model Citizen App/Magazine, is more than willing to help and address any issues that models and photographers may have after publication.”

    Right so, I’m not sure what to expect from a standard contract from a publication, but this seems a bit fishy. Are there legally minded photographers out there who could shed some light on this?

    It seems as though this magazine is offering me free exposure and in return they would own my submitted images in perpetuity. In their privacy policy, they also mention that they can share my images to third parties. On the one hand, this actually seems like a fair trade since I have only a small following on IG and no one knows my name or my work. On the other hand, it seems like extortion.

    Please let me know your thoughts. Thanks very much!

    Groovejunky


     
  2. vintagesnaps

    vintagesnaps Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Run far, run fast...

    More seriously, trust your instincts, which seem to be telling you do not agree to this and do not sign it.

    If this is a business making money, photographers and writers should be paid. Offering 'exposure' is inappropriate. You can learn how to promote yourself as a photographer.

    There seem to be plenty of websites out there contacting people about using their photos or trying to get people to write for them, and they may or may not be legit businesses and often seem to be taking advantage of people. It seems easy enough to make websites look like magazines etc. and to call themselves whatever they want but I think it's necessary to check them out throughly. I usually see red flags like you did.

    Terms that are indefinite are inappropriate as well. The company should contract with you and license usage for a specific time frame, for specific usage (such as website, pamphlets, brochures, etc.).

    Try American Society of Media Photographers - Homepage or PPA for info. on contracts, licensing usage, marekting, etc.
     
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  3. SCraig

    SCraig Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    It seems to me that magazine is offering you nothing and everything you submit becomes their property to do with as they please. As was said, run far and run fast.
     
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  4. Designer

    Designer Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    How much actual exposure would you receive if your photos were published? What is the circulation/views per month? Who receives this publication?

    If I were going to run a similar scam, I would try to get as many free photographs as I could get, and sell however many I could, and get current members to solicit their friends and complete strangers with the promise of higher commissions in the future.

    My outlay would be as close to zero as I could get by with, probably just a Square Space website, and a computer with which to edit and sell photographs. I would never voluntarily offer any real circulation numbers, and I would be ready to sue any potential malcontents should anybody wish to cancel his contract.

    Meanwhile, I get to keep all the proceeds, as I have not promised anybody any real sales.

    That's what I would do, but that's just me.
     
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  5. vintagesnaps

    vintagesnaps Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    I had to get curious and go look...

    The way the text is written sounds amateur. When I read 'RECOGNISED' - their caps - spelled with an s instead of a z I knew what I suspected, it isn't a US company. But they say they're in Australia (didn't find a location/address) and processing their business registration in NY, USA. (They'd need a street address to do that but it seems to be easy enough to rent space somewhere such as NYC.)

    Who would ever see this but those doing submissions - aspiring models, people with cameras, people who can type run-on sentences on keyboards... and peeps on social media? They're on ISSUU and Zinio and sites I never heard of. I don't imagine this will be seen by anyone that would enable people doing submissions to get opportunties.

    I was just thinking enough of this! lol but kept skimming under FAQs and saw a question about paying to be 'prioritized' - the site gives a way for people doing submissions to make 'payments'. Isn't this, um, heading in the direction of exhortion? bribery? to get in the magazine sooner?? Is that a legit business practice anywhere?? I hope not! lol
     
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  6. vintagesnaps

    vintagesnaps Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Oh, there's a map. I guess you go to the Starbucks at the corner of Broadway and E. 9th and give your money to Hailey or Joana.

    edit - I didn't actually read Privacy but usually if you scroll down there's a location; it said EU data, then Switzerland. But they say they're in Australia?!

    This just gets better and better... Good thing the OP has good instincts.
     
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  7. tirediron

    tirediron Watch the Birdy! Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Not. With. A. Ten. Foot. Pole!
     
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  8. Groovejunky

    Groovejunky TPF Noob!

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    Well said everyone! As I suspected, this seems to be a scam to get inexperienced, amateur photographers desperate for exposure to part with their licenses indefinitely. The operator of this scam can then legally sell the content to third parties and generate a return for virtually nothing up front!

    As sinister as this is, it’s sort of brilliant- just badly implemented in this case. There are tons of talented amateur photographers out there who would see the 100K+ followers on IG and assume they were legit and in a position to help promote a budding career. Young creatives often have much more content than money, so it seems like a good opportunity in some ways to trade created works for promotion, even if you have to part with a few good photographs. The clincher is classic misdirection and extortion clauses buried in the privacy policy.

    I will be keeping an eye out for scams like this in the future. Thanks for the advice everybody!
     

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