Adobe Systems Incorporated is an American software company with its headquarters in San Jose,California. The company specialises in creativity software products and in internet enriching applications. Its flagship product is Photoshop, an application which is part of its Creative Suite of products, a package consisting of up to 18 separate applications.
Competitions or appeals seeking submissions of creative works from the public, works such as photos, videos, poems, music, etc., are reviewed by the Artists' Bill of Rights campaign. The reviews are to help you decide whether or not you should participate in the competition or appeal. When you create a work (e.g. a photo) the law automatically makes you the sole beneficiary of certain rights over that work. These rights are called intellectual property rights. Note: Rights for works created in the course of employment are usually owned by the employer (i.e. works for hire).
Rights have a value and you are free to decide what that value is. If a person or organisation wants to use your work to promote something, you have the right to refuse permission or to set a fee for a specific use. More information about intellectual property rights and their value to you can be read in our Guide to Rights & Licensing.
Listed below in order of closing date are the competitions or appeals promoted by this organisation that we have reviewed. For each we detail how their terms and conditions will exploit your rights. To read our review(s) just click on any competition/appeal title below.
Closing Date 2nd May 2008
TERMS AND CONDITIONS
"The semifinalists will be asked to donate the entry to the program for special purposes in support of extending the program in the community, such as providing semifinalists’ work to elementary or primary schools to inspire students"
"Finalists will be required to sign and return a liability release, declaration of eligibility, license agreement, and, where lawful, a publicity consent agreement, all within ten (10) days of receipt by winner as a condition of receiving a prize."
"Each Contestant agrees that if his or her entry is selected as a Finalist entry, as a condition of receiving a prize, Contestant shall sign a license agreement granting to Sponsor a royalty-free, non-exclusive, perpetual, worldwide license to use, reproduce, distribute, publicly perform, publicly display, modify for purposes of publicly performing and publicly displaying, and prepare derivative works based upon winner's entry, for the purposes of advertising and promoting Adobe products, and for inclusion in and distribution with Adobe products. To the extent that such a perpetual license is ineffective or unenforceable, Contestant shall sign a license agreement providing to Sponsor a royalty-free, non-exclusive, two-year (2), worldwide license to use, reproduce, distribute, publicly perform, publicly display, modify for purposes of publicly performing and publicly displaying, and prepare derivative works based upon winner’s entry, for the purposes of advertising and promoting Adobe products, and for inclusion in and distribution with Adobe products."
"Each Contestant further agrees to execute any and all documents necessary to effectuate such license. Each Contestant agrees that by submitting an entry, he or she allows the use of his or her personal data, name, likeness, and/or voice in publicity or advertising relating to the Contest without compensation."
HOW THESE TERMS AND CONDITIONS WILL AFFECT YOU
The terms and conditions do not state you will always be credited when your work is reproduced.
The terms and conditions state that if you win, or are a potential winner, you are required to complete various additional forms, but the terms and conditions of these additional forms are not displayed on the competition or appeal website. This is like being asked to sign a blank cheque. It is not an acceptable business practice to require you to accept all the terms and conditions when submitting a work but fail to display all the terms and conditions that will ultimately apply.
If you are a finalist, the terms and conditions are granting the organiser unlimited use of your work for ever. For non-winning works a usage time limit of 5 years or less should be set with usage limited solely to promoting the competition or appeal. Winning works can be used for ever but only in a permanent winners gallery with the sole purpose of promoting a recurring competition or appeal.
If you are a finalist, the terms and conditions grant the organiser the right to use your work beyond that needed to promote the competition or appeal. Your work will be used for other purposes. Usage of your work should be restricted solely to promoting the competition or appeal. If the organisation wishes to use your work for any other purpose the organisation should negotiate with you independently of the competition. You should have the right to negotiate an appropriate fee for the specific use they want to make of your work and to set a time limit on such use. You should also have the right to refuse use of your work. For further information on fees and licensing refer to the Introduction to Rights and Licensing.
The above may help you to decide not to submit any works to this competition or appeal. For further guidance please read the Bill of Rights for Artists.
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We submitted a copy of this report to Adobe. This was submitted along with an email setting out the positive benefits of changing the terms and conditions of this competition and of becoming a member of the Bill of Rights Supporters Group. Adobe declined the offer to change the terms and conditions.
You can help the Bill of Rights campaign by complaining to the organiser urging them to change their terms and conditions. If time is at a premium for you we have prepared a complaint email which you can copy and send to the organiser. Alternatively, or as well as, you can submit the free image we have prepared to register your complaint simply by entering the free image to the contest.
Where a contest automatically displays entrants images on the contest website as they arrive the free image can also be used to test the competition and determine if it is stripping metadata. The test results can be submitted to a survey by the Controlled Vocabulary Group.
The Bill of Rights campaign depends on your active support, your help will make a difference.
Updated in April 2008
Competitions which meet all the standards set out in the Bill of Rights For Artists do not do any of the following -
We have written an Organisers Guide to the Bill of Rights to help organisers draft terms and conditions that respect the rights of entrants and at the same time provide legal protection for the organiser.
© Bill of Rights Supporters Group
The above text may be reproduced providing a link is given to the Bill of Rights For Artists.
Any text reproduced above in italics has been extracted from a competition website for the purposes of review.
Organisations who would like to be promoted as a Bill of Rights Supporter and have their competitions promoted on the Rights On List can use this contact form. One of the campaign team will get in touch with you.
Pro-Imaging is a worldwide support group for professional photographers
who are pro-active in defending photographers rights.