Barack Hussein Obama II (born August 4, 1961) is the 44th President of the United States. He is the first African American to hold the office. Obama previously served as a United States Senator from Illinois, from January 2005 until he resigned following his victory in the 2008 presidential election. barackobama.com is his re-election campaign website. Wikipedia
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.
This competition was launched by President Obama on October 7 2011 to ask artists to design posters showing people why they should support the President's plan to create jobs. Creating jobs is a very good idea and we support it, however, in this case the artists are being asked to work for free, an approach which we don't support. Life for artists, as is the case for most people, is extremely tough at present without being asked to work for free.
There is nothing wrong with crowd sourcing via a competition to seek out the best creative work, what is wrong in this case is that Obama's campaign is simply granting the campaign the rights to use all the submitted work in perpetuity without paying for it. What follows is an extract from the terms and conditions of this contest followed by our explanation of what they mean.
TERMS AND CONDITIONS (extract)
This Promotion Submission Agreement ("Agreement") is a legal contract between you and Obama for America ("Sponsor"). By clicking on the "Accept" button below or otherwise submitting any posters, artwork, drawings, sketches, designs, paintings, photographs, images, statements, or other materials or content (collectively, "Content") to or through barackobama.com/artworks (the "Site"), you agree to be bound by the terms and conditions of this Agreement. You must be at least 18 years old (or the age of majority in your state of residence) to submit Content to the Site.
PLEASE READ THIS AGREEMENT CAREFULLY BEFORE SUBMITTING ANY CONTENT. THIS AGREEMENT INCLUDES IMPORTANT TERMS REGARDING YOUR INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY RIGHTS IN CONTENT YOU SUBMIT FOR OBAMA FOR AMERICA "ART WORKS" CONTEST (THE "PROMOTION"); GRANTS CERTAIN RIGHTS AND RELEASES; AND MAKES CERTAIN REPRESENTATIONS, WARRANTIES AND INDEMNITIES REGARDING THE CONTENT YOU SUBMIT.
In consideration of allowing you to participate in the Promotion, and other good and valuable consideration, the receipt and sufficiency of which is hereby acknowledged, you agree as follows:
License to Sponsor. You hereby grant to Sponsor a perpetual, irrevocable, royalty-free, worldwide nonexclusive license to publish, reproduce, display, perform, distribute, adapt, edit, modify, translate, create derivative works based upon, and otherwise use and sublicense the Content, or any portion thereof, in connection with the Promotion and for other advertising and promotional purposes, in any manner, form, media or technology now known or later developed. You further grant to Sponsor the right to use your name, hometown, image and likeness on, and in connection with, the Content worldwide in any manner or medium now existing or later developed, in connection with the Promotion and for other advertising and promotional purposes, without separate compensation to you or any other person or entity. Sponsor will have no obligation to publish or use (except for the prize winning Content) or retain any Content you submit or to return any such Content or Promotion entry materials to you. You agree that it is your sole responsibility to obtain all permissions and releases necessary for the grant of the rights contained in this paragraph. You also agree to take, at Sponsor's expense, any further action (including, without limitation, execution of affidavits, licenses, and other documents) reasonably requested by Sponsor to effect, perfect, or confirm Sponsor's rights set forth above in this paragraph. You will not be entitled to compensation for any use by Sponsor, or its agents, licensees or assignees, of the Content. Entries and other materials (including Content) submitted to Sponsor in connection with the Promotion (collectively, "Entry Materials") will not be returned to any entrant.
Promotion Official Rules. By submitting Content, you agree to participate in the Promotion and acknowledge that you have read and agree to all of the terms, conditions and rules set forth in the Official Promotion Rules ("Official Rules") available at barackobama.com/artworks which are incorporated into this Agreement by reference. Without limiting the foregoing, you understand and agree that as a condition of being awarded any prize, each winner will be required to execute and deliver to Sponsor a signed affidavit of eligibility and acceptance of the Official Rules, and any other required legal, regulatory and/or tax-related documents.
HOW THESE TERMS AND CONDITIONS WILL AFFECT YOU
The following notes explain how the above terms and conditions affect your rights in respect of any works you submit to the above competition or appeal.
The terms and conditions do not state you will always be credited when your work is reproduced. One of your most important moral rights is that you should be credited as the author of a work whenever it is reproduced.
The terms and conditions state that before you can be awarded a prize you are required to complete various additional forms, but the terms and conditions of these additional forms are not displayed on the competition 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 on documents you may at some stage have to complete and sign.
The terms and conditions are granting the organiser unlimited use of your work for ever. For non-winning works in a contest a usage time limit of 5 years or less should be set with usage limited solely to promoting the competition or appeal. It is permissable to use winning works for ever but only in a permanent winners gallery with the sole purpose of promoting a recurring competition or appeal.
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. If the organisation wishes to use your work for any other purpose they 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.
For further guidance please read the Bill of Rights for Artists.
We have written to this organisation, submitted a link to this report and urged them to adjust the competition rules as set out in the ABoR Principles document.
If time is at a premium for you we have prepared a complaint email which you can copy and send to the organiser. The Artists' Bill of Rights campaign depends on your active support, your help will make a difference.
We have listed below the letter we have sent to President Obama.
Dear Mr President,
The “Calling All Artists” Contest re your Plan to Create Jobs
We are writing to you on behalf of the Artists’ Bill of Rights (ABoR) campaign regarding the terms and conditions of above competition currently promoted on your campaign website.
Our campaign is concerned with the ethical treatment of the public’s intellectual property rights in competitions or appeals involving the submission of creative content. The campaign is supported by organisations from around the world including artists’ associations in the USA.
The terms and conditions set out by the Calling All Artists contest will be viewed with considerable dismay by creative people; you may have noticed that from some of the comments on your campaign website. The problem is that in promoting a campaign for jobs you are asking artists to work for free. By all means crowd source the best creativity, then having found it respect the artists’ moral rights and negotiate a fee and terms with the artists concerned. That way your campaign gets the best artwork and supports artists in their work.
We have created a report to help you review your contest terms and conditions. It is written from the point of view of a potential participant and explains to them how their IP rights are affected with regard to any creative content they submit to the contest. Naturally if there is anything incorrect in our report we will be glad to correct it.
We have also attached a PDF document setting out the Artists’ Bill of Rights principles concerning the public’s intellectual property rights which we hope you will find helpful. We ask you to adopt these principles and we will be happy to help with any queries you may have.
We look forward to your response in due course.
Kind regards, etc., etc.
This report was last updated on 11/10/2011
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 in italics in this report has been extracted from a competition or appeal 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. We look forward to hearing from you.
Pro-Imaging is a worldwide support group for professional photographers
who are pro-active in defending photographers rights.