The British Council is an arm's length body based in the United Kingdom which specialises in international educational and cultural opportunities. It is incorporated by royal charter and is registered as a charity both in England and Wales, and in Scotland.
Founded in 1934 as the British Committee for Relations with Other Countries, the British Council was inspired by Sir Reginald (Rex) Leeper's recognition of the importance of "cultural propaganda" in promoting British interests. It was granted a royal charter by King George VI in 1940. Its 'sponsoring department' within the United Kingdom Government is the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, although it has day-to-day operational independence.
Mark Lancaster, Michael Martin (politician), and other MPs have been involved in rows over expenses incurred on taxpayer-funded British Council trips. In 2008 Mark Lancaster flew business class to Bangkok with the British Council for a two-day conference, at a cost of £5,018. Labour MP Sally Keeble flew out economy class and returned business class at a cost of £2,452. MPs must normally declare any hospitality they receive from outside organisations, and the British Council does not appear on a list of bodies whose gifts are exempt from the requirement. Mr Martin signed a special certificate preventing the release of information about these trips, citing "Parliamentary privilege". This was condemned by MPs from all parties as well as civil liberty advocates.
Competitions or appeals seeking submissions of creative works from the public, works such as photos, videos, poems, music, etc., are reviewed by the Bill of Rights campaign. The reviews are to help you decide whether you should participate in the competition or appeal. The only thing you need to understand is that when you create a work (e.g. a photo) the law automatically makes you the sole beneficiary of certain rights over that work (but see note 1 below). These rights are called intellectual property rights.
Rights have a value and you are free to decide what that value is. If a person or organisation would like to use your work to promote something, you have the right to refuse permission, or to set a fee for a specific use and decide how long they may use it. More information about intellectual property rights and their value to you as an individual can be read in our Guide to Rights & Licensing. Listed on the next tab are some competitions or appeals promoted by the above organisation. For each we detail how the organisation's terms and conditions will exploit your rights to their advantage for works you submit to their competition or appeal.
A copy of this report was submitted to the organisation to help them review and change their terms and conditions. We also took the opportunity to invite them to join the Bill of Rights Supporters' Group. This would have enabled them to enjoy the benefits of being a member of a group which supports and respects others' intellectual property rights. Unfortunately the negotiations did not conclude successfully.
The main aims of the Bill of Rights Campaign are to help everyone understand that their intellectual property rights have a value and to encourage competition and appeal organisers to adopt the standards set out in the Bill of Rights for Artists.
Note 1. Rights for works created as an employee are usually owned by your employer.
Listed below in order of closing date are the competitions or appeals promoted by this organisation that have been reviewed by the Bill of Rights for Artists campaign. To see the review of each competition or appeal just click on its title and a window will open to reveal its details.
The following information is provided for each competition or appeal;
the terms and conditions that impact on your intellectual property rights for any works you submit;
an explanation of how the terms and conditions will affect you and the rights you have in any work you submit to it;
a list of any other organisations sponsoring the competition or appeal;
who you should contact and how to complain to the organisation concerned.
TERMS AND CONDITIONS
"§ 6. LICENSE
6.1. By submitting photos and videos to the Competition in the manner specified above, participants grant the British Council a worldwide, royalty-free license, and perpetual (for the duration of the applicable copyright or other exclusive right) license to:
use the photos and videos;
reproduce them (including the following means of reproduction: printing, reprography, magnetic recording and digital recording);
distribute them (including the offering of this material on the market or the lending of this material for use without remuneration or leasing); and
display and perform (including by public performance, playing, screening, performing playback, broadcasting and retransmitting, as well as making the photos and videos publicly available so that anyone may access them in a place and time chosen by them).
6.2. Participants also allow the British Council to prepare, use, reproduce, distribute, display and perform derivative works of the photos and videos.
6.3. The British Council may sub-license the photos and videos as well as transfer the license to a third party without the prior consent of any of the participants.
6.4. The British Council shall respect the moral rights of the participants by indicating their authorship whenever the photos or videos are communicated to the public, in a way customary for the given type of media. Any other obligations of the British Council are expressly excluded.
6.5. For the avoidance of doubt, the British Council may use any photos or videos submitted to the Competition in a manner consistent with the above license. The British Council is not obliged to publish or distribute in any other form any photos or videos."
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 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. 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. 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 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.
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.
The British Council have said that they "will certainly take advantage of Pro-Imaging's advice when designing competitions in future", and went on to say that for this competition they "will not use the photos longer than for two years" and "discuss further details of cooperation with the final winners". Pro-Imaging welcome these statements from the British Council, but we note too that the rules of this competition as published remain unchanged, and that these statements, while encouraging, are not clear enough to fully comply with the Bill of Rights.
To visit the competition website click the competition title above to submit the free image we have created. Note that the competition link may cease to work at some point after the competition results are announced.
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 you can use the free image 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 on 12 Jun 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 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.