Microsoft Corporation, USA

About This Organisation

Microsoft Corporation

About this Organisation

Microsoft Corporation is an American public multinational corporation headquartered in Redmond, Washington, USA that develops, manufactures, licenses, and supports a wide range of products and services predominantly related to computing through its various product divisions. Established on April 4, 1975 to develop and sell BASIC interpreters for the Altair 8800, Microsoft entered the home computer operating system market with MS-DOS in the mid-1980s, followed by the Microsoft Windows line of operating systems.

Primarily in the 1990s, critics contend Microsoft used monopolistic business practices and anti-competitive strategies including refusal to deal and tying, put unreasonable restrictions in the use of its software, and used misrepresentative marketing tactics; both the U.S. Department of Justice and European Commission found the company in violation of antitrust laws. CC Wikipedia

About this Report

traffic-light-stopCompetitions 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.

About Their Competitions/Appeals

How this Organisation's Competitions or Appeals are Listed

How to Use this Tab

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.

Your Britain - Bing Homepage Photo Competition; closing date 15 July 2011

Bing Home Page Photo Competition

TERMS AND CONDITIONS

The UK Association of Photographers and Pro-Imaging jointly wrote to Microsoft raising concerns about the terms and conditions of the above indicating where they deviated from the principles set out in the Artists Bill of Rights. Amongst the issues we specifically raised concerns about were entrants being required to waive their moral rights.

We also invited Microsoft to support the Artists Bill of Rights in promotions seeking creative content.  The first response received was from Peter Devery, Microsoft's Press contact for Europe, Middle East and Africa. He indicated that he had passed our email onto Microsoft's legal people . Next we received an email from Microsoft's Senior Attorney for UK Legal & Corporate Affairs. She said that changes were being made by the Bing team, and that we would receive a full response from her shortly. No such response was ever received nor any subsequent email was ever received to confirm that changes had in fact been made.

However, changes were made by Microsoft to the T&Cs (on 18 July) as shown below (in italics); text highlighted in red was deleted by Microsoft from the original T&C's and text highlighted in blue was added.

All entrants to the Competition:

• grant us an irrevocable, royalty-free, worldwide, perpetual right and license to: (i) use, reproduce, publish, modify, perform and display the Entry and all its content in connection with the promotion of this Competition by all means and in all media (now known or later developed) including without limitation on the UK www.bing.com webpage or any replacement or successor to such web page, any sub domains, any international, non-UK versions of www.bing.com, and in any marketing or advertising of any kind related thereto; (ii) use the image in future campaigns, promotions, screensaver and wallpaper packs whether related to this Competition or not;

• agree to sign any necessary documentation that may be required for us and our designees to make use of the rights you grant above;

hereby irrevocably and unconditionally waive in perpetuity the benefit of any provision of law known as moral rights, the benefits of any provision of law known as "droit moral" or any similar law in any country of the universe with regard to your Entry agree that Microsoft and its licensees may edit, crop, manipulate, blend, morph, cut-out, and collage the Entry as necessary or desirable;

agree that the Entry may be modified, altered, cropped and combined with other content such as images, video, audio, text and graphics, without my prior review or approval.

• understand that you will not receive any compensation or credit for use of your Entry, other than as described in these Terms and Conditions.

Note in particular that Microsoft removed the words requiring entrants to waive their moral rights and replaced them with words which in essence achieved the same purpose.

We wrote to Microsoft following receipt of the email from their legal representative and repeated our invitation to Microsoft to become an Artists' Bill of Rights Supporter.  They never responded to that invitation.

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.

  1. The terms and conditions require you to, in effect, waive your moral rights. This means you will not be able to object to how your work is used in future, such as it being altered in a manner you may find derogatory, or if it is used to promote a product or cause you find objectionable.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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 with the sole purpose of promoting a recurring competition or appeal.

  5. 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.

SPONSORS

None listed

CONTACT

To complain to the organiser use this email address This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it - Peter Devery is Microsoft's Press Contact for Europe, Middle East and Africa.

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. 

The Bill of Rights campaign depends on your active support, your help will make a difference.

Updated on 21 August 2011

Bing Summer Travel Photo Contest; closing date 16 July 2009

Bing Summer Travel Photo Contest

TERMS AND CONDITIONS

NB. Bing is a Microsoft Search Engine and is being promoted via this contest hosted on Facebook.

By submitting your photograph you grant Microsoft Corporation and its affiliates (collectively, "Microsoft") an unlimited, irrevocable, worldwide, royalty-free, perpetual, nonexclusive right and license to use, reproduce, publish, modify, perform and display the image on the bing.com webpage or any replacement or successor to such web page, and in any marketing or advertising of any kind related thereto, in any medium now known or later developed.

Microsoft will not pay you any compensation for your photograph or any use we may make of it.

Microsoft is not obligated to use your photograph and we may not notify you if we do not use it.

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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

SPONSORS

None listed

CONTACT

To complain to the organiser use this email address This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ; Waggener Edstrom Worldwide (WE) is a large privately owned communications agency, best known as the long-standing public relations firm for Microsoft.

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 2nd July 2009

Failing the Bill of Rights

The Bill of Rights Standards for Creative Competitions

Competitions which meet all the standards set out in the Bill of Rights For Artists do not do any of the following -

  • claim copyright
  • claim exclusive use
  • seek waiving of moral rights
  • fail to give a credit for all free usage
  • add, alter, or remove metadata from submissions
  • seek usage rights other than for promoting the contest and no other purpose. Note that a book, posters, cards, or a calendar are seen as legitimate ways of promoting the contest and defraying costs
  • seek free usage rights in excess of 5 years
  • use the submissions commercially without the entrant's agreement, and such commercial usage is to be subject to a freely negotiated license independently of the competition.
  • make it a condition of winning that an entrant must sign a commercial usage agreement
  • fail to publish all documents on the competition website that an entrant may have to sign
  • fail to name the judges for this or last year's competition
  • fail to explicitly state all the organisations who will acquire rights to the submissions
  • set a closing date more than 18 months after the contest launch date
  • fail to make clear statements of rights claimed and how submissions are used.

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

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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.