The National Railroad Passenger Corporation, doing business as Amtrak, is a government-owned corporation that was organized on May 1, 1971, to provide intercity passenger train service in the United States. "Amtrak" is a portmanteau of the words "America" and "track". It is headquartered at Union Station in Washington, D.C.
All of Amtrak's preferred stock is owned by the U.S. federal government. The members of its board of directors are appointed by the President of the United States and are subject to confirmation by the United States Senate. Common stock was issued in 1971 to railroads that contributed capital and equipment; these shares convey almost no benefits but their current holders declined a 2002 buy-out offer by Amtrak.
Amtrak employs nearly 19,000 people. It operates passenger service on 21,000 miles (34,000 km) of track primarily owned by freight railroads connecting 500 destinations in 46 states and three Canadian provinces. Wikipedia
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
By entering this contest, entrant agrees that if he or she is selected as a prizewinner, he or she will assign all rights to the photograph, including copyright, to Amtrak by executing an assignment agreement and Amtrak will own all rights to the photograph and may use it for any purpose. If a winning photograph includes a recognizable image of an individual, the winner must have that individual sign an Amtrak publicity release form. By entering this contest, entrant further agrees to these Official Rules.
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.
If you are a winner the terms and conditions are claiming your copyright. You will no longer be the owner of your work, legal ownership will be transferred to the organisation. You will not be permitted to use or reproduce your work again without permission from the new owner.
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 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 winner the terms and conditions are granting the organiser unlimited use of your work for ever. For non-winning works a usage time limit of 3 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.
If you are a winner 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.
To complain to the organiser use this contact form.
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 10 June 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.
Pro-Imaging is a worldwide support group for professional photographers
who are pro-active in defending photographers rights.