Powerline Systems Limited are based in Borehamwood in Hertfordshire in the United Kingdom. Their business is the provision of computer programming and software services, including website development. They also trade under the name "ukexpert.co.uk"; this is a photo sharing website the members of which are required to share their copyright with ukexpert.co.uk for any content they upload.
This enables Powerline Systems Ltd to exploit the public's creativity at little cost to them and it provides them with a virtually free supply of images. They also have a website at http://www.ps.com, a domain which they are offering for sale at £900,000.00
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.
TERMS AND CONDITIONS (extract)
By submitting images and messages and other material to ukexpert.co.uk you warrant that you are the copyright owner and that you grant ukexpert.co.uk permanent copyright ownership equal to your own for all materials uploaded. This includes a permanent right for ukexpert.co.uk and its associated systems and companies to make use of them in any way they see fit, including but not limited to use in advertising and promotional material. This means you can continue to do as you please with your photos and messages and other materials uploaded but by adding these items to the ukexpert collection/system you are granting ukexpert the right to also do as it pleases with all content submitted to the system. You agree that any material uploaded to the system or created on it, including but not limited to photographs, messages, and user IDs, may be retained as the property of ukexpert.co.uk
This User Agreement may be updated from time to time and you agree to be bound by the current version at all times. One way to check for the latest version is to log out of the system and then use the Register button to view this page. You may of course cease using the system at any time if you wish, this does not of course affect material already uploaded. There is normally no user option to delete or remove photographs, messages, ukexpert user names, or other material from the system once created or uploaded. The system operates on an 'as is' basis and no warranties or guarantees of any sort are given or implied.
Please do enjoy using the system and we hope that you make lots of new friends here, and welcome aboard! - you are joining one of the longest established online communities in the World, well over 2 decades and counting...!
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 require you to share your copyright ownership with ukexpert.co.uk. They can do anything they like with your images and you will not be able to object because the terms and conditions give them carte blanche to use your work as they wish.
The terms and conditions require you, in effect, to waive your moral rights because you are granting ukexpert.co.uk the right to "do as it pleases" with your work. 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. You have also lost your right to be credited as the author of your work.
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. Here's an example of how ukexpert.co.uk credit photos.
The terms and conditions are granting the organiser unlimited use of your work for ever. There is no way for you to rescind this agreement nor any way for you to delete material you have previously submitted to ukexpert.co.uk.
The terms and conditions grant the organiser the right to use your work for any purpose at all, even purposes that you may wish to object to.
This 'photo sharing' web site provides Powerline Systems Ltd with a free source of images for use in their website development or other business interests. For further guidance on your intellectual property rights please read the Bill of Rights for Artists.
In order to fully investigate what this company was doing we registered with ukexpert.co.uk. Shortly afterwards, ukexpert.co.uk, having looked at the credentials we registered with, banned our ip address and we now receive the following on screen message if we attempt to look at their ukexpert.co.uk website -
Sorry. The administrator has banned your IP address. This normally means that someone has attempted to enter this system using false information, and using your IP address or one similar to it.
If you would like to convince us that you are in fact quite normal and should be let in then please use the Contact Us system.
We can assure ukexpert that we are in fact, quite normal. Also, ukexpert.co.uk terms and conditions only require registrants to be aged 18 or over, there is no requirement to be 'normal'. However, we are still able to view the ukexpert.co.uk website via Google cache.
We suspect the problem was that we registered, not with false information, but with a true pro-imaging.co.uk email address. We assume that ukexpert.co.uk did not want a member of Pro-imaging, a professional photographers organisation, to look closely at what they do. We have written to this organisation, provided a link to this report, and urged them to adjust their terms and conditions as set out in the ABoR Principles document.
The company secretary of Powerline Sytems Ltd is Andrew Johnson and the sole director is Mrs Majella Evelyn Manners. The company's address is Calleo House, 49 Theobold Street, Borehamwood, Hertfordshire WD6 4RT, United Kingdom.
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.
Updated on 10/10/2011
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.