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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 (updated link)
Original Terms (see updated terms below)
c) Entries are not returnable. They, and the copyright for them, become the permanent property of the Promoter and entrants agree to execute such further documents, and do any act that may be necessary or desirable, to ensure ownership of such copyright vests in the Promoter.
Updated Terms from original
c) The winner of the competition hereby agrees to grant to the Promoter a perpetual, exclusive, royalty free, sub- licensable licence to use the winning entry for any purposes required by the Promoter anywhere in the world. This use may include, but is not limited to, online, exhibition or the Promoter’s social media sites. The winner of the competition also agrees to execute such further documents, and do any act that may be necessary or desirable to ensure that such a licence is granted to the Promoter.
HOW THESE TERMS AND CONDITIONS WILL AFFECT YOU
(Updated 30 August, 2016)
The terms and conditions were claiming copyright for ALL entries (item "c" above). They have since been modified to state that only the winning entry will need to grant "exclusive, perpetual, royalty free sub- licensable license to use the entry for any purpurses…anywhere in the world." There is no mention as to what rights are sought, if any, for the all other entries, but thankfully they are not subject to losing their copyright to RBS, as previously required. (Note: those who entered under the original terms may have lost their copyright.)
The winning entry, however, is essentially granting copyright to RBS. "Exclusive, perpetual, royalty free, sub- licensable" means the winner cannot use the image anywhere else for any purpose. RBS has exclusive and perpetual rights to do what it wants, anytime. In other words, the terms for the winning entry are essentially seeking copyright, except in name.
Never grant an organizer copyright or exclusive, perpetual use. In this instance, RBS is paying the winner £1,500 to use the winning work in a large display banner, and for any other use it wishes, forever. The banner, however, will only have a life of months, maybe a year.
The proper and professional approach would be for RBS to specify the time period they need to display the winning image and offer a reasonable usage fee for their intented exclusive use, considering the size, location, and length of usage time, but for that period only. This releases the entrant to use the image as he/she wishes after that period of time has elapsed. Please note that "exclusive" usage fees are quite high; "exclusive and perpetual" fees are considerably higher, essentially a "buyout" fee.
To contact to the organiser and urge them to adopt the principles set out in the Artists' Bill of Rights, use their Community Forum or let them know your feelings on their Facebook page or Twitter @RBS.
The Artists' Bill of Rights campaign depends on your active support, your help will make a difference.
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.