RSPB Inspiring Nature Calendar Competition 2021

About This Organisation

The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB)

The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) is a registered charity in England and Wales involved in bird species recovery and preservation.

About this Report

traffic-light-stopCompetitions seeking submissions of creative works works such as photos, videos, poems, music, etc. can be reviewed by the Artists' Bill of Rights campaign. The reviews will help you decide if you should participate.

Rights have a value and you are free to decide what that value is. You have lawful rights to grant or refuse any publication permissions requested of you, and to set a fee for a specific use of any image you create. More information about intellectual property rights and their value can be read in our Guide to Rights & Licensing.

RSPB Inspiring Nature Calendar Competition 2021

Closing date: 17 November 2019

Worthy and well-intentioned charities seeking free, perpetual, irrevocable image use, without bound, in addition to requiring entrants to waive their lawful moral rights, is not that uncommon, sadly. Charities must understand that they can achieve most, if not all, of their goals by simply adhering to our principles for fair competitions.

Under the terms found in the RSPB competition, entrants are faced with a conundrum: do they freely give away their lawful rights to exclusively control how and where their work is used, even by third parties and without proper credit, or do they instead donate money directly to support the charity?

Photographic competitions should celebrate and adknowledge
the excellence of the photographers' work and no other purpose.

The specific parts of the RSPB terms that are contrary to our principles for fair compeitions are highlighted below. If you need further clarification, continue reading to learn the ways these terms will affect you and your rights.


An entrant shall retain copyright in their photograph(s) and agrees to grant the RSPB a perpetual, royalty-free, non-exclusive, sub-licensable right and worldwide license to use their photograph(s) as set out in this form and in the competition Terms and Conditions. Entrants agree that the RSPB may reproduce, modify, revise, enhance, adapt, develop, publish, translate, edit, update, move, re-issue, delete or create derivative works from their photograph(s), and may distribute, display and exercise all rights with respect to it, and/or incorporate their photograph in other works, in any media now known (including social media) or later developed, for the full term of any rights that may exist in their photograph(s). [ed: Some of this language is boilerplate but is key to what is granted in the following two paragraphs.]

By submitting an entry, you agree to waive any moral rights contained in your entry. Any entry you provide shall be non-confidential.

By submitting an entry, you agree the RSPB may use the material for any purpose and in any way it chooses, including, but not limited to in communications, presentations, marketing, publicity and advertising, including on social media, at any time now or in the future. We may also make your photograph available on the RSPB Images website We may share your photograph with other organisations we work with on particular projects or events, though how and why they can use them will be restricted. [Ed: those restrictions not published.]


  1. The terms and conditions essentially require you to waive your moral rights. This means you will not be able to object to how, where, or for what purpose your work will be used in the future. Your work could be altered and/or used in a manner you find derogatory or used to promote a product, service or cause you find objectionable. The terms could, arguably, allow your work to be traded/resold to third parties without your permission.

  2. The terms and conditions are granting the organiser unlimited use of any entry forever. 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 forever 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. Usage of your work should be restricted solely to promote 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 then 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.

For further guidance please read the Bill of Rights for Artists, particularly our Bill of Rights Principles.


Swarovski Optik 


Social media is an effective voice! Express your opinion to the organiser and sponsor via social media.  Urge them to adopt the principles set out in the Artists' Bill of Rights.


Swarovski Optik

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The Artists' Bill of Rights campaign depends on your active support!

Your advocacy does make a difference!

About the Artists' Bill of Rights

The Artists' Bill of Rights principles for Creative Competitions

Competitions which meet all the standards set out in the Artists' Bill of Rights principles 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 3 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 Organizer's 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 Artists' Bill of Rights.

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. founded the Artists' Bill of Rights in 2007

Pro-Imaging is a worldwide support group for professional photographers
who are pro-active in defending photographers rights.