Royalty Free images from competitions...

How many of you have submitted an image to a competition in a magazine or on a website? Have you ever read the small print? In essence they tend to say that they can do what they want with your image once you've submitted it and that you won't get paid anything for it. A lot of those images then end up in general collections as royalty free images.

The digital era has seen an enormous increase in the numbers of photographers on the planet (most of them shooting on auto settings) and every now and then someone just happens to be in the right place at the right time to come up with a cracking shot. There is a lot of luck in phototgraphy, any professional that says otherwise is probably capable of rolling down huge hills at high speeds on account of having his head stuck up his jacksy, so if you're an amateur that gets that cracking shot - I say good luck to you and I hope you earn something from it. BUT, I'd ask you to NOT enter any magazine or website competitions that use your images to build royalty free collections because it's killing off trade for a lot of professional photographers. Instead, read the terms and conditions of the competition - the credible competitions always state that the copyright will remain with the photographer and that the submitted images will only be used in connection with publicity etc pertaining to that competition.

Here's a list of some companies that will do what they want with your images:


Note (from a BBC website): By submitting a design and your name to the BBC, you grant the BBC a perpetual, royalty-free licence to use, reproduce, modify, publish, distribute, and otherwise exercise all copyright and publicity rights with respect to that photo at its sole discretion, including storing it on the BBC's servers and incorporating it in other works in any media now known or later developed including without limitation published books. If you do not wish to grant the BBC these rights, it is suggested that you do not submit a photo to this website.

British Airways Highlife magazine are running a competition but state:

Copyright clearance and permission of subjects are the responsibility of the entrant.

British Airways and Cedar Communications reserve the rights for future use of the images. (note that they don't state what that usage will be or whether you'll be paid in any way for the use of your image)

Now for a couple of positive examples:

Burrard Lucas Photography had this competition running and were very clear and fair about how an entrants images would be treated.

•You must be the photographer and owner of the copyright for any image entered.
•You will retain copyright of your entries at all times and will always be credited alongside your picture.
•By entering this competition, you grant us a non-exclusive licence to display your photograph in connection with this contest. This may include syndication of the 12 winning photographs by the media (but only in connection with this contest). Winners will always be informed if their photographs are syndicated and will always be credited next to their image.
•Under no-circumstance will we use submitted images for commercial gain unless it has been agreed on a case by case basis with the photographer.

Amateur Photographer are currently running this competition. They had this to say on their terms and conditions:

7.Copyright of all entries remains with the photographer but Amateur Photographer and Old Pulteney reserve the right to use entries, without payment to promote the competition.
8.By entering this competition you agree to participate in any publicity that the “Wish Your Were Here” competition may generate.

so please think before entering any competitions...READ THE SMALL PRINT?



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