Protect Your Copyright

Imagine you entered a competition using an image of your newborn baby, or the best landscape photo you've ever taken, and suddenly found you no longer owned the rights to that image? You'd unwittingly signed them away, simply by entering a photographic competition!

In the extreme, the image of your child could be used in an advertisement for infant formula or nappies without you being consulted or paid. Your lanscape photo could be sold to advertising agencies across the world without you receiving a cent or acknowledgement as the photographer.

Would you give your best photo as a gift to a stranger?

How do you protect yourself and your images when entering competitions?  In short, always read the Terms & Conditions so you understand how the competition organiser may be able to use your images. Key terms to look for include:

"royalty free "
"without further permission"
"without further compensation"

Now this can all be very confusing if you're not trained in the law (and I'm not). For expert information, take a look at the sites below.


Pro Imaging - Rights Grabbing, What Is It?

Article in The Australian newspaper: Negative exposure over rights for photo contest

Arts Law AustraliaLegal Information for Visual Artists

Artists Bill of Rights approved competition list and Competition Notices

For competition organisers: sample Terms & Conditions from the Artists Bill of Rights website

Photo Attorney

Here's what photographers are saying about rights-grabbing competitions:

     Dave Sanger Photography

     Photographers Matt Lutton and M Scott Brauer - dvafoto

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