Wednesday, July 30, 2008

PDN/Billboard Photo Contest - Fair Terms

We were critical of PDN for their recent contest terms (No Confidence Vote for the PDN/NGS Contest, 1/28/08), which were explained away as just boilerplate text that someone wrote, and weren't thinking, and which they fixed. Well, thankfully, the attention that those terms recieved ensured that this contest they have ongoing now (and one can only hope - future contests), will have better terms for the submitting photographers that are much more inline with what they actually need.

Here are the terms:
(Continued after the Jump)

By participating, ALL ENTRANTS grant Sponsors and their designees, licensees and affiliates (the "Authorized Parties") a non-exclusive, worldwide license, through December 31, 2008, to post the entries online so that viewers may view all competing entries. In addition, each WINNER grants to the Authorized Parties a license for use of his/her winning entry in connection with The Summer Music Moment Photo Contest and promotion of The Summer Music Moment Photo Contest, in any media now or hereafter known, including but not limited to: publication in PDN and/or Billboard magazines showcasing the winners; The Summer Music Moment Photo Contest live gallery; the Summer Music Moment Photo Contest Web site ( and on and; and in exhibits and promotions related to the Summer Music Moment Photo Contest. The license is a non-exclusive, worldwide, 24 months (beginning the date winners are notified) license to reproduce, distribute, display and create derivative works of the entries. Authorized Parties will not be required to pay any additional consideration or seek any additional approval in connection with such use.
Now that's a reasonable request. Thank you to PDN and Billboard for being responsive to the concerns outlined by others (and here) about a photo-centric publication having terms that are fair to photographers!

Here's the one challenge, and it's not PDN or Billboard's fault - it's a fact of life, and the rights of those being photographed. The contest (appropriately so) requires photographers to have releases from the subjects in the photos. So, good luck submitting the images you made covering Van Halen's reunion tour, or any other major act. I've heard it can be done, but it's a major hurdle that you'll have to surmount. Here's the language:
If the photograph contains any material or elements that are not owned by the entrant and/or which are subject to the rights of third parties, and/or if any persons appear in the photograph, the entrant is responsible for obtaining, prior to submission of the photograph, any and all releases and consents necessary to permit the exhibition and use of the photograph in the manner set forth in these Official Rules without additional compensation. If any persons appearing in any photograph is a minor in their state/province/territory of residence the signature of a parent or legal guardian is required on each release.
That means that you'll have to talk to Billy Rae Cyrus if you have photos from Miley's concert you're looking to submit, since she's a minor.

Folks, this is a commercial use by PDN/Billboard, and appropriately so, releases have to be in hand for their use. Good luck entrants. For more details on the contest, check out: Summer Music Moment - About the Contest.

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