Sometimes it works.

Yes. If enough people protest they can have an effect.

At the end of last month I wrote about a 'rights-grabbing' photographic competition being run by a UK charity, The National Trust. See here.

There was a storm of protest from photographers big and small, amateur and professional. One renowned UK photographer, Simon Norfolk, even pulled out of a major project with the National Trust in disgust. (See here.)

And what happened?

The National Trust changed the terms.

Before, they read:

"If you submit any material to us, you agree to grant The National Trust a perpetual, royalty-free, worldwide, non-exclusive licence to use your contribution in all media. This includes the right to copy, edit, publish, grant sub-licences and exercise all other copyright and publicity rights over the material."

This means that, just by entering the competition you give all rights to your photograph to The National Trust to use as it wishes, and even sell on without any further reference to you.

Now the terms have been amended to read:

"Entrants will retain copyright and moral rights in their submitted images however, by entering, all entrants grant the National Trust in Northern Ireland, non-exclusive rights to use the images to promote the competition the images were submitted to, to use in regional publications and advertising campaigns, or for similar future use within a five year period of the winners being announced for the competition that the images concerned were submitted to.

The National Trust in Northern Ireland will contact image owners before using any images, to seek permission where it is deemed necessary for any other use. We will not use any images without the owners consent."

Not perfect as they still take certain rights to all entries. But a whole lot better.

So, enough people making enough noise can make a difference.

If you see a photo competition that takes 'all rights' to 'all entries', don't enter. Submit the image I gave in my previous post, instead. Let Copyright Action know, too. And spread the word elsewhere. Tell me, too, and I'll post on here.

It's time big companies stopped taking photographers for a ride.

No comments: