Contracts, ugh….I miss the days of hand shakes

After reviewing a very cool photo contest (sponsored by a leading camera company and a top producer/director), I was disappointed to see a statement in their rules – one I’ve seen so many times in client contracts and contest rules:

“…grant of permission to Sponsor and its parent companies, affiliates, subsidiaries, promotional partners, contractors, agents, …. to use the entrant’s name, likeness, voice and biographical information, and the Photograph submitted … for purposes of trade, publicity or promotion and any other purpose, in all media and formats whether now known or later developed, throughout the world in perpetuity, without any notice, permission or compensation”.

So they can use your photograph in any way, as many times as they wish, now and in the future, forever and forever (throughout the world in perpetuity) without paying you in any way – well, maybe you’ll get a prize valued worth a few hundred bucks. Unfortunately this personifies some much of art in the past, present, and maybe the future- and that is that others make more money off of the art than the artist does.

All I can say is contracts should be beneficial for both sides. Don’t sign one if you don’t think you are getting a fair shake. I know it’s hard to do, it’s just as tough for me, but I try to cross out as much as I can get away with, use my contracts (which are fair and easy to understand), and educate my clients (and their counsel) about the contracts they are presenting. Stand strong and value your work and others will too.

And btw, these type of contract rules are why I rarely enter a contest.