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A Slight Change to The PFRE Photographer of The Month Submittal Process

Published: 06/03/2012
By: larry

It occurred to me recently that the Photographer of the month process needs a couple of improvements to tighten it up and clarify the risks to entrants. There are a couple of issues I'm worried about:

  1. As I say on the contest page, I am purposely not giving items of value away in the contest so that this isn't considered a traditional contest by states and governments around the world that have a wide variety of laws regulating contests. I just can't afford to figure out all the regulations for everywhere people are submitting photos. Not giving stuff away prevents me from having to comply with all the contest rules in the world.
  2. When you post photos on a blog or even flickr, to some extent, you can't  prevent people from taking them. I can do reasonable things to reduce theft but I can't prevent it. Other blogs use the photos in posts, which is legal, but people that are super sensitive about this kind of thing need to understand that  it goes on and I can't control it.

So, after getting some legal advice I need to make these two issues clear to people submitting photos to the competition. Starting immediately I need people submitting photos to copy the blue bold text under #3 under Contest Rules on the contest page and paste it into the body of their email they send to submit a photo. It reads as follows:

I have read, understand and agree to the following terms of the monthly and yearly photo competition: I agree to have my photo posted on and on for the purpose the review and voting and agree to release Larry Lohrman and PFRE Media LLC from any liability resulting from any infringement of the submitted image by any third party. Also, I have no expectation of any benefit by virtue of submitting this image.

It simply says that you agree that:

  1. You are not going to try to sue me if someone else steals your photo and
  2. You understand that you are not getting anything if you win the contest.

I'm also going to move the display of previous competition winners to the flickr group because it's harder to steal photos off flickr than it is off the PFRE blog. When I do posts about the winners or entrants, I'll embed photos from flickr. This will improve the security over how I've been doing it in the past.

11 comments on “A Slight Change to The PFRE Photographer of The Month Submittal Process”

  1. @Amanda- I feel obligated to clarify these issues to competition entrants because they send photos directly to me. When people post photos directly to flickr I think it's very different it's pretty clear that they must conform to flickr's terms of service, not mine.

  2. I understand that, Larry. I just wondered how the individuals submitting for the monthly contest will know to include this statement with the submission (especially if this is the only place it is posted). That's why I suggested having a notice on that particular Flickr group.

  3. "’s harder to steal photos off flickr than it is off the PFRE blog..."

    I am not sure what your thinking is on this. On flickr you can easily download the file in any size including "original" which in this case would be the contest requirement size of 2000 pixels.

  4. @Will- my thinking is that if you right click on photos on my blog you can get a copy of it. On flickr it just takes a few more clicks to do the same thing.

  5. Sad that we have to come to this for friendly contests. Too bad we live in such a litigious society. You could allow us to submit the photographs with our own copyright logo on the bottom right. Someone would have to crop it off in order to get rid of it. People are lazy and sometimes that is enough to stop people from stealing your work.

    Just so everyone is clear they should be editing the exif data to include their copyright information. My camera has Copyright Washington Home Tours in the exif data of every image I shoot. That will travel with the file until someone uses a exif data stripper to remove all of the information. You can do this in bridge or photoshop but it takes a few steps. I know most poeple don't take the effort to remove the exif data though. Doing this will let you keep better track of where you images are being used. I have been able to find my images hosted on other sites through Google images by typing in copyright into I set.

  6. @Robert- Yes, I agree totally. When we set this contest up it was important to the majority to keep it anonymous. It is NOT my decision to not have watermarked images.

    As Amanda above points out the Copyright EXIF data is still left on the flickr images the way I post them so anyone can see the copyright info on flickr if you you know how. I'm inclined to leave it this way so the google search thing still works. I think keeping the copyright info in the EXIF is more important than having the entrants totally anonymous.

  7. Honestly I would think people would want their images to have their name on it... free advertising in my opinion. Lets users just looking at the group know who did what. When you submit your portfolio to be critiqued by a panel they know who you are. I just tend to look at the contest in a similar fashion.

    The EXIF stuff is a pretty big deal. It has helped me get my buisness and images connected better around the web. If poeple reading this have not done this in their camera they should go do it RIGHT NOW!

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