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Photo Contest Terms and Why They Matter

By February 23, 2023No Comments
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By Thomas Maddrey

Recently, a member directed me to the terms of the Analog Sparks Awards (you can read the full terms and conditions here), and asked for my opinion on their fairness and reasonability. After review, I have some serious concerns and questions, and I opted to write this article to hopefully highlight some of these areas, make sure our members and photographers were made aware, and to extend the offer to Analog Sparks to have a further discussion about the rights being asked for in this contest.

Over on the ASMP website, Thomas Maddrey, Chief Legal Officer and Head of National Content & Education, addressed the vexing problem with the terms and conditions of many photo contests. It’s something we at NANPA have followed over the years and you can read previous articles here, here, here, here, here and here. Maddrey dives into the language of the terms and explains the potential consequences of some of the words and phrases that often crop up in contests. As always, caveat emptor. This article, though, will make you much better informed as you decide whether or not to enter a contest.

And remember, NANPA members have full access to content on the ASMP website as a result of the agreement between the two associations earlier this year. Login to ASMP using your NANPA credentials.

NANPA and ASMP will continue to be on the lookout for overly broad language, rights grabs, and other threats to photographers’ intellectual property rights. Through NANPA’s Advocacy Committee and membership in The Copyright Alliance and the Coalition of Visual Artists, NANPA fights for the intellectual property rights of nature photographers. If you encounter an egregious example of copyright overreach, let us know.