Tag Archives: copyright

ABC and Organic Gardener, trying it on…

This week I received a “deed of copyright” from the Australian Broadcasting Commission’s Organic Gardener, a publication I have on a few occasions contributed to. I was at first puzzled as it is nearly two years since I’ve had anything published in that fine magazine. Now, I’m all for contracts when it comes to publishing, but this particular deed I was being asked to sign, wanted me to grant them a fixed re-use price for my photographs of $20 per use, plus the use of my work “on any website owned or controlled by the ABC…for an unlimited time gratis”.

The specific clauses in the ABC Copyright Licence Deed

Normally I would just ignore a rights grab like that, but in this case I felt compelled to respond. I wrote to the ABC as follows:

Thursday, 22 September 2011

 Dear Ms White,

 I am puzzled by the request to sign a deed of copyright related to my material previously published in Organic Gardener.

 While I respect the need for contracts within publishing, I will not sign overarching deeds of copyright related to material already published, that gives the ABC retrospective re-use rights at rates so low.

 Organic Gardener is entirely free to re-use my material whenever they choose, at a rate negotiated with me at the time. I am sure your experience is the same as mine, but I have yet to encounter any supplier of goods or services that will allow me to decide what I want to pay. As the author and licensee of my photographs, it is my prerogative to decide the rates they are offered at. If you disagree with what I ask, it is your right to say negotiate or say no.

 I have forwarded copies of your deed of copyright to the Media Entertainment and Arts Alliance and the Australian Commercial and Media Photographers.

 Yours sincerely,

I’ll let you know if there is any follow-up….

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Filed under Australia, Australian, Digital photography, News, Opinion, Photographer, Photographers' rights, Rob Walls, Stock photography

Tourism Australia backs down on rights grab

Due to pressure applied from all directions, it looks like Tourism Australia have had second thoughts about their photo competition copyright grab. A half hour ago this email arrived in my inbox.

G’Day Rob

We wanted to let you know that we’ve made a couple of changes to the terms and conditions of this competition. But don’t worry! We’ve actually made them better. A few other entrants have asked whether or not the terms and conditions were a bit conservative and would prevent you from being able to share, sell or reproduce your photos that you had uploaded to our site.

We thought that was a fair question, so we had another look at the terms and conditions and we’ve made a couple of changes. Those changes mean that when you entered this competition, and agreed to the terms and conditions, you have now only granted us a license to use your photo and words to promote Australia as a holiday destination both here and overseas. But you still retain your own rights over your image and words.

Thanks so much for getting involved in this great campaign to promote our country. We really appreciate it.

Kind regards

The Tourism Australia Team

However, as Gavin Blue, president of the ACMP points out, Tourism Australia could have done more in terms of regaining ground lost through ill-will, in changing the terms and conditions. As he rightly points out, “these agressive conditions remain”.

1. By entering the Promotion, Eligible Entrants grant Tourism Australia a non-exclusive, perpetual, irrevocable, worldwide, royalty-free, transferrable licence to use, reproduce, publish, modify, adapt, distribute, store, run, display, creative derivative works from, cause to be seen or heard and communicate to the public the entry (or including the photograph and text that forms part of the entry) in all media.

12. By entering the Promotion, Eligible Entrants acknowledge that their entry may be used by the Promoter, the Promoter’s related entities, agencies engaged by the Promoter, or any other third party nominated by the Promoter, for the Promoter’s current and future promotional and marketing purposes without further reference or compensation to them.  Eligible Entrants unconditionally and irrevocably:

(a)   consent to any act or omission that would otherwise infringe any of their moral rights in their entry (as defined in Part IX of the Copyright Act 1968 (Cth)) and present and future rights of a similar nature conferred by statute anywhere in the world whether occurring before or after this consent is given (Moral Rights); and

(b)   waive all Moral Rights in their entry that arise outside Australia.

As Blue states at the end of his comment on Crikey.com:

“C’mon Tourism Australia, turn this into a big win for the campaign and really listen.”


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Filed under Australian, documentary photography, Photographers' rights, Photography, travel

Copyright! Where the bloody hell are ya?

Tourism Australia in photo copyright rights grab

In lock-step conformity with all the other intellectual property bandits around the world, Tourism Australia makes the by now, traditional rights grab in conjunction with their new “There’s Nothing Like Australia” photography competition.

(From the terms and conditions of entry)

11. By entering the Promotion, Eligible Entrants absolutely and unconditionally assign (and agree to use their best endeavours to procure any relevant third parties to absolutely and unconditionally assign) to the Promoter all right, title and interest in all intellectual property rights in their entry, including ownership of intellectual property rights in any photograph that forms part of an entry.

12. By entering the Promotion, Eligible Entrants acknowledge that their entry may be used by the Promoter, the Promoter’s related entities, agencies engaged by the Promoter, or any other third party nominated by the Promoter, for the Promoter’s current and future promotional and marketing purposes without further reference or compensation to them.  Eligible Entrants unconditionally and irrevocably:

(a) consent to any act or omission that would otherwise infringe any of their moral rights in their entry (as defined in Part IX of the Copyright Act 1968 (Cth)) and present and future rights of a similar nature conferred by statute anywhere in the world whether occurring before or after this consent is given (Moral Rights); and
(b) waive all Moral Rights in their entry that arise outside Australia.

Why someone doesn’t warn them about the amount of ill-will and bad PR this will generate in the photographic community, before the terms and conditions are published, astonishes me. In order for them to have unlimited use of a picture, there is absolutely no need for them to grab the copyright. Ownership and use of a picture can be sliced and diced in any number of ways without them wresting ownership from the author. Wake up Tourism Australia! Sense of fairplay? Where the bloody hell are ya?

UPDATE: If you wish to express your opinion of the Terms and Conditions of this competition you can do so by going to: http://nothinglikeaustralia.com

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Filed under Australian, Digital photography, News, Opinion, Photographers' rights, Photography, travel