Saturday, August 21, 2010

No Contest Part IV - Canadian, Eh?

I don't know if you follow this kind of thing, but occasionally there's a photo contest that's not really a photo contest. Today, my beef is with a Canadian outfit called the Network for Business Sustainability in London, Ontario. Their Communications manager posted a message to one of the LinkedIn forums announcing a Photo Contest...

Photo Contest: "Cool Office Space" $300 prize. No entry fee. Submissions will be considered as they're recieved. Full contest details at Does anyone have a shot of a cool office? My organization, a Canadian non-profit called the Network for Business Sustainability, is looking for a vibrant shot capturing cool office design or an illustration of distinctive corporate culture (e.g. foosball tables in boardrooms). Full details for the contest... click here.

The web site says: "The Network for Business Sustainability must be given full rights to use the photo and any derivative works in all electronic and print materials... this image will be used on the Network’s website and in research reports, brochures, and presentations."

So I wrote back: "Is this a contest or are you looking for a stock photo without paying for a proper license? All rights in all media for $300 Canadian? That doesn't sound like a legitimate contest to me, doesn't look like a decent stock photo use fee, either."

It's a perfect example of social networking gone off the reservation. LinkedIn is supposed to be a business networking site, and their forums a place where professionals can discuss pertinent issues, trends or, simply, network. But this is really unprofessional, a request for a stock photo disguised as a contest. Have they no shame?


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Joe, you missed pointing out the great irony in this: Business Sustainability apparently doesn't apply to stock photography.

Tom H.

4:23 PM  
Blogger chuckcars said...

Good you called them on it. Just goes to show how far some will go to cloak the true objective.

6:47 PM  
Blogger John Fowler said...

I got that pitch too, Joe, and gave it all the attention it deserves. Actually, relatively speaking, that isn't a bad deal compared to most of the "photo contests" I see here in Canada.

11:00 PM  
Blogger Joe P. said...

Except, of course, that it's not a contest. It's a clumsy attempt to defraud naive photographers, professional photographers no less, disguised as a contest.

Contests celebrate the photographs & photographers by exhibiting the work. These guys intend to use the images in their promotional materials across all delivery platforms, print and electronic, and for an unlimited time. Three hundred dollars, Canadian or United States dollars, doesn't even come close to reasonable or customary compensation for that broad a use. It's a disgrace.

1:12 AM  
Blogger Joe P. said...

An update on this post Sunday, Aug.22, 2009 - 12:55 PM CDT: A reply was recieved from the NBS executive.....

"Consider me completely humbled. I apologize for making what I now realize was an inappropriate request. I'll comb the stock photography sites for something in our price range.

And I'll ask the group moderator to remove my post. It was never my intention to insult or under-value your profession.

Again, my apologies to the group."

Okay, they're out of the dog houae.

Joe P

5:59 PM  

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