Saturday, September 10, 2011

State Sanctioned Photo Grab

So NJDEP is running a photo contest for the Green Acres Program, I thought of entering a photo or two into the Macro Competition until I read this. It is a very interesting read.
From their own online PDF (entire text in link posted below)
Use of Photos:  The winning photos, as well as other photos entered for competition, may be used extensively by the Green Acres Program on state government web sites, publications, reports, exhibits and as slides for public presentations.  Credit will be given whenever possible.  All entrants grant the Green Acres Program the rights of ownership and the right to use, reproduce, publish, edit, modify, distribute, display, copyright, assign their photographs and name for any purpose whatsoever without payment of any compensation or further permission. By entering the contest, each entrant waives any and all rights he or she may have to the photograph. To the extent any entrant has any rights in a photograph, the entrant assigns all such rights to the Green Acres Program by entering the Photo Contest. Entrant grants to Green Acres Program the irrevocable, perpetual, worldwide non-exclusive license to reproduce, distribute, display, and create derivative works of the entry. 
Did you read that, credit not copyright will be given. When one adds the granting of rights of ownership & the waiver of the photographers rights, it equals one thing, "A Photo Grab". Now this may just be a honest & innocent mistake on their part or the Lawyer who drew up the rules might have no knowledge of Copyright Law. Which is pretty sad, seeing that the state is required to enforce such laws. Only the last sentence gives any hope that the document was not well written or proofed properly. If this was a photo hosting web site or a corporation the Attorney General would be all over someone.

Oh, and this little warning.
CAUTION: Any attempt by an entrant to deliberately damage any web site or undermine the operation of the promotion may be a violation of criminal and civil laws and should such an attempt be made, the Green Acres Program reserves the right to seek damages from any such person to the fullest extent permitted by law. 
Would me posting this if I entered the contest, make me a criminal? If enough people read this and decided not to post photos to this contest would that undermine the operation of promotion. Also I wish they would post the actual law within the caution, so one can know what they are going to be charged with.
Here is the post to the rules. You can decide for yourself if its a scam.
I will be sending an email to the program for rule clarity, will keep you updated.


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