Tonight my wife dropped the latest edition of the Costco magazine in my lap, opened to a page talking about the Costco International Photo Contest 2009. For some reason she still tells me about ever photo contest she finds even thought I usually don’t have the time nor willingness to participate in them. The willingness part is due to the fact that most Photo Contests are blatant rights grabs for the photos that are submitted. And the 2009 Costco competition appears to be no better.
From the Official Rules listed in the magazine:
10. Entrant confirms and promises that entry is original and does not infringe on the intellectual property rights of any third party. By participating, entrant agrees that ownership of the entry and all intellectual property rights in the entry is assigned to Costco, and will do all things necessary to give effect to that assignment. Entrant agrees to sign any further documentation require by Costco to give effect to this clause.
So first, Costco wants to makes sure that you are not infringing on someone elses rights and then tells you that they will infringe upon yours! How very sad that a corporate entity would take advantage of it’s customers like that.
The Costco photo contents doesn’t pass The Bill of Rights for Photography Competition sniff test.
When I went to the website for the competition, I noticed that the rules listed there are different and seem to be missing this statement, with no reference to the statement ever being there. So which set of rules apply? Typically the ones on the website, but in this case it’s too ambiguous to tell since I’m no lawyer. With all this ambiguity in the rules, there is no way I would participate in this contest nor suggest any photographer participate.