Photo competition rights grabs - where the organisers make the transfer of some or all licensing rights a pre-condition of entry - are nothing new. But this travel photography competition elevates the practice to an art form.
The hook - a million dollar prize for the winning photo - is certainly impressive. But wait - what's this in the small print? The prize will only be paid out when the five millionth entry has been received. Hmm. One of the biggest online photo libraries in the world took around five years to get to that point, and that's with many of its contributors submitting hundreds or even thousands of images.
There's more. Aspiring dollar millionaires will have to pay to submit their entries - up to a pound (that's two dollars) per image. So, assuming the five millionth entry is ever reached, the organisers will have trousered nearly five million quid. Puts the prize money in some perspective.
Oh yeah, there's also something in the terms and conditions about granting the organisers 'a non-exclusive, irrevocable, perpetual, worldwide, sub-licensable, assignable, royalty-free right and license to use, store, display, publish, transmit, transfer, distribute, reproduce, create derivative works of or otherwise commercially exploit any photograph submitted by you'. It's standard rights grab stuff. The photographer keeps the copyright, but the organisers can do whatever they like with competition entries. Which the photographer paid to enter, don't forget.
More informed comment can be found here.
The whole thing is genius, and I take my hat off to the organisers for sheer bravura. You, of course, are perfectly entitled to draw your own conclusions.