Thank you for your prompt response. I think you missed the point of my letter completely – I realise this competition is not aimed at professional photographers but rather amateurs who have a passion for capturing images of the city they love. My point was that the terms and conditions you are imposing upon these entrants can at best be described as exploitative, worst plain theft.
It is admirable that your department wishes to prompt photography in this city through the use of a competition but remember all creative arts (regardless of who is the artist) have a price. If you wish to use a winning picture for a subsequent advertising/promotional campaign – please pay the artist the going rate! This competition is being construed by many as a cynical attempt by your department to get ‘images on the cheap’. If this is the case, and you want to pay peanuts, I suggest you buy some disposable cameras and ask the chimps at Dudley to help you out in your marketing endeavours.
So please rethink this one, especially if you want the creative talent of this city to support you in your much lauded ‘Creative City ‘ project.
On 02/11/2011 17:11, "Forward@birmingham.gov.uk" <Forward@birmingham.gov.uk> wrote:
Many thanks for you email which detailed your concerns about the ‘Send us your photos of Brum’ feature in the latest issue of Forward.
The feature is aimed at amateur photographers and local residents who live and work in the city. It is not a feature aimed at professional photographers who make a living from selling their images. There are no plans to use the photos in any other publication and would not be used for any commercial ventures. The photos will be included for limited use in Forward and on Birmingham City Council’s website as part of the publication.
This initiative is designed to engage with local people and not to seek copyright ownership of people’s personal photos. However, we accept that this may not be clear and we will revisit the wording of the terms and conditions to clarify this.
If anyone contacts the Forward publications team – whether external or internal to the council – to ask to use any of the photos that are published, contact would be made with the photographer first to ask their permission – as is Forward's current practice.
Many thanks again for bringing this to our attention. If you have any other comments or suggestions, please don’t hesitate to keep in touch.
Forward editorial team
Re: Photography Competition - Autumn 2011
Last night I was forwarded a link to your photography competition by a
fellow Birmingham photographer. Upon reading your terms and conditions for the competition, I was truly shocked and appalled.
Given that Birmingham City Council is at present trying to promote this
wonderful city as a creative hub for designers and image makers, this
unwarranted and shameful act of rights grabbing should be condemned.
Professional image makers in this city have been hit harder than most by the recession and have had to fight relentless to protect their intellectual property rights from the unscrupulous who constantly seek to steal and abuse our creative endeavours either through the web or various print outlets but for the Council to seemingly endorse this, it is hard to bear.
If the images are to be used in commercial context, then please pay the
going rate! regardless of whether the image is produced by a commercial or amateur image maker. If you need guidance upon the rate to pay, please ask BAPLA for assistance, they would be delighted to help.
I can only presume this is a misunderstanding upon your part as I cannot
image that you would advocate theft of goods from a local corner shop or
your a department store in the Bull Ring. This is the same thing - please give us image makers the respect we deserve (we are the largest creativeindustry in the West Midlands - 9500 employed in the photo industries Skillset figure 2011).
I look forward to hearing from you in due course, however needless to say I shall be forwarding this letter to various trade journals and professional organisations for their comments.