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Canon comp: rights grab or cock up ?

Canon stands accused of rights-grabbing terms in a competition promoted by the Independent and Independent on Sunday.

Canon stands accused of rights-grabbing terms in a competition promoted by the Independent and Independent on Sunday.

In the competition terms, the camera manufacturer – who told EPUK last October that they “will always support fair terms and conditions for photographers” – has stated that both it and the Independent titles “will be entitled to use or reproduce winning entries for such purposes as they so choose without compensation”.

This would give Canon and the Independent titles a licence far beyond the usual “free use to promote the competition”.

While this will restrict Canon to using just the three winning images, it may raise suspicions that Canon may be looking to looking to furnish imagery for a worldwide advertising campaign for the cost of three £400 cameras.

Canon’s past history regarding rights grabs is somewhat mixed. When industry competitor Nikon became embroiled in the controversial Opodo photography competition, a Canon spokesperson told EPUK “Canon treats photographers and their copyright with the greatest of respect, and would never ask them to agree to such terms as part of a competition”

But less than a month later, Canon agreed to back the Guardian Weekend competition, where the terms states that all entrants hand over copyright to the Guardian as a condition of entry.

However Canon, who admitted at the time that they hadn’t read the competition terms before agreeing to back it, are understood to have put considerable pressure on the Guardian to change the rights grabbing terms when the newspaper initially refused to amend them. Canon are no longer the sponsors of the competition.

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