Saturday, May 29, 2010

Tourism puts copyright in the picture; Sydney Morning Herald, 5/26/10

Michelle Griffin, Sydney Morning Herald; Tourism puts copyright in the picture:

"ARTS law organisations are campaigning against the terms of Tourism Australia's campaign, ''Nothing Like Australia'', claiming the fine print lets the government agency license and sell photographs without paying, crediting or informing creators.

''This is the worst example of any kind of arts competition practice that we've seen,'' says the Arts Law Centre's chief executive, Robyn Ayres.

Tourism Australia originally claimed copyright over all 30,000 personal snaps submitted to its international campaign. The winners (to be announced on June 30) will get travel vouchers ($25,000 and $5000).

After complaints from the Arts Law Centre, the National Association for the Visual Arts and the Australian Copyright Council, conditions were amended to allow entrants to make (and perhaps to sell) copies of their own images.

But in a letter sent to the three arts organisations last week, Tourism Australia said it still required perpetual rights to use and license the images to ''approved co-operative partners such as state tourism organisations and industry partners''.

It also retained a clause requiring entrants to waive moral rights, such as attribution, arguing it wouldn't be ''feasible'' to guarantee photo credits.

Tourism Australia declined to comment, but has said it won't use the photos as an image database.

Entrant Cathy Raeburn, of Jamieson, Victoria, is unhappy that her photo of two girls cuddling wombats at her wildlife refuge might be sold.

''I don't think I'd like that, if they were selling it,'' she said. ''I only put the photo in to show we've got more animals than just kangaroos. I didn't think to look at the copyright when I entered.''"

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