(you) Perfect. I feel like after this thread is over it shoud be moved to M&A and stickied in case anyone else wanted to get learned in all the legalities regarding photography, regardless of if I look like an ass.
Which by the way wasn't just me being an ass, but more of a calculated move. I understand perfectly well how to act professional and polite and all of that. But if it takes me making smart ass comments to get the answers for questions I asked multiple times, then so be it. I don't put much value into message boards and maintaining an internet persona, if any of you knew me you'd probably chuckle.
(me) Yeah I mean I'm glad that we can help assist with this type of a thing. This information isn't hidden though, and people getting into photography seriously really should educate themselves on the legal sides of what you're doing. I mean when we were running Newschoolers as a tiny business, we had to educated ourselves on the internet laws. Please, no matter what you do in life, don't be ignorant of the laws, rules, and industry that surrounds it. People have been doing this shit a long time before us newschool skiers came about, so there's lots of good resources to look towards.
Calculated move? Come on man, though it was calculated to try and get this information, in no way did you have to interject so much attacking negativity into your posts. I'm a reasonable guy, and you have dudes like DB here jumping in to help clarify as well. You could easily have posed this question without hostility.
Hell the reason that people complain about internet forums is because of hostility like you did in your post. Just remember, hostility does not draw out good responses in general. I decided to give you a pass on your hostility, and simply answer a question that needed to be answered. I would be more than happy to answer this question if posed in a friendly manner as well. Look at my track record, I'm always here to help.
(you)As far as NS actually backing AM's and AM photographers, thats awesome if what you say is true, but Ive never noticed it, and to your defense I've also never actively looked. Maybe NS is the exception, but if you submit to most sporting magazine's, it will be completely disregarded unless the rider is a known name.
(me)Here's a good example from your home region - http://newschoolers.com/ns/content/readnews/id/1448/
Also look at this side of it... if without a site like Newschoolers all am photographers would be doing with their photos is sending them to magazines to be ignored... then there is merit to at least being able to build a name for yourself through posting photos on here.
Newschoolers is a place for ams to show their work, whether athletes, journalists, photographers, videographers... etc.
(you) Well thanks Doug for actually answering, but it still irks me that the only way for photographers to protect themselves is to not release any of their best shots. It seems like through legalities, it makes it extremely tough for an AM photographer to make it anywhere. You wouldnt ask a highschool basketball star to take it down a notch so that they can get a scholarship or make it to the NBA, but thats exactly what is asked of photographers.
(me) Hmmmm.... College athletes? I mean don't they either have to get a scholarship or PAY to go to college? Don't people take internships at companies like Conde Nast if they want to be serious journalists? Hell I volunteered as a digger at High North for three years in order to become head digger. Skiers? Do they get paid to go to contests while trying to make it to the big leagues?
Sadly life is FULL of times when you have to take a few hits to make it to the next level. If it was so easy to go from a highschool kid thinking about getting into photography right to the senior photo editor at the New York times, don't you think everyone would do it?
The main issue with stuff like this is its SO easy to get into photography these days, and there's a thousand kids out there who got a fancy camera for Christmas and call themselves a photographer. When websites like us or magazines have such a flood of talent, its important to look at ways to sift through this. Believe me - we get a lot of people contacting us pretending to be a professional photographer... same with the mags. Lots of am shots don't get chosen because they are... well... amateur.
Now, I'm going to go to Dan's post because he's making some fantastic points on this issue.
(Dan)I think it comes right back around to the issue of granting a license and having the possibility that the photographer would not be compensated accordingly. BTeam mentioned, and rightfully so, that in adhering to the Terms & Services, you could then take that photo and use it for whatever end means to which Doug countered that included within the language was the right to remove the content whenever the photographer wanted. Yeah, it'd be super shady for Doug to take photos submitted for this and make an ad banner out of them for say, Salomon or Windells. The photographer would have every right to be pissed. Do I think Doug would do this? Absolutely not. I know him on both a professional & personal level and have had no problems working with him and Newschoolers.
(Doug) I can also add to this fact that the part that says the photo rights can be revoked at any time means it is thusly revoked from absolutely anywhere it exists - no matter if I have given it to someone else or sold it to Wired magazine for a million dollars. YOU THE PHOTOGRAPHER are protected by this legal language. Lets even say I was a totally shady bastard, and ski magazine came up to me and was like "I'll pay NS $1,000 for that winning photo." and I'm all "Fuck yeah for sure man no worries." THEN, I just simply sell it to them and don't pay you anything. I have the rights to your photo afterall.
However, as the language in your contract, you send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org all "Hey man... I saw my photo in Ski magazine. I revoke your rights to that photo. Those rights are then systematically revoked from Ski Magazine. Since the photo is already published in print, we would have to come to an arrangement - I could offer to pay you $750 (Less a $250 brokerage fee for NS because your photo never would have made it there without us) and you could choose to accept that deal. We would develop a wicked working relationship and be off to a long and fruitful partnership. You could also say "I demand $2k or I revoke the rights" to which I either pay you or revoke the rights... which I can't so I'd have to pay you. Of course, if you were this much of a dick you'd lose chances of getting to work with us again.
So your rights are protected. You transfer the rights temporarily to us when it goes on the site, but in the end you still own the final rights. Remember to read both sides of that language, not just the part that says your granting rights. Since you can revoke them and it is a non-exclusive relationship you still own the master rights to the photo... you have just granted us rights to use it for as long as you see fit.
(Dan) To a lot of aspiring photographers looking to make a name for themselves, this seems like an enticing contest, and maybe it is...perhaps Joe Smith uploads a photo of his buddy in the park and the creative director at that resort will see it and want to use it and the two would work out a rate for the use of the photo. So now Joe's made some money on an image that would more than likely just sit on his harddrive or in his facebook album.
Or maybe it won't.
(Doug) Yeah that is definitely both sides of it. However remember that submitting to magazines also has a downside... which is that your photos just get constantly thrown in the trash. Especially for a budding amateur with less than pro equipment and very little experience. The chances of simply having your photos never go anywhere is the flip side of maybe getting paid a few hundred bucks for one of them.
On here, though your chances of getting paid in a contest are low (you get prizes instead of money most of the time) but your chances for exposure are high. Look at a guy like Tom Wallisch. One time he was just some kid posting edits on Newschoolers for fun. His entire career was built off of getting popular on here and then getting noticed in the industry.
(Dan) Most working photographers will be irked by this contest & others like it (WME Heli Photo Contest) because it could be conceived as a devaluation of their own work...it gets down to the point, why would companies pay for work when they get it for free. This is what I believe Pippin was making in his posts, "Hard to ignore that such variance in pricing occurs because people often don't know better." Companies can have these kind of contests because aspiring photographers don't recognize the value in their work.
(Doug) The prize does matter. I mean in that contest, you're probably talking about the cash equivalent of between $5k and $10k. Heli skiing aint cheap. You're right though, that working photographers hate the devaluation of photography that has happened with the internet. I think this has been basic supply and demand... there's so many more photographers out there these days, that if you hold a contest like this with a good prize, you get entries. The game has changed... gone are the hayday when magazines paid top dollar for photos... just like gone are the days where people are satisfied looking only at a magazine with 50 pages of content per month. They want to burn through hundreds of photos every day.
Don't get me wrong, I love good photos. If I could, I'd pay all you photographers top dollar for each photo! However... then Newschoolers would only have what... 50-100 new photos per month on it? We need a middle ground.
Also note that with the ability to revoke your photo rights (which also does not apply if you sell that photo) you could enter a contest with a good prize, and if you don't win, pull the rights, photo dissapears, go try to sell it to a magazine.
(Dan)And for photographers not to have this conversation out loud, to not speak about the White Elephant is probably just as detrimental.
(Doug) TOTALLY - This is a big issue... but not only for photographers, for all people who create media. Hell its a big issue for us... think of the number of companies that think it is their given right to come on newschoolers and promote their wares for free. Luckily, we let some of the smaller guys work with us to do it so we can help the little guys get that exposure they need to get started.
(Dan)This isn't me calling out Newschoolers, this is me just pointing out that state of affairs and ways companies are able to benefit from crowd-sourcing. No one passes on Free. I wouldn't. In a perfect world, these contests would include a cash equivalent to the rights that the photographer would be granting... and in the same world I'd have a fucking awesome unicorn that would fly me around the world on its back and shoot lasers out its eyes. C'est la vie.
(Doug) All good man, I'm loving the discussion. Crowd-sourcing is cool, but honestly what you find in the end is that you get a lot of garbage. Sure there's some gems in the mix, but it doesn't replace pros. Thats why we pay people who make it through the crowdsourcing mess... if you can truly float to the top, then we have a program for paying professionals for their work.
My final point and I want EVERYONE TO READ THIS:
Do you pirate software, music, movies... anything?
Did you buy that $1,899.00 copy of Creative Suite 5 that you use for your photos?
Is you iPhone full of music purchased on the iTunes store?
Is your operating system licensed?
Is EVERY piece of software on your system you use licensed?
Is EVERY movie you've watched in the last 5 years from a legit source where you paid for it?
Is EVERY TV show you have watched in the last 5 years coming through your digital cable provider?
Because if the answer to ANY of these questions is "Oh crap... I used the pirate bay... there's no way I could afford that." Then you are absolutely doing the exact same thing to someone else you are complaining about.
The Internet has upended absolutely every business model out there. Shit is the wild west, and everyone is trying to sort out what the new rules are going to be. Its so easy to get free stuff, that everyone is doing it!
Hell, if you pirated that copy of Photoshop you use, then you're WAY worse than us. At least in a photo contest we give something to the winner... its not like when you steal software you send a few photos to Adobe as a thank-you.
If there's pow, ski it. If there isn't ski park.
Just don't stay at home when there's no snow and whine about park skiers.