Xerox Uses Student-Oriented Photo Contest to Hijack Rights

Xerox (NYSE: XRX) seems to have a problem with a healthy respect for photographers copyrights. Namely, if you are a student, they want yours.

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Comments

  1. Jeff` says

    Xerox isn’t the only one. I’ve posted this here before, but it bears repeating; read section 11 of the Picasa “Terms of Use”:

    “11. Content licence from you

    11.1 You retain copyright and any other rights you already hold in Content which you submit, post or display on or through, the Services. By submitting, posting or displaying the content you give Google a perpetual, irrevocable, worldwide, royalty-free, and non-exclusive licence to reproduce, adapt, modify, translate, publish, publicly perform, publicly display and distribute any Content which you submit, post or display on or through, the Services. This licence is for the sole purpose of enabling Google to display, distribute and promote the Services and may be revoked for certain Services as defined in the Additional Terms of those Services.

    11.2 You agree that this licence includes a right for Google to make such Content available to other companies, organizations or individuals with whom Google has relationships for the provision of syndicated services, and to use such Content in connection with the provision of those services.

    11.3 You understand that Google, in performing the required technical steps to provide the Services to our users, may (a) transmit or distribute your Content over various public networks and in various media; and (b) make such changes to your Content as are necessary to conform and adapt that Content to the technical requirements of connecting networks, devices, services or media. You agree that this licence shall permit Google to take these actions.

    11.4 You confirm and warrant to Google that you have all the rights, power and authority necessary to grant the above licence.”

  2. says

    Jeff,

    While I understand your concern, I don’t think Picasa’s TOU are quite as onerous as Xerox’s contest. Granted, I have not read the full TOU from Picasa; however, the portion that you pasted appears to relate to Google’s display of your photos on Picasa in order for their services to work properly in addition to what probably amounts to some marketing of Picasa.

    The license is for what you upload to Picasa and “This licence is for the sole purpose of enabling Google to display, distribute and promote the Services and may be revoked for certain Services as defined in the Additional Terms of those Services.”

    While “promotion” is included, this probably references the display of one of your photos on the Picasa login or signup page at worst. Granted, Google could use this to take out a billboard or magazine ad, but is that really so bad?

    I take “syndicated services” in 11.2 to mean things that use the Picasa code or maybe API to integrate Picasa with other services. Imagine a Picasa web album plugin for your website. The license needs to be in place in order to transfer to that third party and make it authorized.

    11.3 seems the least harmful to me. In order to make Picasa work, the images must be transmitted over various networks. Down-res and other modifications for thumbnails or such will be necessary to make it work as well.

    Other than the “promotion” part of the TOU, I don’t see a real issue with these. And, even the “promotion” part is not all that troublesome to me. It is a free service after all.

    What do you think? Am I taking it too easy on Google?

  3. Jeff` says

    I guess the phrase “royalty free” is what caught my attention. In light of that, I do think it would be bad for Google to use one of my pictures for a billboard or magazine ad. They get a picture for nothing which might make them a great deal of money.

    Maybe if they credited the photographer, that would help, but I doubt they would want to do that in an ad.

    I do agree that 11.3 seems harmless, but I left it in since it was part of the section.

    Of course, one has the option to not use Picasa, which is what I am doing.

  4. Beth Ann Kilberg-Walsh says

    Thank you for sharing your concerns about the MyShot08 photo contest. We appreciate you bringing them to our attention, as the intent of this contest has always been and continues to be to shine a spotlight on up-and-coming photographers. We’ve listened to the feedback of the photographic community and we’ve clarified some points in regards to our rules. We’ve posted our thoughts on the MyShot08 rules and regs page (www.myshot08.com).

    Thanks again for engaging in the conversation and for advocating on behalf of photographers just starting their careers.

    Best,

    Beth Ann Kilberg-Walsh
    Xerox Corp.