TheJoyOfHack

For people who like to make things

I’m not a professional photographer.  I’m merely an student of  the art and science of photography.  Sometimes I think of submitting my pictures to contests or for use by others - not for the money, but for the personal satisfaction.  Now after reading this post by Bob Krist, I’ll make sure to pay attention to photographers’ rights when I submit my pictures anywhere. I will also refuse to buy any product from Frommer’s Travel Guides, and urge you to do the same.

As Bob points out, when you submit a photograph to Frommer’s  not only do they want the rights to use it for the stated purpose, they also want all rights to do anything with your picture, even license it out to others for perpetuity. In other words, they are asking for the rights of the photographer, without paying for what those rights are worth.  This is regardless of whether a photo is accepted for publication or wins a contest or not.  It appears that they’re counting on the fact that most people who submit photos will not read the fine print, or will be amateurs who are just happy that they have a picture good enough to send to a competition.  As Bob correctly points out, this kind of action will end up ‘kill[ing] the freelancers’ who make their livelihoods selling the rights to use their pictures, not all the rights to their pictures.

I went to their website and entered the following on their ‘Contact Us’ page:

This is is regard to the issues brought up at Bob Krist’s blog, found at http://www.bobkrist.com/blog/frommers-now-fing-freelancers-and-photo- enthusiasts/

I’m not a professional photographer but I am a frequent traveler.  I just want you to know that I find your company’s take on photographers’ rights reprehensible, and that I intend to boycott you and your products, and urge all my friends and family to do the same - until you change your policy on seeking perpetual rights for submitted photographs.

Please reconsider your position.

Sincerely,

Aijaz Ansari.

Keeping true to my word, I urge you, readers of this blog, to boycott Frommer’s products in protest of their licensing policies.

A Stop Sign in Sharjah, U.A.E.
A Stop Sign in Sharjah, U.A.E.