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Photography rights grabs, erosion of freedom, the fightback begins and blogging helps

In an effort to hold back the tide of rights-grab photographic competitions and to educate those that unwittingly enter them, Pro-Imaging (a UK-based photographers organisation and discussion list) has recently launched a campaign of naming and shaming.  Anyone can submit to the PI website the name of a competition they feel is unfair and PI in turn will investigate.
They have drawn up a Bill of Rights which lists how they feel a photo-competition should be run.   This will be used as a basis to check the Rules of Entry and Terms and Conditions of various submitted competitions.  Already given a black mark are some household names; Adobe, Nikon, Canon, National Geographic, Panasonic and the UK Government … so it seems no-one is too large to be spared.
The campaign has gained a great deal of support on the web and in print, this week the British Journal of Photography reported a recent success of changed T&C’s as a direct result of the PI campaign.
A campaign such as this can only highlight the power of the internet with websites and blogs being a fantastic method of galvanising far-flung individuals who share a common interest and giving them a sense of community and a powerful voice.  Quite by brilliant coincidence the manchesterphotography blog has a great link to an article in the Times which discusses why we need to hang on to our freedom.
This ties in nicely with another big issue gaining much debate at the moment, that of photographers rights to take images in public places.  Ignited in a big way by the Metropolitan Police’s rather provocative campaign asking the general public to become their eyes and ears.  See the posters below, first is the original and underneath a rather humerous counter created by EPUK , another internet-based organisation whose membership is mostly editorial photographers.  See more on their campaign here and here.
As if that wasn’t enough for you, check out this link.  Here we have a rather misguided and ill-informed Community Support Officer tackling an innocent street photographer in London recently.  

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2 Responses to “Photography rights grabs, erosion of freedom, the fightback begins and blogging helps”

  1. 1 Gordon C Harrison

    As one of the Pro-Imaging people behind the Bill of Rights campaign many thanks for picking up on it and publicising it. We already have had one camera manufacturer change their rules in response to our campaign. In another the legal services section of a government agency wants to involve us in the drafting process of IP T&C’s for future contests.

    The campaign is all about education, educating entrants, and educating contest promoters and sponsors. We are expanding the range of competitions being reported through a new fast track process here –

    We want contributions from everyone about competitions they encounter, both good and bad. We especially want to know about good ones, the more of these we can list the better – people will tend to go there instead and the people running bad competitions will be starved of submissions.

    Competitions can be notified to us at Thanks for your help.

  2. 2 curly

    I have blogged on exactly the same issue today, following an unsavoury incident when I too was detained in a police car simply for taking photographs.

    I trust that all photographers will do something to back Mr. Mitchell’s campaign

  1. 1 Photo News Today » Blog Archive » Photography rights grabs, erosion of freedom, the fightback begins and blogging helps
  2. 2 The fight to protect everyone’s right to take photographs continues …. « scatterdrum

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