MGM Grand is a hotel and casino located on the Las Vegas Strip in the USA. It is one of many hotels/casinos/resorts owned by MGM Resorts International.
Competitions or appeals seeking submissions of creative works from the public, works such as photos, videos, poems, music, etc., are reviewed by the Artists' Bill of Rights campaign. The reviews are to help you decide whether or not you should participate in the competition or appeal. When you create a work (e.g. a photo) the law automatically makes you the sole beneficiary of certain rights over that work. These rights are called intellectual property rights. Note: Rights for works created in the course of employment are usually owned by the employer (i.e. works for hire).
Rights have a value and you are free to decide what that value is. If a person or organisation wants to use your work to promote something, you have the right to refuse permission or to set a fee for a specific use. More information about intellectual property rights and their value to you can be read in our Guide to Rights & Licensing.
Listed below in order of closing date are the competitions or appeals promoted by this organisation that we have reviewed. For each we detail how their terms and conditions will exploit your rights. To read our review(s) just click on any competition/appeal title below.
TERMS AND CONDITIONS
The MGM Grand Hotel/Casino is undergoing a major renovation including, according to their website, "everything from our guest rooms and casino floor to our entertainment, dining, and nightlife experiences". On completion it has to be photographed for future promotional purposes.
With regard to photography MGM Grand decided to team up with Graphistudio, a global business specialising in products targeted at photographers, in particular a range of wedding books. Instead of commissioning photographers in the normal way it was decided to launch a 'competition' instead. However, this competition is open only to the client photographers of Graphistudio.
The Graphistudio photographers are invited to participate in the competition to photograph certain areas of the refurbished hotel on specific days under a 'work for hire' agreement, under which none of the participating photographers are entitled to any remuneration. They are required to work for free.
However, the first, second and third place winners will receive a prize which includes a one or two night stay in the hotel with food and beverage credits etc.
The judges for this contest are two photographers, Yervant, a grand master photographer with AIPP and Henk Van Kooten a Master QEP Qualified European Photographer. We assume these two judges are unaware that their colleagues are required, for the purposes of this contest, to work for free.
An extract from the relevant terms and conditions of this 'contest are displayed below;
Sponsored by: MGM and Graphistudio
1. Who May Enter:
Open only to Graphistudio clients, must be 21 or over. Void where prohibited. Employees, officers and directors ( and their immediate families) of sponsor are not eligible.
2. How to Enter:
a. Go to the www.mgm.graphistudio.com and click on contest link to register for the contest.
b. Complete the registration form with all required information.
c. You must physically be at the MGM Grand between February 19th and February 22nd, 2012 in order to take the photographsto enter this contest. Photograph sessions at specific MGM Grand locations and times will be designated by Sponsor for the photo shoots.
d. You have until April 9th to submit your images for this contest
4. Work For Hire: Entrant authorizes MGM Grand Hotel, LLC and its authorized parties to reproduce, distribute, display, and create derivative works of the entry ( along with a name credit). MGM Grand Hotel, LLC, will have exclusive, irrevocable, worldwide, royalty-free, transferable rights and license privileges to use and reproduce in any manner and in any all distribution channels.. Entrant further agrees, upon MGM Grand Hotel, LLC's request and without additional compensation, to sign any and all necessary and appropriate documents, including but not limited to a Work for Hire Agreement.
HOW THESE TERMS AND CONDITIONS WILL AFFECT YOU
The following notes explain how the above terms and conditions affect your rights in respect of any works you submit to the above competition.
Because this is a 'work for hire' agreement you will not be the copyright holder in any of the work you submit to this contest. Note that work for hire agreements would normally result in you being remunerated, but not in this case, this is a work for hire agreement in which you will be hired, but not paid. You will not be permitted to use or reproduce your work again without permission from MGM Grand Hotel LLC.
The terms and conditions claim exclusive use of your work whether you are a 'winner' or not.
The terms and conditions state that if you win, or are a potential winner, you are required to complete various additional forms, but the terms and conditions of these additional forms are not displayed on the competition website. This is like being asked to sign a blank cheque. It is not an acceptable business practice to require you to accept all the terms and conditions when submitting a work but fail to display all the terms and conditions on documents you may at some stage have to complete and sign.
The terms and conditions are granting the organiser unlimited use of your work for ever whether you win or not. For non-winning works a usage time limit of 5 years or less should be set with usage limited solely to promoting the competition, and no other purpose. It is permissable to use winning works for ever but only in a permanent winners gallery with the sole purpose of promoting a recurring competition.
The terms and conditions grant the organiser the right to use your work beyond that needed to promote the competition. Your work will be used for other purposes. Usage of your work should be restricted solely to promoting the competition. If MGM Grand Hotel LLC wishes to use your work for any other purpose they should negotiate with you independently of the competition. You should have the right to negotiate an appropriate fee for the specific use they want to make of your work and to set a time limit on such use. You should also have the right to refuse use of your work. For further information on fees and licensing refer to the Introduction to Rights and Licensing.
These are extraordinary terms and conditions for a competition, we would never advise anyone to enter a contest with such terms and conditions. For further guidance please read the Bill of Rights for Artists.
We have written to this organisation, submitted a link to this report and urged them to adjust the competition rules as set out in the ABoR Principles document.
To write to MGM Resorts International and urge them to adopt the principles set out in the Artists' Bill of Rights use this this email address;
If time is at a premium for you we have prepared a complaint email which you can copy and send to the organiser.
The Artists' Bill of Rights campaign depends on your active support, your help will make a difference.
Updated on 14/02/2012
Competitions which meet all the standards set out in the Bill of Rights For Artists do not do any of the following -
We have written an Organisers Guide to the Bill of Rights to help organisers draft terms and conditions that respect the rights of entrants and at the same time provide legal protection for the organiser.
© Bill of Rights Supporters Group
The above text may be reproduced providing a link is given to the Bill of Rights For Artists.
Any text reproduced in italics in this report has been extracted from a competition or appeal website for the purposes of review.
Organisations who would like to be promoted as a Bill of Rights Supporter and have their competitions promoted on the Rights On List can use this contact form. We look forward to hearing from you.