Montblanc International GMBH, Germany

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About This Organisation

Montblanc International GMBH

About this Organisation

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Montblanc makes writing instruments, writing accessories, leather goods and belts, jewellery, eyewear and watches. They are headquartred in Hamburg, Germany

About this Report

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.

How this Organisation's Competitions or Appeals are Listed

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.

CLICK HERE to see Beauty of a Second; closing date 13 Dec 2011

Beauty of a Second

TERMS AND CONDITIONS

News about this contest appeared in the Art Directors Club Italiano (ADCI) blog link. This prompted Paolo Nobile and the Art Directors Club Italiano (ADCI) to contact us in view of its extraordinary rules. We thank Paolo and ADCI for contacting us and for the subsequent helpful discussions we had with them.

To enter this contest entrants are required to submit a video which is exactly one second long. Montblanc will judge the entries that meet their criteria and those that do will be published. Then participants are invited to make up playlists (up to 60 seconds long) from the published videos. Then there will be playlist winners too. There are many rules in this complex contest about how winners are ultimately chosen, we will ignore all of that here - we are only interested in how the entrants intellectual property rights are affected.

The extracts below are taken from a 10 page PDF document of the terms and conditions for this contest. These extracts were actually scattered throughout the document, sometimes repeating previous T&Cs, at other times contradicting them. It is a badly written document, lacking preciseness, conciseness and consistency, and in these respects is one of the worst we have ever seen. We have highlighted in yellow in the extracts below some of the key phrases that we paid particular attention to.

• Montblanc has been granted the worldwide rights to copy, reproduce, represent, exhibit, communicate, transmit, broadcast, display or otherwise make available or accessible, adapt and adjust the Videos, in whole or in part, and Playlists, in whole or in part, until December 31, 2014, and is authorized to reproduce the Videos and Playlists, in whole or in part, for archival purposes in perpetuity, including, but not limited to archival references on their official website;

Videos and Playlists will not be returned to Participants and by submitting a Video and/or Playlist Participants expressly authorise Montblanc to reproduce, display and more generally use the Video and/or Playlist and portions thereof both moving and still, both on and off-line, on Montblanc’s official website and other websites on which it communicates and in any publications, whether they be on or off line, it may at any time choose to produce without restriction or limitation.

• they expressly grant Montblanc the worldwide rights to copy, reproduce, represent, exhibit, communicate, transmit, broadcast, display or otherwise make available or accessible, adapt and adjust the Videos (in whole or in part) and Playlists (in whole or in part) and shall include but not be limited to, use in the following – Montblanc's website, social media sites, and all related promotional materials, whether online or off, for purposes of promoting the Competition, in press releases, in promotional materials, in Montblanc boutiques and in promotional exhibitions, until December 31, 2014; and authorize Montblanc to reproduce the Videos and Playlists, in whole or in part, for archival purposes in perpetuity, including, but not limited to archival references on their official website;

Videos and Playlists will not be returned to Participants and by submitting the Video and Playlists Participants expressly authorise Montblanc to reproduce, display and more generally use the Video and Playlists and any portions thereof both on and off-line, on Montblanc's official website and on its social media websites which it communicates and in publications it may at any time choose to produce without restriction or limitation.

The Winners also expressly agree that all recordings and photographs taken of them, as well as their names and/or pseudonyms may be used by Montblanc on different media supports for communication and marketing purposes in relation to Montblanc as noted below.

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 or appeal.

  1. The terms and conditions do not state you will always be credited when your work is reproduced. One of your most important moral rights is that you should be credited as the author of a work whenever it is reproduced. The Montblanc terms and conditions only say that "names may be used", not that they will be used on every occasion your entry is used/displayed/etc.

  2. The terms and conditions are granting the organiser unlimited use of your work for ever "without restriction or limitation". Although Montblanc mention an end date of 31 December 2014, they also state that the videos can be reproduced "in whole or in part for archival purposes in perpetuity". There is no definition anywhere in the T&Cs defining what is meant by archival purposes. A lack of clarity about usage should always be treated as a warning and entries should never be submitted to such contests.

    If you were enter the contest these terms and conditions will remove from you, in perpetuity, the exclusive right the law granted you over the use of your work. It will prevent you, for example, from ever being able to license your video exclusively in whole or as part of a work to another organisation.

  3. The terms and conditions grant the organiser the right to use your work beyond that needed to promote the competition or appeal. Your work will be used for other purposes as expressed in the terms and conditions through phrases such as - uses "shall include but not be limited to, use in the following" etc., etc., which, in effect, set no limits on usage. Usage of your work should be restricted solely to promoting the competition and no other purpose.

    If Montblanc wishes to use your work for any other purpose than promoting their competition 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.

  4. To summarise, this contest gives the impression that its is simply a crowdsourcing device to provide Montblanc with free creativity that can used in perpetuity. We cannot recommend that anyone should enter a 'contest' such as this.

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. We also included a complete set of amended rules for their consideration. There was no response.

SPONSORS

None listed

CONTACT

To write to the organiser and urge them to adopt the principles set out in the Artists' Bill of Rights use this this email address This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it [Janka Brueckner, Montblanc PR Department; Germany].

Other contacts are listed here - http://press.montblanc.com/contact/

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 29/11/2011

About the Artists' Bill of Rights

The Artists' Bill of Rights principles for Creative Competitions

Competitions which meet all the standards set out in the Bill of Rights For Artists do not do any of the following -

  • claim copyright
  • claim exclusive use
  • seek waiving of moral rights
  • fail to give a credit for all free usage
  • add, alter, or remove metadata from submissions
  • seek usage rights other than for promoting the contest and no other purpose. Note that a book, posters, cards, or a calendar are seen as legitimate ways of promoting the contest and defraying costs
  • seek free usage rights in excess of 5 years
  • use the submissions commercially without the entrant's agreement, and such commercial usage is to be subject to a freely negotiated license independently of the competition.
  • make it a condition of winning that an entrant must sign a commercial usage agreement
  • fail to publish all documents on the competition website that an entrant may have to sign
  • fail to name the judges for this or last year's competition
  • fail to explicitly state all the organisations who will acquire rights to the submissions
  • set a closing date more than 18 months after the contest launch date
  • fail to make clear statements of rights claimed and how submissions are used.

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

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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.