In April 2010 a contributers notified us about a contest being run by the Australian Government's Department for Tourism, the competition is entitled 'There's Nothing Like Australia'. The competition was not only claiming the entrants copyright, entrants also had to waive their moral rights in Australia, and in every other country in the world.

We were appalled, prepared a , and sent a letter to the Australian Minister for Tourism, the Hon Martin Ferguson AM, MP on 20 April 2010. We received a response one month later which informed us that "After a review, Tourism Australia has decided to make amendments to the terms and conditions."

We have reviewed these amendments and published below our reply to the Hon Martin Ferguson AM, MP. Our reply will explain to you what was changed and Pro-Imaging's view of the Australian Government's position. We hope after reading our letter you too will write a letter of complaint.

Letter to the Hon Martin Ferguson AM, MP

Australian Minister for Resources and Energy; Minister for Tourism

Dear Mr Ferguson,

Thank you for your letter received on 18 May 2010 in reply to our email of 20 April 2010 concerning the terms and conditions of the above competition.

We note that whereas the original terms and conditions required entrants to unconditionally assign their copyright to Tourism Australia, this has now been changed to requiring entrants to grant a non-exclusive license to Tourism Australia, a license allowing Tourism Australia to do as they wish with the entrants work, forever, that the entrant must waive their moral rights in Australia, including waiving any moral rights they have that are protected by the laws of other countries.

Pro-Imaging view this small change as completely unacceptable. Firstly, Australia is a signatory to the , the entire spirit of which is respect and protection for artist’s rights, including their moral rights as set out in article 6 of that convention. Secondly, paragraph 3 of that article sets out that the safeguarding of moral rights shall be governed by the country where that protection is claimed.

The terms and conditions set by Tourism Australia undermine the principles set out not only in the Berne Convention but, astonishingly, in Australia’s own copyright law. The terms and conditions exploit entrants who have no understanding of the value of their creativity into granting IP rights freely to Tourism Australia.

Furthermore, that the Australian Government, through its tourism department, should seek to subvert the laws in other countries which protect the entrant’s moral rights in these countries is, in our long experience, without parallel and brings dishonour on Tourism Australia and the Australian Government it serves. The terms and conditions employed in this contest are akin to an act of piracy where the spoils are the rights to freely use other people’s creativity. We think your government should be ashamed.

The terms and conditions for this contest call into question what ethical policies, if any, are followed by Australian Government with regard to the treatment of others intellectual property rights. As a Minister in the Australian Government you will be aware of any ethical policies set by your government. We would be grateful if you could supply us with a copy of the policies your government follows to guide its conduct of business or a link to where they may be read.

When we originally wrote to you we submitted a (now updated) which set out recommendations for changes that should be made to the terms and conditions of this contest. With the exception of relinquishing the claim on the entrant’s copyright, all our other recommendations have been ignored. We would be grateful if you could explain to us why our recommendations were not accepted.

In view of our concerns about your government’s conduct we have decided to make a copy of this email public on our website.

We look forward to your reply in due course.

Yours sincerely

etc., etc

What Now?

We wait on a response from the Australian Minister and if there is a response we will publish the outcome, or if our complaint is ignored we will report that outcome too.

You can help. Write and complain to Australian Minister for Tourism, the Hon Martin Ferguson AM, MP using this email addressThis e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it. If you are really short of time you can use a standard complaint letter we have drafted, but it will have more impact if you explain how you feel about these terms and condition, so please feel free to change our standard complaint letter.