It annoys the hell out of me when the organization conducting the "contest" is an arts organization, design industry group, art publication, or some other related entity that should know better. The American Artist magazine cover competition is (was?) an example. While this "contest" is not necessarily a request for speculative, or "spec," work - unless, I suppose, an artist chooses to create new work specifically for submission - it does bring up the rights issues of so many "contests." In part, the "rules and regulations" state:
As consideration for being permitted to enter the contest and win a prize, you hereby grant to American Artist, its affiliates and subsidiaries and their successors and assigns, an unlimited, royalty-free license to use your name, images, and artwork in any print, electronic, or other medium now existing or developed in the future including, by not limited to, use on the www.myAmericanArtist.com website, without restriction as to the frequency or duration of usage.
That alone should be enough for any professional artist to be insulted and angry. I'd be really pissed off if I was one of those submitting artwork for consideration with the additional requirement of paying $50 per entry to sign my rights away.
I would hope that artists would contact the publication (and other entities attempting to take advantage of artists/designers in similar situations) and (to quote a favorite movie line) let them know they are "mad as hell and I'm not going to take this anymore!" now and in the future.
Note: Illustrative element from American Artist call for entries.
© 2007 Jeff Fisher LogoMotives