Sign your rights away for fame and glory

Over the past week the MyBlogLog stats for bLog-oMotives have shown a large number of visitors from Craigslist users around the United States. As I don't use the community classified ad site to promote my work I thought I would investigate a bit. In each case the Craigslist postings are to artists around the country criticizing the magazine design cover "contest" currently (?) being conducted by American Artist magazine. (To be perfectly honest, due to the conflicting dates on the website and downloadable PDF entry form, I can't tell if the "contest" is current or just on-going and the publication has not corrected the specified dates - it really doesn't alter the issue) The messages include the text of a past bLog-oMotives entry, which also appeared on the NO!SPEC site, regarding a somewhat similar arts industry situation and how it was resolved.

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 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

1 comment:

Dave said...

I think you should submit a cover featuring your tattoo.