“It is particulary disappointing that two organisations so closely associated with photography should be content to support a contest which undermines the rights of all who take photographs.We are also dismayed that judges who have a strong background in photography and/or other creative disciplines should have decided to lend support to this contest.”

I really hope the organisers of the UN’s photo comp listen to the advice from Pro-Imaging. They clearly and very helpfully explain to photo competition organisers how to run competitions in a fair way so that everyone gets what they want, without grabbing the rights of entrants. Such competitions should not be a way for organisations to boost their photo library in return for a few cheap cameras.


The terms and conditions do not state that the entrant will always be credited when his work is reproduced.

All entrants, whether winners or not, are granting the sponsor (& its designees) use of their work for ever, the Bill of Rights requires a time limit on usage to be set.

All entrants are granting the sponsor usage beyond that needed to promote the contest, images will be used for other purposes. The Bill of Rights requires free usage to be restricted to promoting the contest, and no other purpose. If organisations wish to use the entrants images for any other purpose the Bill of Rights permits this providing a fee is negotiated with the copyright owner.

To complain to the organiser send your complaint to this email address; [email protected] and mark your complaint for the attention of The President of the UNDP, his excellency Mr John Ashe and also CC it to the competition at [email protected]

Or you could make a complaint by entering this image into the competition:

Rights Off image
Rights Off image

REALLY useful and helpful guides for competition organisers can be found here:

Bill of Rights


Rights On List

Rights Off List

Organisers Guide


3 responses to “Picture This: We Can End Poverty…”

  1. Stan B. says:

    Great move! Particularly in light of what the UN allegedly stands for… You’d think photographers everywhere would actively protest and boycott all like competitions- these mass free-use grabs should have been killed off last century.

  2. Stan B. says:


    Looks like a bit of a victory here- unless I’m completely and/or partially misreading the queen’s English. Got this email after doing as suggested 6/07:

    Please note that we realized this discrepancy in the language on copyrights we were using at http://picturethis.undp.org/, and we have amended it to highlight the non-exclusive use/rights, as follows:

    5.2 The copyright of submitted and winning photos will be owned by the participating photographers. The winning photos will be released to the “non-exclusive” use of UNDP, its Picture This partners ,Olympus and The AFP Foundation. Such use will be restricted to promotion, publicity, news, informational education or awareness usage relating to UNDP and the Picture This contest partners. Contest photographers will be able to use their photos, which they retain the copyright to, in their print and online portfolios, exhibitions, books and other publications and to disseminate – including sell – their photos to interested clients. They will be identified as the authors of the photos.

    We apologize for the confusion. We do hope that you decide to enter the contest.


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