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Rights Grab: National Geographic is no better than the others

Well, it looks like not even National Geographic is NOT above the fold when it comes to the all too common rights grab.

In the ‘Your Shot’ part of the magazine, where there is no prize except publication in the magazine, if you submit a photo they take worldwide, royalty-free and perpetual license. Nice of them, no?

From the rules:
‘you grant to National Geographic Society and its subsidiaries and licensees (the “NGS”) a royalty-free, worldwide, perpetual license to display, distribute and reproduce the Photograph, in whole or in part, in any medium now existing or subsequently developed for editorial purposes without further review or participation from you.’

For more information:

by Charlie Mahoney at 2006-10-14 07:29:43 UTC (ed. Mar 12 2008 ) Barcelona , Spain | Bookmark | | Report spam→

charlie,write to them and kick up a fuss.these sort of clauses are often inserted by the suits and bean counters,and are sometimes modified if their greed and unfairness are pointed out to the editorial staff.

by Michael Bowring | 14 Oct 2006 09:10 | Belgrade, Serbia | | Report spam→
Charlie, if you decide to write to them, add me there too. i’m just furious! any others willing to sign such a complaint?

by G. Muj | 14 Oct 2006 10:10 | Dubai, United Arab Emirates | | Report spam→

They seem to know how to fend off this sort of thing. In my opinion all this “yourshot” and “i report” stuff on CNN is for amatuers that do not make their living at photography and reporting. Right?
I doubt any of them would survive long if given an assignment from either of these organizations.

Give Chris Johns a call at NGS. I have heard he is a pretty fair person. If not, see if you’re good enough to be published in the magazine.

by Paul Rigas | 14 Oct 2006 15:10 | Grants Pass, Oregon USA, United States | | Report spam→
Paul, i see it as a matter of principle. if somebody at NG bothered to write all that crap about them getting full rights, whether it’s about amateurs or not, people making a living out of this or not, those guys planed to make a buck out of this. And that’s just pathetic, especially coming from a publication who claims high standards and professionalism. If mighty NG goes so low, damn’ it, what can be expected from anybody else. same goes for cnn. i’m not sure i understood your last sentence, about Charlie being good enough, etc. does that have anything to do with the issue here?

by G. Muj | 15 Oct 2006 03:10 | Dubai, United Arab Emirates | | Report spam→
NG has been screwing freelancers for awhile now. In my honest opinion to work with them, one has to make an iron-clad contract and then still that is no guarantee because the courts seem to for some reason keep finding in NG’s favor during infringement trials.

What Charlie posts doesn’t surprise me at all coming from NG and they should always be called on it.

by Gayle Hegland | 15 Oct 2006 07:10 (ed. Oct 15 2006) | Montana, United States | | Report spam→
Thanks for coming to my defense, G. I agree with you.

In the meantime if anyone else wants to write National Geographic, this is one of the email addresses I got from their web site:


by Charlie Mahoney | 15 Oct 2006 16:10 | Barcelona, Spain | | Report spam→
Thanks for the alert, Charlie, and the email address.

by Gayle Hegland | 15 Oct 2006 16:10 | Montana, United States | | Report spam→

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Charlie Mahoney, photojournalist Charlie Mahoney
Boston , United States ( BOS )
Michael Bowring, photographer Michael Bowring
Belgrade , Serbia
G. Muj, designer / ex photog / G. Muj
designer / ex photog /
Doha , Qatar
Paul Rigas, Photographer Paul Rigas
Cebu City , Philippines
Gayle Hegland, Editorial Artist Gayle Hegland
Editorial Artist
Montana , United States


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