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Tourism Australia "Nothing Like Australia" Really

11 April, 2010

Tourism Australia has a new crowd sourcing competition being launched on April 15. Buried in the terms and conditions are conditions that have entrants donate all rights for all images entered for use in any campaign by any nominated third party, not just Tourism Australia, forever. That's not just winners, but all entries. We don't recommend anyone enter this competition with these Terms and Conditions.

The ACMP has approached Tourism Australia with the ACMP's Competition Guidelines with a request to have the T&C changed. Our request has been acknowledged and we are waiting for a response.

Former ACMP President Julian Watt writes;

Back in 1998, after many years hard lobbying by the ACMP & AIPP, the Federal Government changed the Copyright Act, finally giving Photographers rights over their own images. Although a stellar victory, the battle for our rights did not end there. Generally, most of our clients, including government and quasi government bodies, have come to terms with the concept of copyright and licensing of images however Tourism Authorities, both State and Federal, seem to have it in for photographers.

Tourism Australia, along with all of the state Tourism Authorities, is currently running a competition entitled "Nothing like Australia". Unfortunately, the "Nothing like Australia" campaign is nothing like the Australian ethos. Every entrant, not just the winners will be signing over the rights to their images and words to Tourism Australia, to be used for whatever purpose they deem fit. This is hidden in their lengthy Terms and Conditions, which most entrants won't be reading (who read the T&C for the last software upgrade you did). Entrants will even be indemnifying them against any legal action resulting from their use of those images. Stock libraries don't provide indemnity to their clients, why should someone who has "donated" their image.
Many amateurs will be seduced by the possibility of their images being published; little realizing that there is a dollar value on those images, which Tourism Australia is trying to avoid paying.

The images will presumably be included in their image libraries, which are then made available to the Tourism Industry at little or no cost. Tourism companies, such as Airlines, Cruise Lines and hotel chains, which would otherwise be commissioning photographers or purchasing stock at market prices.

Put bluntly, the Tourism bodies are bad for our businesses, whether city based or regional.

I can accept that businesses are driven by the mighty dollar; ethics only playing a part when it's good for their corporate image as long as it doesn't interfere with their earnings targets. The 're funded by shareholders, not taxpayers.

However, I cannot accept the same lack of ethics from a statutory marketing authority funded almost entirely by the Federal Government (our taxes) and answerable to the Minister. Tourism Australia is using small print in the T&C's to deceive the greater Australian public and photographers, so as to circumvent the Government's own Copyright legislation.

The ACMP tackled Minister for Tourism of the Howard Government on these issues before. She made it known that her allegiances were to the Tourism Industry and while sympathetic, had no intentions of helping us.

If we are to do anything about this, the ACMP and AIPP need to lobby the Government, the Opposition and minor parties. We need to be seeking appointments with the Ministers and Shadow ministers of Tourism, Arts and Attorney Generals along with our local members to lobby for a change in Government Policy on competitions and purchasing photography for Government advertising. We have an election coming up. The time is right.

If we can't convince our government to deal with our industry ethically rather than destroying it, I know where the bloody hell I'll be spending my holiday dollars.
It will be "nothing like Australia".

 

Author: Julian Watt

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