St Paul's School, London requires the same
Their Terms and Conditions state that the Copyright of anything created by a pupil whilst attending the £10,000/term school vests with the School itself.
A nationwide school arts project that commercialises children's artwork has been branded "the biggest blag in the history of the UK". Face Britain, a world-record breaking attempt supported by the Prince Charles's Foundation for Children and the Arts, has gathered some 70,000 self portraits from youngsters since it was …
How does that work? I mean, as a parent, I can sign the paperwork on behalf of my child but the copyright isn't mine to sign away and the child would not be of an age to sign a legally binding contract would they? Perhaps I'm missing something in this theft game.
My university had similar wavers to sign as part of our final year projects. I questioned this with several higher ups, they basically said:
1 - it's was done to protect the students work from exploitation from others, not to exploit it themselves
2 - In reality, it wouldn't stand up in court if they ever tried to enforce their ownership of the copyright, so just sign it anyway.
I think like the article suggests, education should really be focusing on helping students and pupils understand the power of holding rights, rather than penalties of infringing them!
It's very likely that these kids had already given up the rights to various creations that they uploaded online, e.g. by uploading a photo to Facebook (thus giving away the exclusive copyrights to Facebook, so if Facebook wants to sell, license, transfer copyright, or sublicense their work, they have that right).
The "charity" - a particularly greedy one, apparently - has looked at this model and said "hey, why not us? Everyone seems to be doing it and no one is doing anything to prevent that." In that sense, you cannot really fault their logic. As an element of web 2.0, this is now a widely tolerated practice, and I hope that those of you who object to this particular instance will be consistent by applying the same principles to big internet companies.
AFAIK, things like facebook, flickr etc get a non-exclusive right to use your IP, i.e. they can use it how ever they want (such as that creepy product advertising using you face on your friends homepage) but you can also use the IP in anyway you want as well.
Thats different from what this charity is trying to claim.
My guess is this isn't sinister, I bet the people setting it up just haven't looked at copyright properly and didn't realize you can get non-exclusive rights, I bet it's the same terms they've been using in other projects for decades and no one has called them on it before.
The usual web-site copyright grab makes some sense as an attempt to allow the website to function: think how much copying happens as the data is viewed. And I don't think there's much chance of removing the data from any back-up system. So they end up having to talk about some sort of perpetual and non-exclusive right.
It's one of the non-piracy reasons why current copyright law isn't a good fit with the internet.
There are parts of UK copyright law where it matters who provided the raw materials, photography is one. There are probably more court decisions than any non-specialist can know of which could be applied to this contract. My own view is that we're all suffering from the side effects of the aggressive IP enforcement which happens these days. Projects such as this one would rather be mocked than sued.
A smart lawyer can probably draft a better contract in their sleep. Too many people don't even realise that publishers only need a licence.
Copyright 2012 David G. Bell
(The Register looks to do this sort of stuff right.)
> The usual web-site copyright grab makes some sense as an attempt
> to allow the website to function
No it doesn't.
A website needs a licence to reproduce copyrighted material and to permit others to make (transient) copies of that material in the course of viewing the website.
It does not need to own the copyrights.
I'm not on Facebook (can't stand it) but if their Ts & Cs are similar to the boilerplate legalese that a lot of online services use, people posting stuff there won't have given up the rights to their material - they'll still own the copyright, but will have granted a royalty-free, unlimited, yadda-yadda licence to Zuckerberg's minions to do whatever they like with it. From a practical point of view, it's not much different, but it is better than something that explicitly gets you to hand over your IP rights completely.
I seem to recall that one or two sites ran afoul of this kind of thing in the past (Picasa? LinkedIn? Maybe others?) although I still don't think any of them went to the point of asking you to hand over your IP altogether. And they did change the wording of their Ts & Cs as a result of people kicking up a stink about it. It will be interesting to see what happens here...
More then one or two, including Microsoft. But they hid it in a 12 page TandC. At the time people were calling it "all your base are belong to us".
At least this is clear on a single page of paper that you sign and not hidden behind an "I agree" check box.
This looks like a Vanity scam as others have said (for 99.99% of the art who would want it on a mug other then family members?) but what if this were a well respected charity?
What is the difference between...
- Giving an hour of your time to charity.
- Spending an hour creating something and giving that to charity.
Sounds much like a variation on a creative writing scam that seems to do the rounds of schools also. In that kids get terribly excited to find they've won and got published (including in the British Library - their equivalent of the Buck House projection here), before finding the same goes for 70-80% of participants, all of whose parents are subsequently morally blackmailed into paying £15+ for vanity-publishing tat and not a penny of royalty comeback.
Just had that here (North Somerset). The letter makes it sound like your childs work has been carefully selected as a winning entry, they even include a certificate. A few parent playground discussions reveal that practically every child in the school has had their work selected and this is just a money making printing scam.
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Maybe not but it is the parents who have to sign. Unfortunately too many give in to the "I'll be laghed at, everbody else is doing it" pleas of their offspring.
There is only one thing to remember when submitting creative work for anything, don't. Invariably the T&Cs mean you giving up any right you have over your work. In many competetions it's not only the winners who lose control over their work but everybody who has entered, so you could come bottom of the pile yet the organisers can use your work for whatever they want.
TV programmes too. My children once had the chance to go on a popular children's TV programme yet I refused to sign the waiver. Not for any safety issues but solely because it would have granted the makers total control over any recorded footage.
The underlying story is that the people who so willingly give up their own property rights do so because they don't recognise the worth, or value, of IP. Not just of their own work, but of other peoples'.
Since they attach no value - monetary or otherwise to "stuff", can it come as any surprise that they therefore don't feel there's anything wrong with "stealing" copyrighted material?
As an exercise: did anyone ever actually _read_ the Ts & Cs for El Reg before they signed up? Are there any - I don't know, I never read any conditions, I just click "I agree" - just like everybody else.
Actually that's a really good point; if the kids had received a cut from every mug/mousemat/doodah sold with their work on it, it might instil a better understanding of the idea that if you create something you can actually get paid for it... and that by "pirating" that album (for example) instead of buying it you're actually depriving the writer/artist of some cash (perhaps not as much as the middle-men, but even so).
A good point Tom . If this property wasnt duplicatable it would be simple - if you give something away you havent got it any more.
Remenber Tony Hart and his "take hart" program? before the days of copiers and digitalisation the kiddies used to have to send their originals in, and they used to say sorry , we cant return them..
But nobody minded then, after all the kid kept quiet for an hour with his paint set , and then sent the results away. no worse off than if he'd sat there building a lego model and then smashed it up.
Did Tony Hart ever sell the works for a few hundred quid to a member of the child's family though? That's what we're talking about here -- kids drawing pictures which adorn products to be sold back to their family and friends as well as anyone else who will buy it.
The kids in the Tony Hart example provided the programme with valuable content and ratings in exchange for the sense of pride and achievement at having their work displayed in such a manner.
This charity is doing nothing more or less than that exact same thing only with the good sense to cover their arses to prevent problems if some whiney fuckstick cries foul when they see their scrawl on a mug being sold for tuppence, a scrawl which could never in all seriousness have ever made any money from un-supported sales.
The BBC was/(is i.nthe UK) non commercial and, at that point in its history at least, ratings were next to meaningless in any commercial sense. The content itself was, thus, pretty much valueless -- indeed it was joked that Tony did some of it himself and if that were the truth the programme would be no different.
Also, the charity does not need to take ownership of all rights to the work to do what it is doing. It could merely ask that entry to the competition give it a license to use the work.
> This charity is doing nothing more or less than that exact same thing
That's simply not true.
What this "charity" is doing is to insist on copyright transference. They have no need for this - a licence would suffice.
Such a transference includes all sorts of rights - including the right to resell that copyright. Including the right to control the image or any copies of it.
Now maybe they're good guys and would never do such a thing. That's an easy situation to deal with - they just need to change their Ts and Cs to require a licence, not a transference. That way, whatever happens, the child retains copyright over its works.
But what happens if the charity (or its successors) gets misappropriated by the Bad Guys(tm)? Well, anything, really. This is a total transference of ownership.
"We were also curious about an issue parents raised. The pupils appear to receive nothing from the commercial exploitation of their original work, while the charity receives 20 per cent. "So where does the other 80 per cent go?" asks Leighton"
Did anyone ask Prince Charles where the other 80% is going to?
Of course, the heir to the throne and serial charity-patron (not to mention contributor) would be prime suspect in a scam involving the theft of copyright from Primary School children.
I agree that the money needs to be followed but I think you might sniffing a trail that exists only in your head.
who feels very disgusted by this ? A few weeks ago, a couple of cars pulled up in our close, out got about 9 people, who then started ringing bells trying to get people to sign up a monthly DD for MacMillan trust. The guy who hit us was almost aggressive, and it was pleasure to shut the door in his face. Then, of course, you have the cold callers trying to get you to sign up for a monthly DD. These people are being PAID to sign people up. They've been allowed to use the charities name in a commercial drive. I have never been able to get a straight answer as to what %age of the DD goes to the actual charity.
It's fundamentally dishonest, and bad for all charities.
No, they'll be getting commision on any they sign up.. They are unlikely to even be being paid min wage, they'll be "self employed".. Well that's what a lot are, the charities farm out the actual 'signing up' to different companies, probably to avoid the stigma of not paying people.
On the other hand, apparently the DD's do actually "work" in terms of getting cash in, so probably won't be stopping soon.
( friend has done similar, he was even out of pocket for the travel expenses, but hey, anything to keep the house :( )
I refuse to set up a DD for any charity as I find that circumstances affect my donations - natural disasters for example - and I would rather choose which charities I donate to on the basis of immediate need.
I have had more than a few people asking me to donate, I pull out my cash and they say we need a DD. Back in my pocket goes the money to be donated to some other charity that actually wants it.
Same with RSPCA here. Guy turns up asking for a donation. I say sure, here's a couple of quid. Then he says 'oh we can't take cash, you have to sign this form, can I come in?'. Bad move.
Within 5 minutes he's escalated it to a minimum monthly donation of £20 (which I had to point out to him on the form - he was expecting me to sign it without reading it!), whereupon he was somewhat surprised to be physically picked up and thrown out of the house.
Later I found he'd taken the partially filled in form (which alas had my bank details by then but not my signature.. note to self.. take form and destroy it first), forged my signature and attempted setup a direct debit anyway.
Needless to say that's one charity that will *never* get a penny from me.
You are not, and it's been going on for a century. Twain and Mencken wrote about their days in journalism where "charity beggars" would try to pull all sorts of things to get their charities' names in print ... and thus keep their cushy charity gigs.
Mencken had a rule when he edited The Smart Set and American Mercury. He would only publish anything from a charity if said charity sent him information on membership, salaries of the ten highest-paid employees, names of the top ten contributors and their level of donation, a budget breakdown to show how much money actually went to what the charity claimed to be doing, etc, and have it sent via the US Mail. He insisted on the latter, because to provide fraudulent information via the mail system for purposes of obtaining money or commerce was a federal offense.
And shockingly, not one charity in 20+ years agreed to it.
And he started this before WWI.
"I have never been able to get a straight answer as to what %age of the DD goes to the actual charity."
As far as I know a lot of charities nowadays publish their accounts*, and will show what percentage of donations received go directly to the cause they collect for.
* the more serious ones at least
My understanding is this;
When you sign a DD for whatever figure, the agency that got you to sign up keeps all but around 10% from the first year. The 10% or so is the money that goes to the actual charity that commissioned them to do the hard sell on you. I believe (although I will have to check), that the commissioning charity gets to keep all subsequent monies, although I am not certain about that.
It also seems to me that the so-called charities that commission this sort of nonsense already get a substantial lump of tax-payers funded government money, so as far as I am concerned, they can forget getting even more money from me.
*but* the collectors are not being paid by the charity. So there is no flow of money. What *is* happening, is the collectors are raising £xxxx (using the charities name, logo, and goodwill) and paying £xxxx-£yyyy to the charity, where it appears as a simple coroporate donation. So there is no visibility of how much the collection agency is making.
And I bet the contract between the agency and charity insists that in the event of the DD being cancelled, the agency *still* get their whack.
Just over twenty years ago I made a £10 credit card donation to the NSPCC on behalf of a friend who didn't have a card at the time.
And more than two decades later I'm *still* receiving regular begging letters from them as a result of that single donation. I don't know what they've spent on printing and postage, but it must be considerably more than the original ten quid.
"...that full copyright was required for the merchandising exercise..."
Presumably this is untrue and presumably this Foundation took some legal advice prior to setting up this scam. The possibilities at this point are therefore:
1) the Foundation's legal advice was *really* bad and they ought to seek further legal advice (from different lawyers).
2) the Foundation are lying to an interested and informed journalist, and they ought to seek PR advice (from someone with a clue).
I'm quite surprised at this happening at a university level. But I'm fairly sure I was given repeated knock-backs everytime I asked "Difficult" questions at school.
Seems like anyone asking for credit/ownership of their own work is either cheeky or difficult. Makes me so angry I just give up on the state of education.
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No, mate, that's so far from how it works you'd be best off measuring the distance in astronomical units.
You're conflating two things:
1) the assertion on the part of the submitter/creator that they are in fact either the originator of the piece or the holder of the salient rights, and
2) the provision of a licence to the charity to exploit these images.
For the purposes of the charity, a non-exclusive licence to re-use the material (with attribution of the creator) would be perfectly suitable. The only reason this *doesn't* happen is if someone started with a private purchase contract template, wherein buying exclusive control of all rights would be the norm to maximise the exploitation potential for the material created.
The old saying about attributing malicious motives to stupidity comes to mind, though knowing some folks and some of the schemes claiming to be charities it could equally be both.
Do you have any idea how copyright works? Do you really think that when, for example, somebody uses an album cover on a T-Shirt the company making and selling the shirts becomes the sole copyright owner of that work? Do you think the BBC owns the full rights to every series is has ever broadcast?
Except as has been stated: a non-exclusive (permanent, royalty-free) license A la Facebook would cover that, or if they had the kids contribute the art as a Creative Commons, rather than full controlled copyright, in the hands of the Organization.
Or they could offer the kid some tiny portion of the proceeds to teach them the value of creation, and instill some notion of copyright as a property. (Again, this was commented above) Tho this would cost more as they'd have to track which kid supplied what and how many times it was sold. And that might eat into the 80%.
Odds are this is just lazy/cheap boilerplate that they can't be bothered to change. It is much simpler to say "All your copyright are belong to us" than it is to define terms and limits of a license.
This kind of feels like going back to the roots of copyright really. Back in the mid 1500s, booksellers and printers could own “copies”, as they were eligible for membership in the Stationer's Company. Copyright was purely a concern for those who owned the distribution and reproduction facilities back then.
I personally do not think it is enforceable because one of the essential components of a contract is 'capacity' - which does not apply to children. The parents, however.
Glad that to see articles like this on El Reg, and all of the comments. As someone who works in Procurement, the trend (allegedly) is for simpler, but tighter and robust contracts that are appropriate to the Procurement. In the 'real' world, it's still insert boiler-plate clauses that result in supplies ramping up prices to factor contractual disputes / compliance with a bunch of policies that bear little relation to the Procurement at hand.
Back to the point at hand, I am more and more concerned at the use of T&Cs to syphon away rights. I suspect that if this issuers highlighted in the media i.e. Metro, and a MP or two become involved, the embarrassment factor will result in a more sensible set of T&Cs.
Always reminds me of that wonderful Stalin anecdote when informed that his actions might rankle with the Pope. "F**k the Pope. How many divisions does he have?" or words to that effect. T&Cs may say one thing, actual enforcement in law if one party wishes to rely on a clause, is another
No, they don't. They can just request a license to use for said merchandising and promotion surrounding it. That's all they need to be able to function. They certainly don't need a license to do as they please with it, and certainly don't need all rights signing over to them.
Sure, they might not be anything special all these entries - but who is to say in future that one of the many children who enters won't become a famous artist or famous in some other way? This early "work" then does have commercial value to be exploited - but no longer by the "artist".
Also, if an advertising agency notices something they can use in one of their promotions the charity can allow them to do so (for a price) without reference to the creator who may or may not wish to be associated(*) with the specific product/company being promoted.
(*) kids tend to put their real names on stuff
Listen: You give something e.g. money, artwork, your time, whatever, to someone, be it a homeless person or a charity, then you no longer have a say in what happens to it. It's theirs now, not yours, so either don't give, or get over yourself.
What part of GIVE don't we understand?
Business can write any terms they want, unfortunately for them, here in the EU we have protection for individuals from "sharp" business practice, in the form of the unfair contracts directive, and it's UK enactment in the Unfair Contracts Act.
My personal guess is the terms wouldn't survive 5 seconds in front of a judge.
Anybody interested, the OFT guide can be found here ;
Interestingly most US EULA's (Rotten Core, Micro$haft,, et al), would also fall under this remit of this legislation for personal customers.
The chief exec is clueless about copyright law. It doesn't matter what you paint it with or where - I'm sure Picasso and Gaugin painted with brushes and paint and stuff. If you created it then you have the copyright. An employer can ask you to give up copyright on material developed on their behalf but it has to be explicit.
All they had to do was ask for specific permission to use the image in any fashion related to the project. The wording they've chosen far exceeds that.
A minor cannot enter into a contract, and be bound to it, unless if it for "necessities" such as food, or in some cases where it enable them to make a living. This scheme pretty much falls as far outside of the scope of "necessity" as it possibly can.
At any point up to the age of 18, the minor can back out of the contract by voiding it, which is certainly worth doing if one of their masterpieces becomes a million seller - Might be nice of they left the 20% with the charity though.
There is no way that an adult could assign copyright on a child's behalf, and even if they made the child do it, it would still be voidable for the reasons set out above.
The point is that this organisation is teaching kids "You must give away your Copyrights to large organisations, only big companies can own copyrights. You are small, you cannot."
So, is it surprising if these children grow up thinking that copyright doesn't matter, only big organisations can have it. When they were little some organisation 'stole' their copyrights, so why not infringe it.
An easy train of thought goes:
It's not like they are affecting real people by infringing. That company probably 'stole' the copyrights in the first place like someone did to theirs. So clearly they should take it back!
Put another way, if we want these kids to respect our copyrights then we should respect theirs, and teach them what copyright actually is.
...but I think the content should be clear enough.
It's like this. If you live on Fuckoff Island, either you're eating the sandwich, or you are the sandwich. And the greed and corruption of the sandwich eaters is such that your children are the sandwich too.
There are two modern functions for charity. The first is as a pressure-valve for social iniquity. That it should be necessary in an organised society for volunteers in their free time to need to care for the weaker members is clearly wrong. But we stand for it, and in doing so we enable the pigs who make it necessary.
The second is as a crowbar for the wallet of private individuals. Charitable giving is expected, and those who openly choose not to are likely to be excoriated. Consequently "charitable organisations" are in a position to coin it hand over fist from people who consider it impolite to ask exactly what is happening with their money.
The government is there to ensure that this sort of thing can go on unimpeded. The police are there to ensure that the government's policies may be implemented without hindrance. And the media are there to demonstrate what all right-thinking people need to believe in order to fit in, and to fund sundry police officers' free time. In the immortal words of John le Carre "You scratch my conscience, I'll drive your Jag".
This shit will never stop. It is How Things Are Done. The people who could change things don't care. The people who care cannot change things. If you are in the system then you are of the system. If you are outside the system how dare you presume to object?
Money? To the kids? From what is supposed to be a charitable thing? Way to go. Teaching the kids that they can make money from charities is good indeed. Next week, "how to con the old ladies with a DIY red cross donation box".
They should retain copyright of course, and the waiver should be narrowed. But demand money? Fail of the utmost epicness.
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You must check out www.artbeez.com
This website has none of these copyright issues and is a great concept.
It is a social network and fundraising platform for young people to showcase, share, collaborate, store and sell their artwork for charity. They can raise money collectively for a fundraiser or on their own by supporting children's charities that we partner with.
The site gives tweens and teens a world stage and a meaning to social networks by bringing together like-minded children globally based on the theme of art and charitable giving. Its unique concept of linking social, charitable giving and creativity aims to encourage children's interest in the arts, empower them and harness their creativity to help bring social change.
They can also create unique merchandise with their artwork, for example designing cards, posters and t-shirts. The website is designed for use by children aged from 7 to 16.
Check it out!
a) I ____ hereby grant the right for the attached artwork to be used to create a composite picture of the queen's face which will be displayed at ______ on the ____ of _____ 2012.
b) I also agree to allow the supplied image to be reproduced without compensation to the artist.