RegentSteetOnline is the website home one of London's most expensive bits of heritage real estate. Their 'What's Great about Britain, to you?' photo competition says 'We challenge you to capture in a photograph.The top 10 photos will be displayed on Regent Street and the overall winner will receive a £500 shopping experience and £300 worth of Jessops vouchers. The competition is open to all; professionals, enthusiastic amateurs, or happy snappers. However the judges will be looking for: creativity, composition and originality.' And, as it turns out, gullibillity. The terms and conditions grab the right to use your entered photos in any way they wish, without payment, and forever:
In contributing to RegentStreetOnline.com you agree to grant The Crown Estate (the owner and operator of the website) an irrevocable, perpetual, royalty-free licence to publish and otherwise use your attached photo in any way and in any media throughout the world ("the Licence"). This includes the printed production of your images for display purposes and may include the transmission of the material by The Crown Estate's partners. You agree that the Licence shall be exclusive in relation to any use of your photo on or in connection with Regent Street including but not limited to public display in Regent Street and use on or in connection with Regent Street residents and businesses. Otherwise the Licence is non-exclusive.
Upon agreeing to these terms and conditions you confirm that your contribution is your own original photo and does not infringe any UK laws, and that you have the consent of anyone who is identifiable in your contribution or the consent of their parent / guardian if they are under 16.
It's important to note that you still own the copyright to everything you contribute to RegentStreetOnline.com and that if your photo is accepted, we will endeavour to publish your name alongside; however we cannot guarantee that your name will be published and you agree in this regard to waive in favour of us and any of our The Crown Estate's partners any right you may have to be identified as the author.
Potential entrants may wish to bear in mind that RegentStreetOnline operates a Photo Library for the purpose of publicising itself to the media. And that the above terms will allow all entries to become part of this commercial publicity service.
The Crown Estate operates on behalf of the Queen and owns a property profolio worth £7.3Bn. They claim 'While preserving the heritage for which we care is a vital priority, the way in which we fulfil this important responsibility is driven by the best and most advanced business practices available to us.'
'Our activities are supported by our core values of commercialism, integrity and stewardship, which inform the way we behave and the actions we take to fulfil our responsibilities.'
'Integrity is the backbone of The Crown Estate. It dictates that we treat customers as we would wish to be treated ourselves.'
'Demonstrating its innovative approach to adding value to its Regent Street portfolio, The Crown Estate this year completed two major Regent Street property swaps, first with the Pollen Estate (Pollen) and then with Great Capital Partnership (GCP). The GCP swap completed in February 2008 and was hailed as the largest property swap transaction in the West End ever, involving 580,000 sq ft of prime West End property, valued at over £350 million. '
Jessops is the well-known UK photographic retail chain who, despite recent hard times, might have been expected to know better.
A few years ago rights-grabbing competitions were the rather shamefaced prerogative of charities and voluntary organisations, who at least had the excuse of being penniless and the appeal of being dedicated to good works. Clearly UK has now reached a new level of emancipation, where even the monarch is keen to stitch up photographers.