It’s a win-win competition, now

THE NUJ has stepped in to prevent a Trade Unions Congress (TUC) photography competition to mark Liverpool's year as European Capital of Culture unintentionally grabbing unfair rights to pictures submitted.

North West TUC sent out an invitation to amateur and professional photographers to submit images of working life in the city as its part of its contribution to the celebrations.

Pictures were to be displayed on the organisation's specially-created www.unions08.co.uk website with prize money for winners.

Unfortunately, officials forgot to consult with the NUJ and the rules of the competition were drafted from those used in another similar internet competition.

When the news of the contest was distributed around affiliate trade unions in the North West, the NUJ Manchester office saw problems in the rules. These included unlimited use of winning images for potential promotional material and granting the organisers rights to manipulate the images if required.

We took the matter up with the TUC competition organiser and negotiations took place to amend the offending clauses. After consultation with the NUJ Freelance office, acceptable wording was inserted.

In addition, when Merseyside NUJ branch chair Mike Studley heard about the competition, he persuaded the branch to add an additional £100 to the £150 prize originally offered to the winners of the individual categories.

This was not a case of malice on the TUC's part - they just did not think through the angles for photographers, be they professional or even amateur. When the problems were pointed out, they were only too willing to listen to our amendments and implement them.

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